Venables focused on fast Syracuse offense


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Venables is dialed in on the Orange
Venables is dialed in on the Orange

CLEMSON – Dabo Swinney spent a portion of Tuesday’s press conference talking about the embarrassment his defense suffered at the hands of Syracuse two years ago. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables says the Orange are capable of putting up big numbers again.

Syracuse ranks just 32nd in total offense, but are second nationally in plays per game (85) while quarterback Eric Dungey has completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 1802 yards and nine touchdowns.

Venables said Syracuse will present a difficult challenge.

“They have a great system. The second year within that system and a quarterback that is very confident and has a big arm and is mobile,” he said Tuesday. “Between (Irvin) Phillips and (Steve) Ishmael and the tight ends and backs, they are doing a good job of distributing the ball and they get the ball out fast and make a lot of big-time plays. It's a big challenge for us. The quarterback is very experienced and accurate.

“They are as fast as we've seen if not faster. They do a great job of managing it.”

Many of Clemson defenders weren’t happy after last week’s 28-14 victory over Wake Forest. The defense held the Demon Deacons in check for most of the contest before giving up two late touchdowns, and Venables said it’s good the players weren’t happy. However, they also have to realize they played extremely well.

“There is always a fine line. You don't want to walk off the field and feel like you played like junk because you didn't,” he said. “We were in complete and total control of that game. We got some younger guys and some other guys in there. We had some busts that you don't want to have, but you have it on tape and hopefully, you learn and grow from it. We haven't done anything about it yet. There is a lot more positive than negative and that is what you try and take into the locker room.”

Venables said last week’s showing against Wake Forest showed the Tigers are close to putting a complete game together.

“We just do what we do. They had 13 possessions and the first 11 they didn't score,” Venables said. “We controlled field position. We were backed up and had some turnovers, some poor field position and our guys responded. We control what we can control. I felt like our guys did that regardless of the situations. Obviously, you would like to get into a rhythm as a team. You can run somebody out of the stadium if you can do that. We forced some punts and had six or seven three-and-outs, and that is important in getting our offense the ball back as quickly as we can.”


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