Venables says Clemson’s defense was exposed against A&M
In the last four years, Clemson has played some pretty good quarterbacks.
It has faced Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks in Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Oklahoma’s Baker Field, a Big Ten Player of the Year in Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett, a national championship quarterback in Alabama’s Jalen Hurts and an All-ACC quarterback in NC State’s Ryan Finely. As good as all of those guys have been, and all the things they have accomplished, there’s one thing Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond did against the Tigers that no one else has done – throw for over 400 yards.
Mond threw for 430 yards and three touchdowns on 23-of-40 passes to nearly knock off second-ranked Clemson this past Saturday.
“I thought that Texas A&M and the quarterback, Mond, and the receivers made some terrific plays in the game,” Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables said Monday. “I’m disappointed with the eye discipline and leveraging certain coverages.
“I thought as the game wore on guys started to try and do too much.”
The Aggies finished with 501 total yards, and though the defense was able to get a stop with 46 seconds left to prevent overtime, it is obvious it has a lot of work to get done.
“There is a lot to build on, but we have a lot of work to do to become a really good defense,” Venables said. “We have to work to get that cohesion to where it needs to be and just that consistency. Really, it is just discipline things, eye discipline and again, trust in the scheme and what we are doing.”
When watching the film, Venables noticed how Texas A&M had a couple of receivers that were wide open, twice, in Cover 2.
“We just lost leverage. Then there was another time they did not capitalize, and we were in Quarters coverage,” Venables said. “We have to play a little bit better and a little bit smarter, but also credit A&M for making some really good plays in the game.”
What is the best way to fix all of those problems.
“You do that through failure,” Venables said. “We had a nice laboratory on Saturday night to work through that. That is what happens, you have some guys that maybe are not experienced or then again, maybe have some bad habits. You have to have some failure to really expose them.”
And with that Clemson’s weakness has been exposed, and every opponent from here on out will try to do the same thing.
“That is the game,” Venables said. “People are going to try and run, and people are going to try and throw it. Whether you defended it well or you do not defend it well, they’re still going to try and keep running it and throwing it … whether you played it right or not.
“Dang right (they will come at us). If you put stuff that does not look too good on tape, then they’re going to check your oil. ‘Ready or not, here we come.’”