Tigers' run defense not good enough

Brent Venables: 'I'm focused on the things that opponents see that are going to be there on tape. We've got to be better'

Football - Brent Venables

Photo by Mark Crammer

Football - Brent Venables

Brent Venables doesn't like having his defense run on, over, or around.

There was too much of all kinds of running going on Saturday for the liking of the Tigers' first-year defensive coordinator, who said Clemson's first-things-first job this week to do a better job of filling run-gaps.

Ball State rolled up 252 yards rushing against the Tigers on Saturday, averaged 6.3 yards per attempt, and scored three rushing touchdowns.

Not all of it came against the Tigers' second and third units.

"They ran the ball for too many yards," said Venables. "Whether it was physicality or technique or a combination of the two, we've got to get those things corrected.

"I go to the negatives first. For me, that overshadows everything. Unfortunately, that's just how I'm wired. I'm focused on the things that opponents see that are going to be there on tape. We've got to be better, and we've got to be more disciplined. There were a lot of people involved, but it starts with the front seven."

Venables said there was nothing fancy or deceptive about Ball State's approach to running the football.

"Those weren't trick plays - they run the zone," he said. "Taking care of the fundamentals and technique starts with us. It's a long season, so hopefully we'll make improvement - we need to...

"I thought our secondary improved - we had guys in pretty decent position. But everything starts with the run game. Any time a team runs like they ran, it's a concern."

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