»
Topic: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams
Replies: 46   Last Post: Apr 27, 2021, 12:03 AM by: SocMan2®
[ Tiger Boards - Clemson Football ]
Start New Topic
Replies: 46  

Why our defense has struggled against elite teams

emoji_events [6]
Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 5:36 PM
    Reply

Our ability to field a great team hinges on who we start on defense. The offense will be fine, there's a lot of talent and we should be able to air it out. Defensive talent is a massive concern for me though. We've recruited well but we still have a lot of elite-level players on defense that sit on the bench. Guys like Turner, Zanders, Skalski, Venables, and Spector, while good character guys, are not elite and have no NFL future. They're all 3-star players excluding Turner who wasn't even ranked. I can assure you not one of them would start at Bama, UGA, LSU, or Ohio State.

Here are the schools that offered these players
-All 3 stars or lower

Nolan Turner- Zero offers
Landon Zanders- App State, ECU, Georgia Southern, GT, Maryland, Tennessee, Vandy
James Skalski- Louisville, Marshall, UNC, USCjr, UCF, Wake Forrest
Baylon Spector- Duke, Georgia Southern, Mercer, Wake Forest
Jake Venables- LSU, NW, SMU, Texas Tech

-Venables had the best offer from LSU. But overall, not an impressive list.

-Let's compare them to a few players that sit behind them. I won't list every single school, just the notable ones.
-All 4 star players

Vonta Bentley- Bama, Auburn, Florida, LSU
Sergio Allen- Bama, Auburn, Florida, UGA, LSU
Kevin Swint- Bama, Florida, UGA, LSU, OSU
RJ Mickens- Alabama, Florida, UGA, LSU, OU

-I'm not going to include guys from the 2021 class. However, the majority of them are 4 and 5 star players that have offers from good football schools.

I trust Dabo and Venables will put the put the best players on the field that put us in the best position to win. However, I'm starting to get the feeling that we're playing guys based on seniority and not based on talent. Comparing the offers each group of players got from other schools is very telling. With UGA week 1 and against our potential playoff opponent, I believe we're going to need a boost in speed and athleticsm to match them. We can't field a bunch of 3 star players and ponder why they're having a hard time matching up against 5 stars. Recruting rankings exist for a reason. I really don't want to see a repeat of LSU and OSU.

Try to approach this post with an open mind. I know TNET has a hard time handling posts that aren't a glowing praise of our football program.


Message was edited by: LosTigres17®


2021 student level member link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams


Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 5:57 PM
    Reply

Nolan Turner had at least one offer that I know of UAB, but I get your point

link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams


Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 6:14 PM
    Reply

You may view it as seniority over talent. The coaches probably view it as experience.

link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams

[1]
Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 6:50 PM
    Reply

Stoudt had more expierience then Watson. Bryant had more experience than Trevor. Often times talent overcomes experience.

2021 student level member link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams

[4]
Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 9:21 PM
    Reply

Bresee and Murphy also played over more experienced players. Which debunks much of your OP. Coaches play who they feel gives them the best chance to win.

link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams


Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 7:20 PM
    Reply

Excellent point, perhaps our defense is too complicated and slows down reaction time and natural ability.

2021 orange level member link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams

[4]
Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 6:22 PM
    Reply

You make good points about seniority in playing time on D, but consider the complexity of Venables' defense and the time it takes to learn it.

Perhaps the question is more one of whether it's a better idea to run a complicated D that requires much time to learn - or run a simple D into which raw players can go in and play on talent and instincts.

If anyone wants to say Venables should dumb down his D, have at it - I don't think so.... I like the way we attack on D.

Maybe we need a combination of more talent and smarts, so incoming players can learn the D more quickly.

I think the best improvement on D will be to develop the front four and go back to a 4-3 basic set - if the talent is there on the front four, the rest of the D has a much better chance to be aggressive and successful.

link

Re: They Don't Want To Break In The Good Weapons Yet ---


Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 6:26 PM
    Reply

Sometimes there are surprises. Skalski and Turner were a bit of a surprise. Skalski is a beast most of the time and Turner has some fight in him in spots where I never thought he would be.

Thus yes....there are talented big guns behind them...but they are young. I wish the coaches would let them do what they do best and blend it with what they need to learn. Same thing for offense. If they can just let them do what they do best in spots while letting them learn all the other complicated stuff....we would be better against elite teams that we should play much better against instead of being avalanches in the 2nd half of games against those elites.

