Running quarterback haunts Clemson defense yet again

by - Senior Writer -

Kevin Steele press conference audio

COLUMBIA – The fact that South Carolina relied on the legs of quarterback Conner Shaw came as a surprise to no one.

Everybody knew that Shaw was the Gamecocks’ offensive hope, especially with star receiver Alshon Jeffrey turning in a subpar year, senior quarterback Stephen Garcia thrown off the team and running back Marcus Lattimore out for the season.

The Clemson Tigers have struggled with running quarterbacks for the better part of three seasons, but this was a case where the Tigers should have known what was coming and at least put up some semblance of opposition.

Instead, with everyone in the stadium knowing that Shaw was going to run the football, the Tigers were unable to get the Carolina offense off the field as the Gamecocks held onto the ball for over 37 minutes, rushed for 210 yards (Shaw had 107) and scored in every quarter.

Defensive coordinator Kevin SteeleKevin Steele
Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
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said the defense didn’t show much composure in the loss.

“We didn’t have a lot of composure. Cornerbacks didn’t run across when they were supposed to run across,” Steele said. “A linebacker has got man coverage and looks back at the quarterback, he’s going to get sacked and throws it to the back. We just have to execute and we didn’t. We have to coach better. We have to call it better. We have to execute better. We have to do everything better.”

Steele admitted that there was nothing new or surprising in what the Gamecocks ran.

“[They did] nothing [that we didn’t work on last week],” Steele said. “Zero. Nothing. Maybe they were just too hyped up. I don’t know.”

Now, the Tigers must turn their attention to the ACC Championship Game, where Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas and running back David Wilson await and Steele said the defense makes too many mistakes to be effective.

“In this business, all you can do is go back, look at the film, correct the mistakes,” Steele said. “Simple stuff. The first touchdown pass, we have double coverage and he just throws it in there. Double coverage. You just have to contest the ball. We had a guy on top of him and a guy underneath him and he catches it for a touchdown pass. When it gets like that you just have to contest the throw.

“A lot of that first half yards what not on runs, it was on scrambles. That’s a huge difference. Those guys back there covering and on the line, the guys on the line just have to collapse the pocket and not let guys run around like that. You can’t- well I guess you can- blitz them every time, but that puts a lot of pressure on the coverage.”

Defensive end Andre BranchAndre Branch
RS Sr. Defensive End
#40 6-5, 260
Richmond, VA

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– one of the few bright spots for the defense – said the defense has too many players not sticking to their assignments.

“We definitely can get better. We were just missing a couple of assignments,” Branch said. “There were a couple of people that weren’t doing their assignments. That was the key thing in this game. It was a tough loss. South Carolina came to play. We can’t do anything about those losses. We have to practice hard next week and get ready for Virginia Tech.

“Just playing a running quarterback, you have to be ready for the run and the pass. When nothing is open, he is just going to tuck it and run and we just needed to be in our rushing lanes. He just picked a spot and went with it. That’s how it went down. Connor Shaw did a great job with his feet in the first half. I think we dialed in during the second half. It was just too late.”

Branch was asked if the defense could improve enough to be confident against the Hokies in a week.

“We’ll see Monday,” he said. “If not, then we’ll definitely get everybody back on track. We have to meet as a team. Go out and practice and see where everyone’s confidence is and go from there.”

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Subject (Replies: 30) Author
Front Page Story: Running quarterback haunts Clemson defense yet again
Re: Front Page Story: Running quarterback haunts Clemson defense yet again
Oh, he knew.***
Re: Oh, he knew.***
Re: Oh, he knew.***
Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS?***
Never saw that coming - who could have imagined?
Smiling Tiger®
Thanks Steele!!! I hear Books-A-Million is running a special
Steele should be fired tomorrow. $750 K a year for what
Don't forget the incentives: $25,000 every time we hold
Same players + different coaches = same result
Re: Same players + different coaches = same result
Totally disagree
i remember after the middle tenn state game...
I can just see the TV ads:
First gut laugh since the game.
Re: I can just see the TV ads:
was not on was on scrambles...
Re: Front Page Story: Running quarterback haunts Clemson defense yet again
Too bad Ellis Johnson is not as of an idiot as Steele***
Re: Too bad Ellis Johnson is not as big of an idiot as Steel***
Steele lol
Re: Front Page Story: Running quarterback haunts Clemson defense yet again
We knew & still could not stop it.......................
Lanier Tiger
Coaching for sure
"I don't know"
Re: Front Page Story: Running quarterback haunts Clemson defense yet again
Re: Front Page Story: Running quarterback haunts Clemson defense yet again
How To Defense A Running Quarterback
Re: Tired of lost players
Re: Tired of lost players

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