Clemson University

Opponents think they can pass against Clemson? One Tiger says ‘go ahead and try’

Brent Venables on the performance of Clemson’s defense at Texas A&M

Clemson football defensive coordinator Brent Venables sees plenty of room for improvement
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Clemson football defensive coordinator Brent Venables sees plenty of room for improvement

Clemson’s secondary certainly looked like a weakness during the second half of Saturday’s game against Texas A&M as the Aggies passed for more than 300 yards in the final two quarters.

Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond found receivers running open all over the field with several Tigers defenders getting lost in coverage.

But Tigers safety K’Von Wallace warned Monday that teams should be careful if they believe Clemson’s secondary is now a weakness.

“Just keep trying us,” Wallace said. “We’re a secondary that’s hungry, who wants the ball in the air, who wants to get those opportunities to make a couple picks.”

Wallace certainly had his share of opportunities to come up with interceptions on Saturday. He intercepted Mond’s two-point conversion try to seal the win for the Tigers but also had a few balls go through his hand.

Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell said other defenders gave Wallace a hard time for not coming up with a few plays he had an opportunity to make.

“He dropped multiple interceptions ... He dropped about four of them,” Ferrell said.

But Wallace plans on making those plays the next time he is in a similar situation.

“I left at least three picks out there. Like I said,” Wallace said. “I love quarterbacks that throw the ball. I don’t want to just sit there and just run, run, run all day. If any team feels like they can expose us (with) the deep ball, I feel like they should go ahead and try it.”

The junior said before the season that he believes Clemson has the best defense in the country, and he is not backing down from that statement even after the Tigers allowed 501 total yards and 430 passing yards on Saturday. Clemson’s defensive line gets a lot of notoriety, but Wallace believes the entire defense can make plays.

“I feel like we have also the best secondary, not only the best defense, the best D-line and the best linebackers, I feel like we’ve got the best secondary, as well. So all I can say is if you feel like we got exposed, just try us.”

Ferrell added that even though Saturday’s performance by the backend of Clemson’s defense was not a strong one, he believes the group is more than capable of getting the job done.

“I have full confidence in those guys. Obviously people feel like they don’t really know what they can do because it’s a young group back there when you get past the starters, but I have full confidence,” Ferrell said. “I see the way they work every day in practice, and I know the talent level that they have. I hope people take them as a weakness of our defense because that’ll just enhance their game even more because people don’t understand how competitive those guys are. And they really wanna go out there and prove themselves every day.”

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