By Ashley Denny.
CLEMSON, SC- The Clemson Tigers came away from Death Valley on Saturday with yet another victory, as they beat Boston College soundly, 36-14, making it Clemson’s first 6-0 start since the 2000 season when they started the year 8-0.
Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele was able to find a lot of positives on the defensive side of the ball again today; as Clemson’s defense continues to improve each week and show the nation what they are capable of.
“Last week and this week there have been a whole lot of positives surrounding this defense,” Steele said. “We had one bad outing today, but we held BC to 258 yards, 51 plays and 14 points. This defense has put itself back into the category where we’re allowing 20 points or less per game, so we’re heading in the right direction.”
Steele couldn’t be happier with the progress that his defense has made over the past few weeks, however he believes they still have a long way to go in order to reach the high expectations that they set for themselves.
“The one frustrating part of today, I blew a gasket on it, BC lined up and went 10 plays 80 yards,” Steele said. “There’s no reason for that. We let our edge down, got a little complacent and we can’t do that. We’re not a good enough football team to lose our edge, and we conveyed that to them and they went out and responded.”
Tackling continues to be an area in which Steele’s defense needs improvement, and Steele noted that Saturday after the game.
“We’re still having some issues with tackling,” Steele said. “We’re busting our rear ends to get it fixed, and one way or another we’ll get it fixed even if it’s someone else that will have to be the one tackling. That’s just the case and point.”
Although his defense needs to improve in a few areas, Steele came away from the contest with several positive thoughts.
“The positives were, the total game we won, gave up 14 points,” Steele said. “ACC game went 6-0, we never really lost control of the game, and defensively we had control of it for the most part. The frustrating part was that 80 yard drive, and the fact that we were ineffective on 3rd down, 55% is not good enough to win with.”
Prior to the game, Clemson fans were quick to worry when they noticed freshman linebacker Stephone Anthony on the sidelines wearing a medical boot, however Steele reassured us that it was nothing to worry about.
“He’ll be okay,” Steele said. “He could’ve played today but it might have prolonged things or popped it back up later.”
Although Steele was pleased with his defense’s pass rush at times during Saturday’s contest, in his eyes effecting the quarterback is what’s important and that was what he was most pleased to see.”
“Pass rush for the fans is based on sacks, and we’re excited about sacks don’t get me wrong,” Steele said. “But affecting the quarterback, particularly because Boston College was not throwing big routes. We affected the quarterback and he was getting the ball out of his hand pretty quick.”
This week, a different defensive end for the Tigers stepped up and had a career day, Malliciah Goodman.
“He took a step forward for me today on some plays, on others he’d be the first to tell you he could have played better,” Steele said. “He made some good plays, did a good job. He hurt his ankle early in the game last week, didn’t say a thing, played right through it. We knew it was hurt and it affected him a little bit but he was fresh legged and he looked good today.”