Venables says FSU playmakers present a challenge


by - Senior Writer -
Venables makes a signal during the win over Syracuse.
Venables makes a signal during the win over Syracuse.

CLEMSON – Brent Venables looks at the Florida State offense, sees playmakers all over the field and knows his defense will have its hands full Saturday afternoon.

The Seminoles (3-2, 2-1 ACC) and Tigers (5-0, 3-0 ACC) play on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. from Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised by ABC.

Florida State will start quarterback James Blackman (86-124 for 970 yards, nine TDs and 2 interceptions), but Alex Hornibrook (44-60, 571, 5 TDs) is also expected to play. Venables says the quarterbacks play a similar game.

"I see a lot more similarities than differences; two guys that understand the system, two guys that are playing well within the system," Venables said. "Both of them long and have good mobility. They can stand in the pocket when they need to. They do a good job of managing the offense and the flow in precision. Both of them have big arms to top off the defense and both of them have enough savvy-ness that, you know, when things break down they can improvise and make plays, extend plays, and they have the ability and the instincts to keep their eyes down the field and create a lot of big plays that way.

"So, they both have great leadership and toughness. I've seen them both get stroked pretty good and then respond. With Blackman, he had a really nice year last year as a first-year starter. Hornibrook's a winner, you know what he's done at Wisconsin, he's used to winning, he's used to leading. So, they've got a lot of the same characteristics and traits."

Clemson held FSU tailback Cam Akers in check last season, limiting him to just seven yards on 11 carries. Venables said that limiting Akers was a team effort and not necessarily because of Clemson’s dominant defensive line.

“It's a testament to everybody I mean, they're not the only ones," Venables said. "You have to take up blocks sometimes while other people get to tackle. But it’s a different year, different systems, different alignments, and a different coach. What they're asking them to do is different, and so they're doing a really nice job. You see a marked improvement from a year ago, and he's the best one we'll see all year and he’s having a tremendous year. He's got broad shoulders and is carrying the workload for them in the run game. He’s a tough guy, has great instincts and is a really good zone runner and runs through a lot of trash. He's got breakaway speed and he’s strong and has durability and plays with a really good toughness to him, so

We’ve got our hands full.”

Venables said that wide receiver Tamorrion Terry is one of the fastest players Clemson will face this season.

“He's really good. We said a year ago he was their best guy and the thing I like about him is he's big and he's really fast and he can take a quick throw and he can house call it anytime,” Venables said. “He's got tremendous breakaway speed but he plays with great toughness. He loves to block, he plays through the whistle and you notice him. He's got a great presence to him and so we have a lot of respect for him. He’s a great player.”

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