Clemson may have beaten Syracuse 47-21 on Saturday, but for the high standards defensive coordinator Brent Venables, it was not good enough.
After the victory, Venables criticized himself for a couple of big plays his defense gave up.
“I put us in a dumb call, and they throw it deep on us and get the 83 yarder. I could have put us in a better call,” he said.
“If we do this against Boston College, I don’t know if you would get a chance to win the game.”
Here’s more on what he had to say about the defensive’s performance.
Venables being honest about his defense
“I don’t think we were quite as sharp. We gave up a couple stretches…our leverage on the quick game stuff was not very good at all. Really at the outside and corner, we weren’t surprised by that. Let me just say that. We just gave up the leverage. We made it easy on them. We gave them a little bit of hope in the first half, and then we didn’t respond to the block punt, had a good couple plays where we let them run it in. We are better than that. Another thing, I put us in a dumb call, and they throw it deep on us and get the 83 yarder. I could have put us in a better call there ….”
Venables on Syracuse and respecting the game
“They got told they were a bunch of bums, one of the worst teams in college football. We talked about it all week. These guys are going to come out throwing haymakers. What would you do? Someone is telling you how terrible you are, you’re a joke. You don’t stand a chance, fifty-point underdog. Give me a break! You have to respect this game. You have to respect what it takes to win. That’s why you play. You gotta put your hand in the dirt and beat.”
Venables on what the defense is did wrong
“I thought our mindset was pretty good. I thought our guys came ready to play. I think we needed to be sharper on some of our gameplans on specific things, our leverages and coverages, situationally. Then how we are fitting a run game. We’re just kind of sloppy at times. They’re a bunch of zeros and minus twos and ones. Situationally, we had a few runs there where we were soft interior wise. We’re not doing the little things the right way.”
Venables on his defense’s mindset
“We took this game very seriously. Syracuse came ready to play. We did some things where we let them hang around a little bit, and gave them some hope. Other than the long pass, it’s a tough call. It’s a tough match up. I need to be a little more patient as a play caller and help them there. Again that long reverse, probably could have been more conservative on that. You can always say that after the fact. But we have to put in some good teaching moments too.”