Breeland on how the defense improves
CLEMSON — Junior quarterback Tajh Boyd has been a focal point for Clemson’s team on the field, and he’s working to become that off the field as well.
Players confirmed Monday that the Tigers’ junior quarterback called a players-only team meeting before practice Monday, designed to move past Saturday’s 49-37 loss to No.4 Florida State and lock the No.17 Tigers’ sights on the rest of the season.
“Just get our minds refocused on what’s important,” said senior defensive back Xavier Brewer. “Florida State’s not important anymore. It’s behind us. We can’t control anything, all we can do is learn from it and move on to Boston College.”
Brewer said Boyd has been an excellent leader for the Tigers’ roster.
“Definitely. By example and by words,” he said. “He’s been playing his heart out, man. I’m amazed by his leadership on and off the field. It’s going to be really good for the team that he’s doing this.”
Loosen up: Sunday, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said he wasn’t pleased with his cornerbacks’ play after Florida State rolled up 667 yards of offense, the second-worst single-game total in program history. Swinney said players would be challenged, but sophomore cornerback Bashaud Breeland said a more relaxed mental approach might be the key to success.
“Stop being uptight. Once the play’s over, go to the next,” Breeland said. “You’ve got to have a one-track mind when you’re at defensive back. You can’t be all tense. You’ve got to be loose, confident. Have that swagger about you.”
Breeland admitted that he made plenty of mistakes Saturday; he was beaten for a touchdown pass, and said he will focus hard on preparing for a potent Boston College passing game.
“Technique is a big issue that we’ve got to work on, put our focus on a little more, but I don’t think it’s that bad,” he said. “But it is a big issue.”
What is Breeland’s biggest hurdle? His feet.
“With me, it’s my footwork,” he said. “My feet get me in trouble a lot, put me in bad positions.”
Is Brent Venables’ new system causing confusion?
“I wouldn’t say confusion,” Breeland said. “It is a new defense, and it’s our first year running it. It’s hard to pick it up how coaches want us to work it. It’s the fourth game and a long season ahead of us. We have time for preparation to get it right.”
Brewer saw plenty of action beside Breeland at cornerback at Florida State, and junior Darius Robinson – who was also beaten several times – will also be counted upon heavily. But with reserve Martin Jenkins out for the season following groin surgery, depth is paper-thin: redshirt freshman Cortez Davis has 15 snaps in four games, as does sophomore Garry Peters, who has not played a defensive snap since Sept. 8.
Clemson-GT kick set: The ACC announced Monday that Clemson’s Oct. 6 home game against Georgia Tech will kick off at 3:30 p.m. and be televised by either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2, with the network announced Sunday. This week’s game at Boston College will also have a 3:30 p.m. kick with ESPN2 telecast.
Long-snapper hustle: When Clemson long snapper Phillip Fajgenbaum recovered a Florida State fumbled punt Saturday night, he gave his team a boost while also continuing a bizarre Clemson trend. It marked the third consecutive trip to Tallahassee that saw a Clemson long-snapper recover an FSU fumbled punt. In 2008, Charles Roediger did so, and Matt Skinner repeated the feat two years ago.