By Gray Gardner.
Clemson’s Danny Pearman discusses the matchup with Miami, his offensive tackles and much more!
Question: How does Miami’s defense stack up?
“Bailey is extremely quick, he’s extremely strong. I think that’s the same thing you could say for Olivier Vernon, number 35, I think he’s extremely quick and strong. I think he uses his speed extremely well. I think they do an extremely good job up front. Miami has always been that way. They’re not too overly complicated as much as they just beat you. I think that’s just what they’re doing again this year. I think they lead the league in sacks. If not, I know they’re up there 1 or 2. They’ve done an extremely good job there. The two inside guys, Josh Holmes and (Micanor) Regis are big kids, they’re quick, they don’t get knocked off the ball, they make plays and get around the football. The kind of glue to it looks to be number 44 the middle linebacker. The secondary looks strong too so we’ve got our work cut out for us.”
Question: How has Brandon Thomas progressed moving from tackle to guard?
“We’ll see. I think he’s got to get the repetitions in order to be pretty good. He got primarily most of his work at guard last week in replacing David Smith so I mean I think he’s progressed pretty good but we’ll see how he’s done, especially with another week’s work. We’ve got to get him plenty of work this week to have him ready to play there this week.”
Question: What’s different from the tackle position to the guard position?
“Your angles change. Not only that, but things happen a lot quicker. The closer you are to the ball, things happen faster because people are right on top of you. So therefore your angles do change depending on what linebacker you work towards. So I think that will take a little while for him. Also, picking up different line blitzes inside is a little bit different, which backer you are actually working to. But I think he did pretty good by the end of the week last week.”
Question: Does Miami blitz a lot?
“They bring five quite a bit. Now, whether they all out blitz and play strictly with no free safety, help behind it – not much. But they do bring a lot of pressures and by that I mean they bring either one linebacker to either side or one safety to either side to form a pressure.”
Question: How does this front match up to others faced?
“I think this will be a front very similar to Auburn’s. Their ends may be a little better than Auburn’s but I think it’s a very comparable defensive front. They can definitely get after the quarterback. I think that’s one thing they’ve shown they can do. I think they play hard. I think that’s where you start always with Miami.”
Question: Are you satisfied in your ability to run the ball to either the left or the right based on the strength of the line on each side?
“I think so. I haven’t looked at our breakdown this week as far as the exact numbers of where those numbers may be. But I’m sure coach Napier probably has. Sure there are certain things we do right-handed maybe versus left-handed but for the most part I’m pretty comfortable in what we’re able to do with both sides of the line of scrimmage.”
Question: With the experience of some of the other players inside do you expect any kind of drop off from losing David Smith?
“You wouldn’t like to think so. Mason’s played quite a bit of football for us and I’d expect him to be able to jump in there and play in a game like this. Moving Brandon (Thomas) inside will be kind of – if there is a question mark, I guess that would be it. How does he handle it? You know, at least Mason is an experienced player.”
Question: What is the learning curve right now for Brandon Ford in his move to the tight end position?
“I think quite a bit. Obviously the passing game he’s pretty adverse to what the tight ends and the Y’s did. It’s probably the running game that he’s got the furthest to go. He has to understand when he works with someone and when he doesn’t. But I’ve been pleased with his progression so far.”
Question: Are you still concerned with wearing Dwayne (Allen) down?
“Probably somewhat. But Dwayne’s worked exceptionally hard to be in good shape but we’ve got to have some answers for him when he does get tired. I think we’ve tried to develop some of those answers.”
Question: What’s your take on Philip Price?
“I like where we’re at with Philip. He’s been hurt, especially last week, just coming off the ankle injury. But we expect him to be full speed this week.”
Question: Do you expect Brandon Ford moving to tight end is a short term or long term move?
“I think right now it’s short term. But who’s to say that down the road he’s not one of the better answers we’ve got. I think right now, sure it is short term. But who’s to say, a couple games from now, he’s not one of the better answers we’ve got at Y.”
Question: How does Miami match up against teams you’ve seen either this year or in the past?
“I think it’s typical Miami. I think probably the biggest thing they do is challenge you. They’ll line up in the secondary and challenge the outside. They line up across you up front and they get eleven guys to the football. I think they pride themselves in that. I know ever since Coach (Randy) Shannon has been there that’s one of the better things they do. I think there about as physical group as we’ve seen.”