On Monday, Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher announced cornerback Debione Renfro, one of the Aggies’ three returning starters from last year’s secondary is suspended for Saturday’s game against top-ranked Clemson.
Renfro is sitting out due to a violation of team rules, which also caused him to miss last week’s win over Texas State. The Clemson game will be the last of his two-game suspension.
The junior is one of the many tall defensive backs A&M has on its roster, a group that hopes to improve on last year’s No. 12 ranking in the SEC.
In the season opener, Texas State quarterbacks completed 29-of-46 passes (63 percent) for 211 yards and a touchdown. However, the Aggies picked off 4 passes after having just 6 interceptions in 2018.
“It is going to be a group that can challenge us,” Clemson co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Jeff Scott said.
Of the 12 defensive backs listed on the Aggies’ three-deep depth chart for Saturday’s game, no one is shorter than 6-foot. Charles Oliver (6-2, 196) will get the start for Renfro at the one corner position, while junior Myles Jones (6-4, 185) will start at the other position.
It’s a good counter for Clemson’s tall receivers. Tee Higgins (6-4, 215), Justyn Ross (6-4, 215) and Diondre Overton (6-4, 210) lead a group that has five players stand at 6-foot-4 and three others that are at least 6-foot.
“We are going to have to play with really great technique and really work on our releases because they are physical and they are long,” Scott said. “They can really run. That will definitely be a huge matchup in this game.”
Texas A&M will likely challenge the Tigers with press-man coverage. It is unlike what they saw last week from Georgia Tech, which played a lot of Cover 2, preventing Clemson from too many throws downfield. Higgins did have a 62-yard touchdown reception, similar to his 65-yard touchdown in last year’s game against the Aggies.
The junior finished with 4 catches for 98 yards against Georgia Tech, while Ross was limited to 13 yards on 3 catches. Freshman Frank Ladson (6-4, 195) caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Chase Brice.
Clemson and the Aggies will kick off at 3:30 p.m., at Memorial Stadium in Clemson. The game will be televised on ABC.
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