Goodwin addresses Clemson's defensive mistakes against Furman

Goodwin addresses Clemson's defensive mistakes against Furman

Football

Goodwin addresses Clemson's defensive mistakes against Furman

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The name of the game is points.

That’s what Clemson defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin said following the team’s 35-12 win over Furman at Memorial Stadium Saturday. At the same time, Goodwin acknowledged that Saturday was a great learning opportunity for a unit that has a lot to clean up, even after two wins in a five-day span.

Although the Tigers only allowed one touchdown and a pair of field goals, Furman’s offense carved up the opposing defense at points during the game en route to 384 total yards, including 214 in the first two quarters.

“(We) tip our hats to them,” Goodwin said postgame. “We didn’t really necessarily know what kind of offense we were gonna get from them, whether Coach (Clay) Hendrix had his influence or they were bringing the Holy Cross system in. So, just get a feel for in-game and make your adjustments based on that. But, I thought our guys were really in tune to what we adjusted to and they handled all of that really well.”

Overall, Furman passed for 256 yards, averaged 8.5 yards per completion, 3.7 yards per carry, 5.2 yards per play, posted 19 first downs and went better than 50 percent (10-of-18) on third downs. The Paladins possessed the ball for 34:45, whereas Clemson’s time of possession was 25:15.

To put those statistics in perspective, in the season opener against Georgia Tech, Clemson’s defense yielded just 237 yards, 13 first downs and held the Yellow Jackets to a 2-of-16 clip on third downs. Tech averaged just 4.5 yards per completion, 2.5 yards per carry and 3.6 yards per play.

One of the more notable drawbacks was Clemson over pursuing on screens, which happened multiple times during Saturday’s game.

“Yeah, most definitely,” Goodwin said when asked about Clemson’s over-pursuit in the screen game. “That’s obviously the attack mode when you’re really good in the front seven is that people are gonna screen you, especially when you have an aggressive mindset, pressure and get after people. Screens are always how people slow you down…A couple of those calls, we just got overly aggressive, got up the field too far and couldn’t react back in time.”

In addition to overpursuing screens, Goodwin was asked about some of the other mistakes he noticed during the 23-point win.

“Just some coverage leverages on playing man,” he said. “Some of those slant routes we could’ve played better. The boot route on the first drive and then obviously, the screen game. Those three come to mind. The touchdown pass — we gotta be better in coverage, obviously.”

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