Venables says it’s going to be an all-out street fight to stop BC’s rushing attack
Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables says there is no place for his defense to hide this week when it plays Boston College at Death Valley.
The Eagles are going to come down hill and right at the Tigers with a physical running game that is relentless and is one of the nation’s best.
“This is going to be an all-out street fight,” he said. “These guys … you can’t hide. You can’t run away from it. You have to be able to attack people. You have to be able to hold point. You have to be able to knock people back. You have to be able to fit the run.”
Stopping the run is going to be the key for a Clemson defense that hasn’t run from anyone this season.
The Tigers (7-0, 5-0 ACC) rank fifth nationally in total defense, giving up just 256.0 yards per game. They also rank eighth in scoring defense at 12.0 points per game.
However, if there is a weak link on Clemson’s defense it’s stopping the run. The Tigers are giving up 111.9 yards per game on the ground, which ranks fourth in the ACC. This could be a matchup issue against a BC offense that makes its living running the football.
The Eagles (4-3, 2-2 ACC) are sixth nationally at running the ball, averaging 278.3 yards per game. Running back AJ Dillon ranks second nationally, averaging 138.3 yards per game.
Then there is Dillon’s backup, David Bailey. All he has done is rush for 510 yards, including a career-high 181 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s win over NC State.
As a team, BC ran for 429 yards on the Wolfpack. Dillon rushed for 223 of those yards and scored three touchdowns in the 45-24 victory.
“They make it really hard because they have a tremendous play action passing game,” Venables said. “They are going to keep you honest.”
The Eagles are averaging 216.1 yards per game through the air.
“They’re going at attack your edges with jet sweeps. So, they’re going to get you down in there tight and then they are going to … their athletic and can reach you outside with some of their outside run-game, their sprint game and boot-game and create short edges.
“They have a real nice and complementary system. But they have big, strong and physical guys that love to grind you up.”
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