Tuesdays with Kevin Steele

CLEMSON - Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said there's a "misnomer" about the Wofford offense.

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A quick glance at this weekend's Southern Conference foe from Spartanburg might lead one to believe that there are several similarities to Georgia Tech.

Not so much.

"I guess the best way to describe them is they're about, probably, 40 percent Georgia Tech. Then, the other 60 percent falls 30 percent Auburn and 30 percent South Carolina," Steele said.

Last season, Wofford finished first among all FCS teams in rushing with 297.8 yards per game.

That prolific rushing attack was lead by fullback Eric Breitenstein, who ran for 1,639 yards and 22 touchdowns. Quarterback Mitch Allen was second on the team with 681 yards and four touchdowns.

Breitenstein had for 107 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown in last week's season opener against PC. Allen totaled 31 yards and a score. As a team, Wofford had 380 yards.

"The running back, the quarterback are very effective at what they do," Steele said. "The running back is hard to tackle. He runs hard. He's got deceptive speed. He can run fast. They gave it to him 267 times last year, so he's pretty durable."

It could be a challenge for Clemson to hold Wofford under the Tigers' targeted yards per carry average.

Last week, Troy exceed two of Clemson's defensive goals -- 3.3 yards per carry and 30 percent on third-down. The Trojans gained 4.5 a rush and converted at a 38 percent clip.

"When we started substituting, which we freely substituted, early and often, we had some young mistakes that were critical," Steele said. "Statistically, it's probably going to affect us for a good part of the year, until we get this thing seasoned-up, if you will."

That's the kind of risk that comes with playing multiple first-year players.

"Just a little hesitation here and there and we make that goal," Steele said of the marks against Troy. "We're working hard to get it resolved. We will get it resolved because we've got guys that are very focused and have got the talent.

"We've just got to get the experience to them as quick as we can get it. Game experience is unlike practice experience. It's a lot different."

Six first-year freshman had their first taste of game experience on Saturday.

Grady Jarrett and DeShawn Williams played 15 and 10 snaps at defensive tackle, respectively. Defensive end Corey Crawford had 21.

At linebacker, Stephone Anthony logged 22 snaps. Tony Steward had 11.

Robert Smith played seven at safety.

The best way for those guys to gain experience?

Create more opportunities each Saturday.

"We've got to manufacture experience in a quick, quick fashion," Steele said. "You can practice them all day long. You can go scrimmage them all day long. The only way to manufacture that experience in a short period of time for a long season is to put them out there."


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