Venables: "We stoned them"

by - Staff Writer -
Venables' defense only allowed Wake Forest to convert on just 2-of-14 third downs. (TigerNet Staff)

CLEMSON – Clemson defensive coordinator Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
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is a fiery and intense competitor and that fire shows through, even in post game interviews.

Venables was blunt and to the point when describing the effort of his defense during Saturday’s 56-7 victory over Wake Forest: “We stoned them.”

Before scoring its only touchdown of the game, Wake Forest only managed one first down on its first three drives and Venables said that he likes the improvement he has seen out of his group this season.

“We’re better. We’ve been saying it and we’ll say it next week, hopefully after a win,” Venables said in his post game interview. “I saw some improvement. Some of it is individual and some of it is situational. I love how we started the game out- three-and-out, bam, bam, bam. We stoned them. When we ran into the punter and they had a chance to make 28-14 right before half and they went three-and-out and then our offense scored. Those are probably my two favorite drives. That’s improvement. That’s doing the little things the right way. When you do that, you can play good, consistent defense.”

Not only did the Clemson defense hold the Deacons to just one touchdown, but they also only allowed Wake Forest to convert on just 2-of-14 third downs.

Venables said that being able to get off the field shows that his defense understands their role and the situations within the game.

“You have to get off the field. That is a huge part of the game that we invest a great deal of time in,” Venables said. “We have to make sure that here’s our calls, but our guys really have to understand that third down, that’s a wide range – you’ve got third-and-short, third-and-long, third-and-extra long, and third-and-really short. I’ve been really pleased with our preparation this week and all the way up to game time. They understand situations better and playing with a high level of intelligence is a big part of that.”

For much of the last two years, headlines have been all about the Clemson offense, but that has changed over the last two weeks with the defense forcing four turnovers and swinging momentum back in Clemson’s favor.

“Turnovers are always a huge part of the game and change momentum,” Venables said. “Our guys really seize that part of the game. We complemented each other on both sides of the ball. People are going to work and you hate it. Forcing that fumble was huge and our guys really responded.”

When both sides of the ball are on the same page and playing consistent, tough football, the Clemson Tigers can be a tough team to beat according to Venables; however, they have to avoid silly mistakes like roughing the punter.

“Just as a team – my experiences have been that you are like that you are hard to beat - when you complement each other like that,” Venables said. “When we roughed the punter - that’s when you want to punch yourself in the face - but our guys came out and forced a three-and-out and responded. I was as pleased with that as any game before half because we didn’t allow any kind of momentum going into half time.”

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