Moving into next phase of preparation, Venables likes where his defense stands

'We've got good competition going into the summer and we feel good about where we are right now'

Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware (10) dives for Clemson running back Zac Brooks (24) as Brooks carries the ball during the spring game at Clemson's Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware (10) dives for Clemson running back Zac Brooks (24) as Brooks carries the ball during the spring game at Clemson's Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Wrapping up one phase of preparation and moving into another, Brent Venables likes where Clemson's work-in-progress defense stands after a strong, across-the-board performance on Saturday.

Even with the defense split into two squads, the Tigers' depth showed, and 20 tackles for loss hinted at the strength of a unit capable of making things happen.

"I liked the end result," said Venables. "It's is an advantage for the defense when you can go blow on the (quarterback) and he's down, but I thought our pass rush was good.

"We've got good competition going into the summer and we feel good about where we are right now. We've got some healthy competition and some real quality depth."

Overall, both the Orange and White defenses made things tough for the offense, as they combined to allow just 588 yards on 132 plays, and gave up just nine of 34 third and fourth-down conversions.

Ben Boulware led the White defense with nine tackles, Tavaris Barnes had eight, including five behind the line of scrimmage, and Dorian O'Daniel had seven. Robert Smith and Cordrea Tankersley had five each, while Chris Register, Jayron Kearse, Grady Jarrett and Stephone Anthony each had four.

T.J. Green and Ryan Carter led the Orange with eight stops each.

"I like our situation at linebacker and feel like we have a chance to be really strong there," Venables said. "On the back end, we had a lot of young guys who played well.

"Mackensie (Alexander) made some plays today and did some really good things all spring. Ryan Carter came along, as did Marcus Edmond and Adrian Baker. Robert Smith has been really consistent, and T.J. (Green), Jadar (Johnson) and Jayron (Kearse) have a great competition going on there.

"We had some guys who made marked improvement, and others who made small improvements, and some guys need to make more improvement, in understanding and technique. I'll we have a good opportunity now to go back and look at it, and see where we are personnel-wise when we start back in the fall."

© 2014 OrangeAndWhite.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

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