Monday Insider: Game respects game as Tigers prepare for Yellow Jackets


by - Senior Writer -
Andrew Booth makes an incredible play against MIami (Photo courtesy of ACC).
Andrew Booth makes an incredible play against MIami (Photo courtesy of ACC).

Game respects game.

Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott met with the media Monday morning in advance of this week’s game at Georgia (Noon, ABC), and said the Tech defense is playing hard and disciplined and gave them the ultimate compliment when he said game respects game.

Here are a few notes from the Elliott interview, along with other players and defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

Tony Elliott

*Knew they would be challenged by Miami and feels like the staff did a great job. Feels like the OL continues to lead the way, but feels like they could have done a better job on perimeter blocking. Overall a great win for the guys and to see how the young guys will respond. But still thinks they left a lot out on the field, had some plays they could have made and they didn’t.

*Tight end is such a unique and diversified mindset, so to find a combo guy that can both block and catch is unusual. Davis Allen is a good combination of that and has a very high ceiling.

*On the throwback play to the tight end against Miami – a timing play – was loved by the guys on the offensive line.

*Elliott says the defensive coordinator Brent Venables is a football genius and helps his offense prepare every week.

*Gives a lot of credit to Allen on the Travis Etienne run, and says the OL did a great job. Then gives credit to Etienne for being patient and setting up his blocks.

*Game respects game – the kids at GT are playing hard for their coaches. They get after people and Jordan McFadden will have his hands full with Tech defensive end Jordan Domineck. He then reiterated that the OL is playing well and will have a challenge. Tech is long and playing well and have experience on the back end. He is looking forward to the challenge of “show and go” of getting up at noon and playing.

*Jackson Carman is doing his job and making spectacular plays with his effort. But because he is so talented he can get away from his technique and wants to mash people. That gets him in bad body positions.

*Critical to get young guys like Walker Parks and DJ Uiagalelei out there in game situations so they stay engaged and ready. They could be called up at any moment because of injury or COVID. Wishes they didn’t have the high snap on the one play to DJ because there was a wide receiver open down the field and it would have been a touchdown.

DB Jalyn Phillips

*Loves being out on the field at the same time as high school teammate Andrew Booth. They met when they were in 8th grade, and they are like brothers. They talk all the time about how they can’t believe they are playing on this stage.

He always knew that Booth could do those types of things. Sometimes he has flashbacks to high school or practice when Booth made some kind of incredible play.

*Clemson always showed love during the recruiting process and that's what set them apart.

*Feels like there is a very bright future with all of the young and talented players in the secondary. He feels like they have a chance to be a very special group.

S Lannden Zanders

*A lot of pride after the performance against Miami and after people had questions about how they would perform.

*Right now the secondary is young but they are still making plays. They are performing and taking it week by and excited about what they are doing.

*Grew up pulling for the Steelers and safety Troy Polamalu, so loves the comparisons. However, he started growing his hair out because his grandmother had cancer and he donated to Locks of Love (story coming on that, and his grandmother’s mac and cheese, later).

DC Brent Venables

*Georgia Tech has improved tremendously with their wide receivers, running backs and quarterback Jeff Sims. Their receivers ‘are on another planet from where they were a year ago.’

*The Yellow Jackets could have won the games against Syracuse and UCF if not for the turnovers.

*Pleased with Lannden Zanders. Like a lot of young guys, there are things that need to be cleaned up at times, but he likes his attitude and how he’s responded.

*When the coaches found out Miami was on the schedule, they had staff members look at Houston and D’Eriq King. They looked at a lot of people and did some background work just in case they played Miami down the road, but then they were added to the new schedule.

The coaching staff had a little bit of familiarity with Miami offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee because he was with Gus Malzahn at Auburn and had some air raid tendencies that Mike Leach shows.

*Xavier Thomas saw his first snaps of the season on Saturday and Venables said Thomas is close to being back at full strength.

*Clemson receiver Joseph Ngata is big, strong, long and can catch anything within ‘a country mile.’ He loves to block. He’s got a great attitude and can do it all. He’s just scratching the surface at what he can do.

CB Sheridan Jones

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