Matchups won, pressure applied, Tigers' defensive line paved the way

Dabo Swinney: 'Those guys played relentlessly - Corey and Malliciah - Grady Jarrett was a road grader in there, and Josh'

Grady Jarrett sacks LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger in the first quarter

Photo by Mark Crammer

Grady Jarrett sacks LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger in the first quarter

As Dabo Swinney surveyed the defensive side of the stat sheet after Clemson's 25-24 victory over LSU on Monday, several numbers stood out.

"Defensively, the huge stat was three of 13 on third down," Swinney said. "They only had nine first downs the whole game, 219 total yards, only 99 yards rushing. Their backs are as good as there are in the country. We set a season high of six sacks. Malliciah (Goodman) set a school record for bowl sacks."

Swinney said the Tigers won despite having played directly into some of LSU's strengths.

"LSU wins a lot of games by playing on a short field," said Swinney. "That's who they are, that's what they do. They create field position and turnovers, play on a short field, and they get points. We kind of played right into that formula. They got 10 points out of turnovers.

"On the second one, we put them in a bad situation. To hold them to a field goal changed the game and gave us a chance to win the game."

Swinney said Clemson won its share of match-ups at the line of scrimmage.

"We won some matchups - it was as simple as that," he said. "We felt like we had good matchups with our ends on their tackles. Those guys played relentlessly - Corey (Crawford) and Malliciah - Grady Jarrett was a road grater in there, and Josh (Watson). Our depth showed up. They just won the matchups."

Swinney said the Tigers' defensive improvement over the course of the season is striking.

"Here is what was evident: those of you who saw our defense play against Auburn many moons ago to open this season, that was a different group out there tonight," said Swinney. "Those young bucks have grown up and played extremely well. Our depth showed up.

"I'm really proud of how they physically fought at the line of scrimmage, at the point of attack. Again, when we had some adversity, we just kept playing and kept believing."

© 2013 OrangeAndWhite.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 1

lhaselden writes:

"Those young bucks have grown up and played extremely well. Our depth showed up."

I commented on another site 'sts' that by the end of the season we might have the best depth at DT that was have had in a decade or more... They said I was an idiot and would not let me post on that site anymore... but I was correct. Our DTs were awesome in the Chik-Fil-A bowl! I am also proud or our OL, even with a injured starter and a shuffled OL we held our own... I hope next year we will be able to dominate the LOS on both sides of the ball. Something we have not been able to do in at least a decade not against a top 10 team.

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features