It’s no secret the Clemson secondary is disappointed with some of their lackluster performances this season. But, they aren’t just frustrated at themselves but the media too.
Members of the media spoke with the Clemson offensive and defensive starters Wednesday, ahead of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game Monday in Santa Clara, Calif. The second-ranked Tigers play No. 1 Alabama for the fourth consecutive season in the CFP and the third time in four seasons in the title game.
The secondary performed fairly well the majority of the season, ranking 16thin the country in passing defense, holding opposing offenses to 182.1 yards per game through the air and giving up just 11 touchdowns in 14 games. However, the Tigers surrendered 510 yards and five touchdowns to South Carolina in Week 12 and 430 yards and three touchdowns to Texas A&M in Week 2.
When asked about how the secondary has reacted since that win over the Gamecocks at the end of November, safety Tanner Muse seemed frustrated and talked about the media’s over-analysis of the unit. For him the process of correction is routine and happens on a weekly basis, but has been blown out of proportion with every eye on the Clemson game film.
“I feel like every week we do the same thing, you come in and try to correct the things you don’t see,” Muse said. “Every week we come in, break down the film and do the same thing over and over and over.”
Muse thinks most of their mistakes are not noticeable for the unit itself but have to be blown up on film and analyzed to show what could be improved. In the case of the Gamecocks, they saw the mistakes on film and exploited them in the game schematically.
“There is a lot you would not see that we did wrong that the quarterback doesn’t see and everyone else doesn’t see,” Muse said. “Unfortunately, South Carolina they saw a few mistakes,” he said.
The junior safety is more concerned that everybody is talking up their weaknesses on the major networks. In today’s world every person has their own opinion and in the media those opinions are stated as facts.
It’s something he and the secondary have had to fight. After holding Notre Dame’s Ian Book to 17-of-34 passing for 164 yards, no touchdowns and an interception in the 30-3 Cotton Bowl win last Saturday, he feels they are cleaning up those mistakes but still hear the noise.
“The only thing that we have to do is deal with the media and how they break our stuff down because then they see because everybody is an analyst,” Muse said.