Venables pleased with second consecutive solid performance

by - Senior Writer -

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Clemson’s offense seemingly sets or ties a new record every week, and Thursday’s night game at Wake Forest was no exception as Tajh Boyd Tajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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and Sammy Watkins Sammy Watkins
So. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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each set program single-game records.

However, Clemson’s defense under first-year coordinator Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
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turned in its second consecutive solid performance Thursday night, and while the numbers might not be as gaudy as those put up by the offense, they are more than respectable and show improvement across the board.

Wake Forest gained 290 yards of total offense – the first time this season the Tigers have held an opponent under 300 yards – held the Demon Deacons to just 51 yards on the ground [in 28 attempts] and sacked Wake quarterback Tanner Price five times.

The Tigers were already playing without their two starting cornerbacks, and Thursday starter Garry PetersGarry Peters
RS So. Defensive Back
#26 6-0, 195
Conyers, GA

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went to the sideline midway through the game with an ice pack on his hip. As a result, the Tigers were forced to play redshirt freshman Cortez DavisCortez Davis
RS Fr. Cornerback
#29 6-3, 200
Daytona Beach, FL

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and former walk-on Dante StewartDante Stewart
RS So. Cornerback
#37 5-8, 185
Swansea, SC

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at corner.

Venables said after the game that he was happy with the play of the cornerbacks under such adverse conditions.

"It was good. I was pleased with their attitude, their effort, their position on the ball was good,” he said. “They competed and just did what they were supposed to do. I'm happy with those guys."

Venables said he wasn’t sure what happened to Peters.

"I don't know what's wrong with him. I have no idea,” he said. “I'm not concerned about anything. All those guys that got hurt already, there's nothing more to be concerned about. I ran out of concerns."

Wide receiver Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
So. Wide Receiver
#16 5-11, 190
Spartanburg, SC

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– who played defensive back at Dorman High School – got in on the action at corner, running several plays in the defensive backfield in the fourth quarter, and Venables said don’t be surprised if you see Humphries on defense again.

“He's tough, he’s fast. He's got good instincts. He'll more than fill the void,” Venables said. "There's definitely a chance you could see him more, all things considered. He's done it in high school. He's tough, competitive, good ball skills, he's fast. He's a faceless, disciplined guy who doesn't get overwhelmed. He wasn't overwhelmed one bit. That was his first snap. He didn't even take a practice rep. I was kind of surprised we put him in. It was an emergency thing."

Venables said he was pleased with the overall play of the defense.

“It was better, cleaner, more consistent. Better pressure. We covered better,” he said. “We blitzed better. We tackled better. Far from a finished product. But doing it on the road was incredibly positive. Wake has got some good players but they're not real deep. You have to keep things in perspective. But we did it better longer for the first time this year.

"I've said it all along - you play with some effort, play tough, play with some discipline, you understand what to do, play with some technique and it'll look pretty good. We won comfortably, yet there is still plenty to get better at. There's a lot that you feel good about that you can get better from."

Brent Venables - Audio Interview (5 Minutes)

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