Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables was not pleased with his defense’s performance on Saturday against South Carolina. Even with a 56-35 victory over the Gamecocks, the Tiger defense allowed South Carolina 600 total yards, including 510 yards through the air.
With South Carolina’s multiple deep passes for touchdowns and South Carolina receivers running wide open down the middle of the field, it was clear the secondary was struggling to defend the ball.
The Tigers have a chance to redeem themselves this Saturday when they take on Pitt’s impressive running backs at the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte.
Venables on defenses’ performance against South Carolina
“Things that frustrated me was just some of our alignments…whether we were too deep or too wide. We didn’t have the leverage that we needed to based on the calls. That happened enough early to get them (South Carolina) in the rhythm and put them in scoring position. I think pre-snap we did some stuff that gave us no chance.”
Venables on Pitt running backs
“The variety of the runs…they run inside and outside zone…powers, counters, some of the option oriented stuff out of the quarterback read game…Again a good blend of speed and power…good explosiveness and patience, instincts. They run well behind their pads. A few weeks ago they rushed for close to 500 yards against Virginia Tech. It’s a very good group of backs to go along with their offensive line.”
Venables on stopping Pitt’s run game
“You know you have to stop the run, you gotta be able to run the ball, you have to win the turnover margin to win games. So how ever many numbers it’s going to take to stop the run, people are going to commit to that. Just generally speaking, I think most teams are going to commit as many guys as they need to stop the run.”
Venables on players being humble
“Our guys have been humble and they have worked hard. We didn’t play well and we didn’t coach well enough obviously. We played well enough to win…we did enough good things to win. We aren’t sitting here tooting our horn about it, you got to have perspective. Thank goodness for our offense completely and totally dominating the game.”
Venables on being thankful to Clemson
“I mean obviously I’ve said many times that I’m very thankful and appreciative of what I have. I’ve never tried to leverage one situation for another, ever. That’s part of the profession that we live in. Managing is pretty simple to me. I’ve always had a ‘be here now’ mentality. I’ve never tried to have multiple hats in the ring. I got a great job and I’ve got great loyalty and appreciation for the people who are responsible for me being here. My son Jake is here and he is chasing a dream. I sold this dream to him. My responsibility as a dad is to support him for as long as he wants to chase his dreams. Who am I to be a hypocrite…regardless of what opportunities are out there, that’s how I look at it.”