It has been another strong start to a season for the Clemson defense and senior safety K’von Wallace. The Tigers rank fifth nationally in total defense and lead the ACC in total, scoring and passing defense this season.
Sitting at fourth on the team in tackles with 28, Wallace has also added two interceptions and a touchdown this season as one of the leaders of the eighth best scoring defense in the country. Allowing 84 total points this season with an average of just 12.0 points a game, the Clemson defense has done a great job filling in the missing pieces from last season’s championship defense.
“I’m very proud of the defense,” said Wallace. “We preach on being consistent and I believe we’ve done that so far this season. The scary thing is, we’re only getting better. We’ve got a lot of corrections to make but we’re still a scary defense.”
It is tough for a team to live up to expectations, especially for this Clemson defense. After losing starters such as Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence, Austin Bryant, Trayvon Mullen and more, filling in such pieces takes talent and a ton of effort. Not far off of last year’s defensive numbers, the new look Clemson defense is looking to pave a path of their own.
“This is definitely one of the best defenses I’ve been on,” Wallace said. “Last year you know we had a good defense and a good team overall. Went 15-0, national champions, best ever, but when it’s all said and done I think this could be the best Clemson defense ever.”
Wallace has quietly not only been one of the best players on the defense this season, but also one of the most versatile. At times overshadowed by Isaiah Simmons and his capability of playing practically every position on the field, Wallace’s versatility hasn’t gone unnoticed by defensive coordinator Brent Venables and the rest of the Clemson defense.
“I’m playing any position he wants me to play and just doing anything I can to help the team,” said the senior. “That’s all I’m about is team and winning. That’s why we play the game to win and not to lose. I harp on the fact that I can play any position he wants me to play and it’s important to have that versatility.”
While there were many doubts surrounding this defense heading into the season, there were no doubts in Wallace’s eyes. From day one Wallace knew that this defense had a chance to be special and still does.
“I never doubted my team,” said Wallace. “Just like last year I believe they had a great defense the year before. Each and every year you need to start over and that doesn’t mean you lose hope or you lose fate.You have to come in each and every year knowing that you’re the best. If you don’t have that right mindset than you don’t need to be playing for our defense.”
Wallace and the Tigers will next face Boston College Saturday (7:30 p.m.) at Death Valley. The Eagles exploded on the ground against a once top 10 run defense in NC State, racking up 429 yards.
Clemson faces a tough challenge in running back A.J. Dillon and the rest of the BC backfield. Tackling will be important for the team to maintain their dominance.
“We’ve got to tackle well and do a better job of tackling in general,” Wallace said. “We’ve missed a lot of tackles these past few games and as a secondary we definitely need to tackle better. We need to be more aggressive and take more ownership. Taking pride in what we do and just getting better every week. It’s mostly in our attitude.”
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