Clemson’s secondary put on quite a show in Clemson’s win over Auburn this past Saturday. Though it did not officially get any credit for any of the Tigers’ 11 sacks, the secondary was responsible for quite a few as more than half of the sacks were due to good coverage down field.
Cornerback Ryan Carter said the secondary was challenged early the game after Clemson was called for two pass interference penalties and was trying not to get a third.
Carter explained how he tried to calm his nerves and help his team succeed as the Tigers allowed just 79 passing yards.
Question: Can you talk me through that play with the ball looking like it was going straight into the receiver’s hands?
Carter: “Well it was happening really fast. We have like a bail technique and as soon as I press bailed and he was running, I kept trying to run and I knew it was coming so I tried to look and make sure I don’t panic and get that pass interference. I know that is what teams see from us because we were the worst in pass interference last year so I know teams always try us deep until we fix it. We already had two pass interferences earlier too so my thing was don’t panic, see where the ball was in the air and just jump over and try to make a play. That’s what I did so I guess it worked out.”
Question: Do you guys consider this kind of your first test? Especially considering you guys only had to defend five passes last week.
Carter: “Yeah, definitely our first test. Last week against Kent State they didn’t really give us a good opportunity to get ready for the pass and things like that. But, definitely a good test. I thought that defense overall handled it very well. Of course, there are always things that we can definitely correct so we are going to watch the tape and get on the tape. The real first test was definitely today and I thought we did really well.”
Question: Obviously defense picked up 11 sacks. Can you talk about how that pass rush and that pressure helped y’all out in the second half?
Carter: “Oh it’s big. It’s so big having guys like Austin Bryant, Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence, Clelin Ferrell, those guys…having those guys pressure the quarterback, making him scramble, it’s big for us. They make sure we don’t have to cover for five seconds or so. Having them is game changing. It was evident tonight. I was getting after the quarterback a lot, they gave me a chance every play. It was really good to see them play and just really good to have those type of players on the front line.”
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