Steele talks about Boston College, reviews Georgia Tech

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – The Clemson defense held Boston College to a paltry 54 yards of total offense in the Tigers’ 25-7 win over the Eagles a season ago, but Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said he believes Boston College is a better team this season.

Boston College has lost five consecutive games, but Steele said the pro-style Eagles are doing different things this season.

"They're a little bit different in the way they're attacking things,” he told the media on Tuesday. “They're more multiple. They're a little bit different in their pass game in terms of their route, where they're going with their reads. There's not much difference in protections and the running game.

“When you look at it, the center is the only different guy. The two guards, tackles and tight ends are all the same. I think they're a better football team right now than they were when we played them last year. They've played three quarterbacks, but they're all the same type of quarterback They're all pro-style quarterbacks."

The Eagles feature the league’s leading rusher in Montel Harris, who is averaging just less than 100 yards rushing per game. That number is good for tops in the ACC and is 23rd nationally, and Steele said the former teammate of Clemson’s Jamie Harper is a quality back.

"You have to look at the total body of work,” Steele said. “He goes out every game and produces. He shows up on every tape you watch. He has since he's been there. He's consistent at what he does. He can hit a home run. He's a really good running back."

The Tiger defense held Georgia Tech to just 13 points this past Saturday, and Steele said he was amazed at the small number of mistakes committed by his personnel.

"To be honest with you, about 60-percent of it was what they had already seen,” he said of the Tech scheme. “It was kind of amazing when you think of playing one defensive package one time a year and you have just six mental errors. That was impressive. They still had 245 yards rushing. That's not off the chart. That's still a lot.

“You base it more on average yards a carry. You'd be shocked that average yards per carry were similar to last year's game. The difference was they scored one touchdown in the first game and were 2-of -12 on third down. They were 6-of -16 on third down in this game. It came down to third down."

Sophomore safety Jonathan Meeks got the start against the Yellow Jackets, and Steele that was simply a matter of rewarding a player who was standing out in practice.

“It just sorted out that way in practice, and that's the bottom line,” he said. “Meeks had just kept stepping up his play. It's not that Rashard [Hall] had done something less. Meeks had just grasped what we were doing. It's been coming about a year now. Last
year we noticed he had good ball skills and good range. He's a good tackler. It's not a negative. It's a positive."

*Steele said that WLB Brandon Maye will more than likely play this Saturday. He was limited against the Jackets due to a strained lower leg suffered against Maryland. Daniel Andrews tore his ACL against the Jackets and is out for the season.

*Just an update here on a redshirt player – Bashaud Breeland, the 6-1, 190-pound defensive back from Allendale-Fairfax High School. I spoke with senior safety DeAndre McDaniel about the good young players the Tigers have in the secondary, and he said to watch out for Breeland next season.

McDaniel said that Breeland is a quick study, and is one of the better practice players on the roster. He said that Breeland’s good play on the scout team earned him a spot on a recent road trip, and he took the chance to bring the youngster into his room for a quick quiz. McDaniel said that Breeland answered 29 out of 31 questions correctly, and that he would bet his first paycheck that Breeland will start somewhere next season.

Steele said that Breeland is an unusual redshirt freshman.

“He can play the nickel, he can play the dime,” Steele said. “When you can go out there and play press corner, and then drop back and play safety, that’s rare. He is a bright young man, and he does something that is unusual for a redshirt freshman. He prepares every week like he is playing in the game. He is on the scout team, but he studies, he knows the game plan, and he asks questions. He prepares just like he’s playing.”

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