Just need the players elite or not to their jobs.

link

I agree to a point


Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 6:28 PM
    Reply

And also with whoever mentioned maybe trying to get the raw talent on the field with the experienced talent to help with progression. How long before 4/5 star guys start going elsewhere when they can’t crack the lineup against slower/less explosive players?

link

Totally disagree, and the thing is, you don't really know

emoji_events [6]
Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 7:10 PM
    Reply

because you aren't on the practice field.

Recruiting highly ranked players is important, but that shouldn't make you feel that maybe they're being overlooked because of seniority bias.

We've won NCs with a lot of guys on D who weren't highly recruited: Van Smith, Kendall Joseph, J.D. Davis (always came in for Tre Lamar on passing downs), K'Von Wallace, Tanner Muse. Turner played great against Bama in 2018.

We have gotten blown out the last two playoff games, but we're 6-4 all time with many who weren't highly recruited.

2021 orange level memberbadge-donor-10yr.jpgringofhonor-jospehg.jpg link


Re: Totally disagree, and the thing is, you don't really know

[1]
Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 9:00 AM
    Reply

Exactly right! The OP doesn't realize that once players get here the number of starts you had by your name out of high school does not mean anything. The players that pick up the system and perform on the practice field are the ones that are going to play. Dabo does not recruit according to "stars". In Bobby Bowden's last few years he waas recruiting players based on their stars without even seeing them play in person and was loaded with four and five start players ....... except they couldn't play and his W=L record reflected it.

military_donation.jpg link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams


Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 7:33 PM
    Reply

So what your saying is....you really like the SEC?

2021 white level member link

Did Bentley, Swint, Allen, and Mickens have commitable


Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 7:41 PM
    Reply

offers from Bama? Or, were they dependent on players higher on Bama's board not going to Bama?

2021 orange level memberbadge-donor-10yr.jpgringofhonor-jospehg.jpg link


Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams

[1]
Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 7:42 PM
    Reply

Lot of words but unless you are a coach and watch practice everyday, they are just words. Dabo and Venables don't have the records they do and earn what they earn by playing favorite players and not the best. We lost to better teams against LSU and Ohio State, period.

link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams


Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 7:47 PM
    Reply

I’m going to comment on two small things. Disagree Skalski doesn’t have a shot in the NFL. 2 of these guys mentioned are 6th year seniors. They’ve played some significant time on championship teams. In no way shape or form would any coach anywhere with than ounce of common sense, sit their two
Captains on one side of the ball, although I get your other points.

2021 white level member link

Skalski is Boulware 2.0. Solid college player, but

[2]
Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 8:15 PM
    Reply

does not have the talent to play at the NFL level.

link

Re: Skalski is Boulware 2.0. Solid college player, but

[1]
Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 9:23 PM
    Reply

Actually, they aren’t that similar and Skalski’s athleticism is far great than Ben’s was.

2021 white level member link

I'll add that Spector was our MVP on D last year.***

[1]
Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 7:52 PM
    Reply



2021 orange level memberbadge-donor-10yr.jpgringofhonor-jospehg.jpg link


There’s that.....Too...


Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 9:25 PM
    Reply

Nm.

2021 white level member link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams

[2]
Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 8:10 PM
    Reply

It’s weird how someone can use the facts which support his argument and disregard others which blow his theory.

Championship games against great teams are often blowouts. We destroyed Bama and ND in 2018 and they had all 4* & 5* players on D. Bama destroyed Ohio last year and both were loaded with talent. Super Bowls with the best of the best talent are often lopsided. Your theory about safeties does not explain the number of lopsided championship games.

The reality is championship teams can elevate their play in championship games where the other team can’t match it so the game is lopsided. Not unique to Clemson and has nothing to do with the star rating of our Safties

link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams


Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 8:23 PM
    Reply

Larry Nance and Lavon Strickland say hello

link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams


Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 8:25 PM
    Reply

senior moment, I meant Kirkland

link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams


Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 10:31 PM
    Reply

And Grady Jarrett.

military_donation.jpg link

Interesting post

emoji_events [5]
Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 9:41 PM
    Reply

which resulted in predictable TigerNet feedback. The book is out on Clemson D. Match up Turner, Skalski, and our slower safeties against 4.4 slot receivers and RB's, and watch the scoreboard light up like a pinball machine. The graduation of the Power Rangers, Isaiah Simmons and Trayvon Mullen was a huge loss of talent. This year's starting D-line will be the best since 2018 which will be a big help.

