By Will Vandervort.
From my vantage point it seemed as if Clemson was working on a few things against Georgia State that we have not seen from its No. 1 ranked defense this year.
The Tigers, who lead the country in total defense at 252.4 yards allowed per game, played with different coverages in their nickel and dime packages. At times they ran the Tampa 2—two safeties deep and the middle linebacker covering the middle of the field. They also played very little press-man and gave Georgia State’s wide receivers five- and 10-yard cushions at times.
“We are still who we are, but we played a team that is a big-time passing team. They did not want to run the ball a whole lot against us,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “They were a team we knew coming in that was going to try and throw the ball.”
The question as the Tigers get ready for this Saturday’s annual grudge match with South Carolina is will the Gamecocks have the same game plan? Will they ditch the running game and not try to run on a Clemson defense that quite frankly no one outside of Athens, Ga., has been able to run on?