Venables says Georgia is explosive, calls Murray one of the best he has seen

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Venables said UGA's Aaron Murray is right up there with the best quarterbacks he has coached against.

CLEMSON – With a cornerback rotation that is still a work in progress and two inexperienced safeties, Clemson will have to get pressure on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray with the front four, according to defensive coordinator Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
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Venables, speaking to the media Tuesday afternoon in the WestZone, said that Murray is a master at play-action, and that success with the defense will start with his defensive linemen.

"It's everything. It's everything every week,” Venables said of the pressure. “That's the name of the game - get pressure and get them uncomfortable. I know it's been well-documented but you look at the first half last year we struggled doing a lot of things. Getting pressure on the passer was one of those things. Look at the South Carolina game and the LSU game and we affected the QB in one and didn't affect him a lot in the other. If you can do that with your four against their six and seven, it puts you in the driver's seat to say the least. Our guys need to play well up front. So do theirs."

Venables called Georgia’s offense “explosive.”

“They're a very explosive offense, great experience, proven playmakers everywhere and a veteran o-line with good chemistry and continuity. Aaron Murray will probably break every SEC record throwing-wise,” he said. “They're very precise in what they're doing. They can bloody your nose and beat you to death in the run game and they're very good from a timing standpoint with speed and can attack the deep ball, taking the top off the defense as good as anyone in the country. Their last time out they hammered the number one pass defense in the country. They're very good at what they do."

Venables coached at Oklahoma with a lot of great quarterbacks and coached against a lot of great quarterbacks in the Big 12, and he says that Murray is right there with the best of those.

"He's as good as any of them. He's a good decision-maker,” Venables said. “He gets them in and out of the right plays. They've added an element of the no-huddle. The coaches feel very strongly towards him as far as him being an extension of them."

Murray is complemented by running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, arguably the best 1-2 punch in the country.

"I don't know that we've faced any like that. They're pretty good to say the least,” he said of the duo. “They're big, fast, physical and Gurley reminds you some of Adrian Peterson in some ways with his strength and physicality. He's a big violent runner who runs through trash. They do a good job of making your secondary support in the run game and that creates problems."

Other notes

The front seven

“We're a lot more experienced. I know them. They know me. They know the schemes. We've matured in a lot of ways since a year ago. No question about it."

His comfort level with the secondary

“I’m excited to see our guys play. We need a couple more days and I'm sure they do too. I'm excited to see them play. Every season is a little bit different but one thing that is always the same is that you grow as the season goes along. Sometimes you start out stronger than other times. This is the first game of many this season and I'm excited to see our guys go out and compete."

On if the team has become more physical over last year

"We're more physical than what we were. Again, that comes from guys being sure of themselves. Most young players play in a timid way. Well this isn't a timid sport. If you're unsure and you're playing on your heels, you won't be physical. The best teams are physical and the best players are physical. Cam Newton was a physical quarterback. Tim Tebow was a physical quarterback. DeAndre HopkinsDeAndre Hopkins
Wide Receiver
#6 6-2, 205
Central, SC

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Hopkins was a physical receiver where he out-fought and made a lot of competitive plays. The free safety and corner shouldn't be any different. We're better and still trying to get better and some guys are naturally more physical than others and others develop that. Some guys aren't great but they're physical. I'd much rather have a physical guy than a smart, easy-going guy. We've made big strides there. The best test to that is to go out and play another physical football team and see where you are and that's getting ready to happen Saturday night."

Georgia’s offensive line

“They're really good, really experienced. It's a well-seasoned group of guys who are physical who can protect the passer and handle movement, recognize fronts and pressures. They're not just turning guys loose. They're well-coached and play with good technique. They've got a good, physical presence to them."

The importance of getting the defensive backs healthy

"No doubt. In order to get better you have to practice. We've missed substantial time with that group of guys, unfortunately. But we have to practice. That's how you get better. Great players have to continue to sharpen their skills."

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