Venables says Saturday sets up to be a bloody nose kind of day

by - Senior Writer -
Venables expects the Boston College to be physical
Venables expects the Boston College to be physical

CLEMSON – Saturday sets up to be a bloody nose kind of day.

No. 2 Clemson plays host to Boston College this Saturday in a 3:30 p.m. matchup, and while the Tigers are favored by four touchdowns or more according to Las Vegas, defensive coordinator Brent Venables says the Eagle offense is physical and can cause problems.

Boston College ranks 75th nationally in rushing yards per game, 101st in passing offense per game, 101st in total offense and 115th in scoring offense but managed 400 yards of offense in last week’s 49-20 loss to Notre Dame.

Venables told the media Tuesday that despite the Eagle offense being different than the one Clemson faced last Saturday at Louisville, his defense still has to play the right way.

“It still comes to alignment, assignment, stance, key, being physical, playing fast, and getting off of blocks. Positioning in the throwing game, pressuring the quarterback, creating turnovers, winning the field position battle, the special teams, and the big difference as much as anything is the style of run,” Venables said. “The quarterback (freshman Anthony Brown) is a mobile guy, but they are going to feature the tailback and the heavy play-action and things of that nature.

“Equally as tough as far as the mental challenge of the game, but structurally different. They are faster (than last season). A lot faster. They are a lot better than where they were on offense a year ago. Systematically, they have changed in regards to being a very fast, Syracuse-like tempo team with bigger personnel and different formations. They are a different unit than what we saw a year ago.”

Head coach Steve Addazio and offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler shifted from the traditional huddle offense to a hurry-up, no-huddle offense, and Brown has been solid through the first three games. He has completed 61 of 111 passes for 525 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions.

“This quarterback is a good player. He has good accuracy and excellent poise,” Venables said. “He's got great velocity on the ball and he's what they've been missing the last couple of years.

Clemson players have long said that the Boston College game is the most physical they play each season, and Venables said that was what got the Eagles on the board early against Notre Dame last week.

“Just being physical and punching them in the mouth and getting after them early in the game,” he said. “That is where more of the explosive runs were, was early. Notre Dame eventually got settled in and matched them with the physicality. Those are my initial thoughts.”

As a result, he expects plenty of physical play from both sides Saturday. And a bloody nose or two.

“There is not a worse feeling than when someone is able to consistently run the ball on you. I know that,” he said. “I am excited for our guys. It's a good physical challenge and we are going to get our noses bloodied and hopefully we bloody theirs.”

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