Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables did a breakdown of his defense and Georgia’s offense Tuesday. More from him…
Challenge of UGa’s offense: It’s a very explosive offense. Very experienced. They have playmakers everywhere. On the offensive line they have a lot of starts returning and continuity and chemistry. Aaron Murray is probably going to break every SEC record throwing-wise. They are very precise in what they’re doing. They bloody your nose and beat you to death in the run game. From a time standpoint and speed and ability to catch the ball and attack with the deep ball to take the top off the defense is as good as anybody as the country. Their last game out they annihilated the best pass defense in the country in Nebraska. They’re really great at what they do.
Venables: Georgia won't be fazed
Georgia QB Aaron Murray 'special': He’s as good as any (I’ve faced). He’s a good decision-maker and gets them in and out of plays. They’ve added a element of no-huddle to the tempo. Obviously the coaches feel very strong (in him) as an extension of them. He’s pretty special.
Todd Gurley reminds Venables of Adrian Peterson: They’re pretty good to say the least. They’re big, fast, physical. Gurley reminds you a little bit of Adrian Peterson in certain ways with his strength and physicality. He’s a big violent runner and he’s going to run through trash. They do a good job of making your secondary support the run game.
Clemson's front-seven has matured: We’re a lot more experienced, I know them and they know me and they know the schemes. We’ve matured in a lot of ways since a year ago no question about it.
Venables is excited to see the Tigers' secondary: I’m excited to see our guys play. We need a couple more guys like I’m sure they need too, but I’m excited to see our guys play. Every season is a little bit different, but one thing that’s always the same is you grow as the season goes along. Sometimes you start out stronger than other times. You always have some ebbs and flows to a season so it’s the first game of many. I’m excited to see all of our guys compete and see where we match up.
Next level for Quandon Christian: Make every play he’s supposed to make. Make plays where we say, ‘Wow, what a good play.’ Do that consistently game-out. He’s been really consistent, but he doesn’t have to be special. He has to make plays that he’s supposed to make.
I like how he’s matured in the system. I think he’s excited about the challenge. He takes his role very serious. He’s easy to coach from that standpoint. He’s very engaged and very prideful. Both in himself and what we need to accomplish as a team.
Mindset in football offices: From a coaching standpoint, you recruit players that understand that expectations. That’s the vibe that’s in those offices. As a coach, I have the same expectation. I expect to win. I expect to practice well. I expect to spend the same time in the office as anywhere else. I can’t wave any magic wands or create new schemes or inherit new players. I’ve been fortunate to have been at places I’m expecting to win.
I think that same vibe is here without reservation. Keeping the focus is the biggest thing. Not allowing the outside distractions (effect you) Whatever Corso picks for a mascot head doesn’t matter. It has zero effect. Unless you’re somebody that’s glued to it and you’re going to live and die in that stage. To me that’s where it becomes catastrophic.
Physical mindset there for Clemson: We’re more physical than what we were. Again, that comes from guys being sure of themselves. Most young players play in a timid way, but this isn’t a timid sport. You’re playing on your heels and not sure of yourself – you’re not going to be physical. The best teams are physical. The best players are physical if they’re something…We’re better and we’re still trying to get better. There are some guys that are naturally more physical than others and you have to develop that mindset.
We’ve made some big strides that way. The best test of that is to take on another physical football team and test where you’re at and that’s getting ready to happen Saturday night.
Veteran QB v. mixed secondary: You try to get your guys good at schemes at you need to be good at. Just really refine their skills. Get them good at a few things rather than average at a lot of things.
Fundamentally is where you need to be good regardless of experience or not. You need to be good fundamentally. Whether it’s alignment, assignment or technique – get really good at those things. That’s your foundation. Whether you’re going against someone that’s not very good at offense or someone that’s really good – if you don’t have a strong base, you’re going to struggle. There’s certain things you can and can’t do based on talent, experience and we feel like we have a good handle on that. Trying and get our guys in the position to be successful.
Game will be won in the trenches
Tigers can’t put all their eggs in one basket: There is hype around this game, but not in this building unless you’re a part of the cheerleading crew. I’m a firm believer this game is every bit as big as South Carolina State and every bit as big as North Carolina State for obvious reasons. When you call a game a big game, you have a championship on the line.
This is one of many. It’s a long season. It’s a great opponent and a great challenge – it’s exciting because of how well their program has done through the years and the team they have coming back as well as ours. It’s going to be on a big stage…
Our job as coaches is to put the correct perspective and not protect or anything else – we go out there and we win this game: the next week is coming and the following week is coming. Florida State is still coming to town and on down the list. You can’t put all your eggs in one basket. You put too much into one game and you set yourself for failure.