The Georgia offense lived up to its billing from efficiency standpoint – 5.4 yards per carry, 7.8 yards per play, a 300-yard passer (Aaron Murray) and a 150-yard rusher (Todd Gurley), but late, Clemson was able to get them off the field – two by punt and one by fumble in the fourth quarter, allowing the Tigers’ offense to build a lead.
Pressure on Murray was pretty constant – two sacks compiled by junior end Vic Beasley alone.
Tiger pressure rattled Murray
Usually light on compliments, Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables was more than pleased with the effort. Here’s what he had to say postgame…
What decided the game: The guys upfront won the game for us. At end of the day, they were disruptive enough. We didn’t miss tackles where they went on long runs. At the second level, we were making running backs start and stop. When Murray was not sacked, they were disruptive enough that the throws were off. Those guys came out and played at a high level.
Playing physical: At the right times, we played well enough to win the game. We played well on third down. I don’t think we consistently let them run the ball.
The Tigers can’t let outside distractions affect them now: It’s a long season. That was one game. We’ve got a lot of things to get better. A lot of things can happen good or bad and we as coaches is to keep our guys focused and humble and with perspective if we’re going to have a chance to be (elite) we have to improve in a lot of areas. The silver lining is that we won the game despite not playing at the level we thought we could. It was a gritty win. It was a team win. Those are always fun to be a part of. The real task is – we weren’t buying all the stuff beforehand – the doubters and hype – that cannot change now. It’s a long season. There’s a lot still in front of us.
Pressure on the Georgia offensive attack late: I thought that was the difference at the end of the day. Just getting them out of rhythm enough times to get an opportunity to win.
Numbers don’t show how the Tigers slowed the Georgia running game: Yeah (we) absolutely (got Murray uncomfortable). Even in the run game, they popped a couple long runs, but other than that, I really thought our guys defended the run really well and it started upfront. Even on the second-long run, (Todd Gurley) stopped and started and we missed him at the second level. That’s what a great back will do and he got better as the game wore on, but our guys did well. Our guys upfront made the difference.