Very few are tougher than Skalski or will know our Defense better than Turner. They will both be quality coaches one day if they are interested. But a lack of speed will be a factor vs. UGA, Bama, Ohio St, LSU and the top playoff teams. I am hopeful Coach BV will coach up our highly recruited underclassmen (freshman to junior) and give them significant reps allowing him to adjust the defensive rotation vs. top teams. I am also helpful Skalski & Turner in their 6th seasons will help develop the younger players to take their place in the future for whenever the team needs them including this year.

2021 purple level memberbadge-donor-10yr.jpg link

Re: Interesting post

[2]
Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 9:49 PM
    Reply

What a rube. Our safeties suffered from a lack of a consistent pass rush and revolving door corners. See, the D has to be firing on all cylinders to be effective. Unfortunately you don’t seem to grasp how it works.

link

Re: Interesting post

[3]
Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 9:57 PM
    Reply


What a rube. Our safeties suffered from a lack of a consistent pass rush and revolving door corners. See, the D has to be firing on all cylinders to be effective. Unfortunately you don’t seem to grasp how it works.




Our safties suffered from a lack of athleticism and talent.

2021 student level member link

B.S. Johnstone


Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 10:42 PM
    Reply

Do you believe Turner and Skalski can cover a 4.4? I played seven years of safety and outside LB which was plenty enough to believe my eyes when I see opposing receivers with 10 yards of space on our guys. It's a speed game now. Still enjoy some of your rationale posts. Hang in there and go Tigers!

2021 purple level memberbadge-donor-10yr.jpg link

Re: Interesting post


Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 9:50 PM
    Reply

Great post here. Skalski and Turner can know as much of Coach V's scheme as humanly possible, however, if they can't athletically matchup with elite WRs and RBs it doesn't make any difference. Like you said, the blueprint on how to attack our defense is out and UGA will try to implement it week 1.

There's a reason Skalski and Turner are 6th year guys, because they're not going to the NFL. I say this as someone who likes and appreciates what they've done for us. But we need more speed and athleticsm which we have in our younger players.

2021 student level member link

Re: Interesting post


Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 10:17 PM
    Reply

Go back and watch the LSU and OSU games...

Your take is interesting but not supported by what actually happened on the field.....

Joe Burrow and co repeatedly torched our NFL talent level corners ....can’t blame that on safeties...
And we were still in that game when Skalski got ejected ....the D looked even further lost after Skalski went out...

As far as OSU... Skalski once again got ejected and we didn’t look better without him....and Nolan Turner spent the first half on the bench....

We looked lost on D regardless of personnel - as it seemed Ryan Day spent his whole offseason scheming for Clemson-
It’s actually a compliment to our consistency- Day knew he’d face Clemson if they made it to the CFP... and given their abbreviated season he certainly had the time to gameplan...

We lost to an exceptional offensive team in LSU and to exceptional game planning against OSU...

Personnel wasn’t the issue in either game....


Aside from that - your theory posits that all the teams we’ve beaten in the CFP weren’t elite I guess??

link

Re: Interesting post

[3]
Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 10:18 PM
    Reply

Nolan Turner was second team all American by USA today. The people who complain about him have never played safety before. Let the coaches coach please.

Go Tigers

2021 white level member link

Skalski is a tank. But like Boulware, a little lacking in


Posted: Apr 25, 2021, 10:12 PM
    Reply

the speed department. The same for some of our other linebacker starters. At safety Turner gets to the right place as good as anyone. Might be a tick slow in doing so. Zanders seems to take a couple of steps in the wrong direction on a regular basis, and doesn't have the recovery speed. Just my opinions.

We showed these "tendencies" often last year. Go back and watch Syracuse, Wake, etc. Several long scores in those games, and those were not killer o-lines where our front 4 should have had issues. We were showing what was coming. We just had more talent and covered our shortcomings like good teams do. Could not do that in the playoffs!

Are the younger guys better? Dunno. They may be faster, but do they recognize where to be and get started as quickly? Probably not. I agree with the comment that our guys will be good coaches. I just hope they coach the young ones this year and we are able to match up come CFP time! Go Tigers!

2021 white level member link

OMG becky.. 2 NC ...and 6 CFB bids

[2]
Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 7:58 AM
    Reply

Holy entitlements batman.

2021 white level member link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams


Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 8:20 AM
    Reply

We are what, 6-4 IN THE PLAYOFFS. We have only lost 10 games in the last 7 years. The coots nearly match that in a shortened COVID season.

