CLEMSON — Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd remembers Georgia Tech.
He recalls arriving in Atlanta undefeated and ranked fifth in the country a year ago. He remembers watching ESPN the day of the game and seeing pundits tout him as a Heisman Trophy candidate. And, of course, he remembers the loss – in which he threw three interceptions – and returning to Clemson to find his house had been egged.
“I think I learned a lot from it,” Boyd said. “That’s one of the reasons I don’t watch TV before games, maybe cartoons, I try not to get involved in (the hype).”
Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables has not defended a true option team since he was at Oklahoma when it played Air Force several years ago. Oklahoma won that game. But this is a different defense, one that has had trouble maintaining discipline – a flaw that can be exploited for big plays by Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense.
“(Tech) runs the lead option, the G option and the speed option,” Venables said, “there are so many variations and influences they make it incredibly difficult to play with discipline. That is the test.”
Venables said he will use cut-blocking in practice this week to simulate the Georgia Tech blocking scheme.
“If you don’t cut then you get mowed down on gameday because you are not ready for it,” Venables said. “That’s a chance (of injury) you gotta take, a risk-reward deal. Our guys need to feel it, need to experience it.”
Odometer reportThe Clemson and Georgia Tech defenses have combined to allow 2,200 yards of total offense over the last two weeks. That’s 1.25 miles of offense.
He said itVenables on the defending the option: “Don’t eat the cheese. The cheese is dangerous. The cheese is a trap. There are a lot of guys eating the cheese.”
He said it IIClemson coach Dabo Swinney on Clemson’s defense: “I just laugh when people insinuate we don’t have good players.”