Former Miami center Brett Romberg does not seem overly concerned about Clemson’s defense when his alma mater visits the top-ranked Tigers Saturday at Death Valley.
Romberg, who was the starting center on the Hurricanes’ 2001 BCS National Championship team, basically said Clemson’s current defense is riding on the coattails of Clemson’s 2016, ’17 and ’18 defenses, which helped the Tigers win two of three national championships during that stretch.
“I have watched a lot of film, and I really don’t feel … when people started riding the coattails of the Miami Hurricanes in the 1990s, or even the early 2000s, there was such a persona. We could roll our helmets on the football field and that was the team you were facing.”
After concluding a 10-year NFL career, Romberg became a football analyst, as well as a sports radio host in South Florida. In 2013, he was inducted into the Miami Athletic Hall of Fame.
Romberg claims when watching tape on Clemson, he is not overly impressed with the Tigers’ defensive line, despite the fact Clemson has three former five-star recruits in K.J. Henry, Myles Murphy and Bryan Bresee. Clemson also will get back defensive tackle Tyler Davis, who was an All-ACC performer in 2019. The Tigers also have proven veterans in Jordan Williams and Nyles Pinckney back.
“Make no mistake. This isn’t the Clemson of the four or five first-round draft picks on that defensive front. It is nowhere near that,” Romberg said.
Clemson (3-0, 2-0 ACC) currently ranks eighth in the country in tackles for loss and is tied for third nationally in sacks with 13. Of those 13 sacks, 10 have come from the defensive line.
“I think their defensive tackle (Davis) they have been missing for a couple of games, he is going to come in and play really, really well,” Romberg said. “Their middle linebacker (James Skalski) is ultimately their conductor. I don’t know if he is fourteen or ten, I am not sure what number he is.
“Then their defensive backfield is kind of like ours. They are good guys, but they are not world beaters out there.”
Clemson and Miami face off at 7:30 p.m., Saturday night. The game will be televised by ABC.
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