We had one of the most dominate defenses ever to take the field and hold 'the best ever" Bama offense to 16 points.

Not only that, but not all guys "peak" in high-school... and peaking without future development can be a bad thing. So my counter-point bout be Simmons. Damg, you are questioning BV's eye for players? Chasing stars is what coots do. We build teams.

We have had what, two bad games? I think the LSU game everyone was expecting a offensive B12 like game and they got to TL and had him seeing ghosts. Just missing throws. OSU was on BV and as he said, their gameplan was shot mostly because OSU did not have to show anything on film and they rolled out a new offense on us. Again, we were in the Semi-Final and NCG so....

link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams

[1]
Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 8:47 AM
    Reply

If this is struggling against elite teams I hope our struggles continue, you do understand the run we have been on the last 6 years has been historic & ranks among the best all time ever in modern football.

81-7 in 6 seasons with the first 15-0 season since 1897, 6 Atlantic Coast Conference Titles, 2 National Titles, 4 National Title games in 6 years, 6 playoff appearances, 3 of 7 loses were to the number 1 team, 5 of 7 were to playoff teams all in the top 3.

We have been very good against the best of the best. We finished #3 with covid challenges but took our worst loss this year to Ohio State but we certainly made them earn it as we had won all 4 before that. We lost to # 2 Notre Dame & we came back & kicked their tail in the ACC Championship.

I don’t know how you could complain with covid our O-line missed development & meals in Clemson when we needed it the most, we had injuries that would have been 4-5 losses for the best of teams. Our coaches did a great job, we badly needed to stretch the field last season, Justin Ross, Ngata & Marshall would have changed the game against Ohio State & opened the running game.



2021 white level member link

“Let’s make the others want to be like us” Dabo Swinney!!

The best is yet to come!! I’m so grateful for Clemson Football going into the 2020’s


Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams


Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 9:57 AM
    Reply

Ditch the 3 man line, sit a LB or 2 if you need more DB's, too much talent up front now to sit anyone.

link

Three things: 1) BV values player ability to read the game.

[3]
Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 10:19 AM
    Reply

That's why we've had your Boulwares, Alexanders, Simmonses, and Skalskis out there. And look no further than last season when Skalski went out to see the effects of missing a defensive quarterback can have on BV's effectiveness. One usually at LB and one DB reading the game.

2) If and when we get back to an elite DL, our D will be back. Period. We have missed the Power Rangers these past two seasons. Simmons covered everything himself. Last year was piecework to cover for the young'uns on the DL, but they won't be so young this season.

3) Offenses have caught up with our D a little. Two strategies - the OSU strategy (mix up the tempo, exploit DB weaknesses) and the ND strategy (slow down the game, hit your plays on offense).

I expect us to be "back" on defense this coming season. HOWEVER, we can't overlook the fact that offenses have somewhat figured out BV's tendencies and elite teams have been able to take advantage of this. Fully loaded on D, I still expect us to be great and I believe 100% in BV, but offenses have caught up a little, elite offenses can take advantage.

2021 white level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg2016_nascar_champ.gif link


Facts and Data


Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 10:53 AM
    Reply

I think the OP is is making a good point. Bottom line is the Clemson D has been humiliated in the CFP 2 years running. The 2 numbers are 628 yards and 639 yards. After LSU nobody thought it could get any worse but it did. Just because we won in the past with a few marginal role players mixed with some fantastic players really has no bearing on the present. We haven't had enough on the field to overcome all the marginal players. So what worked in the past has now been embarrassing against the top teams. Tweak the system or expect another blow out.

link

Re: Three things: 1) BV values player ability to read the game.


Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 11:55 PM
    Reply

Isaiah Simmons has been arguably one our top 5 all-time Clemson defensive players. And he's a speed merchant who is as tough as Skalski.

2021 purple level memberbadge-donor-10yr.jpg link

The Struggle

[2]
Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 3:01 PM
    Reply

1 Alabama.........0.91367 127 12 0 139
2 Clemson.........0.87050 121 18 0 139
3 Ohio State......0.86154 112 18 0 130
4 Oklahoma........0.80916 106 25 0 131

Vs ALL the 25 teams with the best records in the nation over the past ten years.

