Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables answered the media’s questions about the top-ranked Tigers’ trip to Syracuse on Saturday.
The Tigers (2-0, 1-0 ACC) head into the ACC Atlantic Division Showdown as a 27.5-point favorite. However, Clemson isn’t thinking about any of that, especially considering the Orange upset the Tigers two years ago at the Dome and nearly did the same last year in Clemson.
Venables on Coach Dino Baber’s offense
“They make you defend every patch of grass. They do a great job with their scheme, their run and pass game, their RPOs, and all of the exotics and trickery, if you will, that come off of it. They do a lot that really forces you to play with a lot of discipline. They’re very option-like in some of the discipline it takes…the philosophy that it takes.”
Venables on Syracuse QB Tommy DeVito
“He’s tough and competitive…he’s got a big arm and throws the ball on time. He gets the ball out there on their RPOs and has a really nice deep ball, throws with great accuracy on the deep ball. He threw for 330 yards in their last game and he’s mobile. He’s got experience, not quite the depth of experience that (Eric Dungey) had but he played extensively in the North Carolina, Notre Dame, and the Florida State games last year, and there are two games under his belt this year.”
Venables on the 2017 upset at Syracuse
“They were all charged up and played with a lot of aggression and were very physical. They lined up and they beat us. It wasn’t anything that was a fluke. They outperformed us, outcompeted us, outcoached us, all of those things.”
Venables on the challenge of having players that haven’t taken on Syracuse
“You’re kind of starting over, so to speak, with Syracuse. Although we’ve played as coaches against them, there’s a lot of guys that haven’t played against Syracuse. We’ve done prep work ahead of time with it being the third game of the season, so I think catching them up familiarity-wise with what they do and how we’re going to defend it is probably the biggest challenge. Anytime you have some success, especially if you’re dealing with young players, keeping the right mindset, handling that…again, as we’ve said handling adversity is a lot easier than handling success.”
Venables on the Clemson D-Line’s performance against Texas A&M
“The most pleasing thing through two games is just the effort we’re playing with. It can cover up a lot of mistakes, a lot of inexperience, if you just play with effort and really good leadership, great accountability, improving with fundamentals and technique. I thought our corners covered really well. There’s a lot of guys that played well but I was really pleased with D.K. (Derion Kendrick) and A.J. (Terrell). Mario (Goodrich) got in as well and played well. But the effort as much as anything, I thought we played with a good physical toughness to us and flew to the ball. We were striking and did a good job covering and tackling overall.”
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