Vs Alabama over the past 10 years......2-2
Vs Ohio State over the past 10 years...3-1
Vs Oklahoma over the past 10 years.....2-0
Vs FSU over the past 10 years..........6-4
Vs LSU over the past 10 years..........1-1
Vs Notre Dame over the past 10 years...3-1
Vs Auburn over the past 10 years.......4-0
Vs Georgia over the past 10 years......1-1
Vs TAMU over the past 10 years.........2-0

Vs Heisman Trophy Winners over the past ten years

Tua....................................1-0
Mayfield...............................1-0
Lamar Jackson..........................3-0
Devonta Smith..........................1-1
Joe Burrow.............................0-1
Jameis Winston.........................0-2

Yep, Clemson has struggled against elite teams in the last decade. We have got to get better.

But personally, I hope we continue to struggle like this for the rest of my life.

Go Tigers!!

2021 orange level memberbadge-donor-15yr.jpg link

Re: The Struggle


Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 5:07 PM
    Reply

No one is suggesting Clemson has strugged against elite teams over the past decade. You don't need to look back over the past decade, just go as far back as LSU. Including that game and since, the Tigers are 2-3 against top 10 teams. Gave up a zillion yards in losses to ND, LSU, and Ohio State. Beat ND and an overranked Miami.

I'm not saying Clemson can't or won't beat UGA, but you're kidding yourself if you don't see the potential weaknesses on the defensive side for the Tigers.

link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams

[1]
Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 4:56 PM
    Reply

These kind of discussion is why I come to tigernet so its good to see some giving their opinions. I agree with the op, we have either missed on good safeties or hopefully they are ready come fall. I will say this there is no way turner or sanders starts for Uga, Bama, Lsu , or half of the ACC. I feel like both would start for WF, App State but should not be starting for a team hoping to win it all. If I am Uga I would try to match up my backs and tight ends agains the three we are talking about.

2021 white level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams

[1]
Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 9:38 PM
    Reply

We had bad defensive showings against LSU and OSU (most recently at least)....

That’s indisputable...

There is work to be done and the guys Clemson pays millions will do the work ...

Nothing in this thread or in the actual games support the assertion of the original post...

That those two bad outings are attributed to certain players being on the field....

In fact game film actually counters that ....
If we just look at the games mentioned by our resident Dawg fan....

The ND loss...Skalski missed the whole game ..
The OSU loss Skalski and Turner missed significant minutes ...the LSU loss it was LSU 28 Clemson 25 when Skalski got ejected....

link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams


Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 9:43 PM
    Reply

Our defense relies not just on talent but it can be fairly complex ...with the reads and adjustments being made...

That’s why a defensive QB (so to speak) like Skalski is so critical....

Does anyone here think we beat Bama in 2016 and 2019 because we had more 4-5 stars on defense than they had on offense??

link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams


Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 11:46 PM
    Reply

Lack of speed kills against good teams with accurate QB's. It's not rocket science, and I do aerospace for a living. Skalski is my favorite Clemson player; he's a hitter. But no amount of money will make a slow guy faster. Fast guys leave college to make millions in the NFL. Slower guys including Clemson standouts play out every year of college eligibility -- still it's unusual to see 24 year olds playing college ball for 6 years.

2021 purple level memberbadge-donor-10yr.jpg link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams

[1]
Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 10:59 PM
    Reply

I have no problem with you making a critique of the program, but I disagree with your basis being the number of stars a guy has. Wasn’t Simmons a 3 star? That’s just one example, there are lots of others. Our d was beat up last year.

I’m far more worried about our o line....

link

I agree 100% and it’s obvious...


Posted: Apr 26, 2021, 11:13 PM
    Reply

If you go back and watch the games from last season. I’m still high on Turner because of his nose for the football, but I agree that he along with the other players you named would not be starting for a Top 5 program.

link

Re: Why our defense has struggled against elite teams


Posted: Apr 27, 2021, 12:02 AM
    Reply

This is a stupid post! Defense struggles..
One game!!
Go back to wherever you came from!
If you knew half as much as you think you do then you would be coaching and not posting on a message board!
Are you just a troll? Must be a troll!

link

Replies: 46  

TIGER TICKETS

FB GAME: Georgia
FOR SALE: I WILL HAVE 2 EXTRA GEORGIA - CLEMSON TICKETS AND 2 SOUTH CAROLINA - CLEMSON TICKETS. IF YOU ARE TR...

Buy or Sell CU Tickets and More in Tiger Tickets!

[ Tiger Boards - Clemson Football ]
Start New Topic
3910 people have read this post