Tuesdays with Kevin Steele

CLEMSON - The mission of a Kevin Steele defense is to relentlessly dominate an opponent every play of every game.


Though that goal is nearly unattainable from week to week, his group continues to strive for it for each Saturday.

Last week's 23-3 win at Virginia Tech was as close Clemson has come all season to relentlessly dominating the opposition.

"I think we're getting better at being relentless," Steele said. "The film didn't show relentless domination every play. We've got a ton of corrections. We've still got some guys that are trying to do a little too much and not play gap responsibility every snap. It was minimal last week, but we still have that."

Brandon Thompson is tied for third among Clemson defenders with 26 tackles this season. (Roy Philpott)
This past weekend in Blacksburg, the Tigers' defense was stout.

Heading into the game, Clemson ranked 85th against the run, 82nd in pass efficiency defense, 90th in total defense and 66th in scoring defense.

Since giving up 258 total yards [133 rushing, 125 passing] and three points to Virginia Tech, Clemson now ranks 77th against the run, 51st in pass efficiency defense, 63rd in total defense and 32nd in scoring defense.

"But, like I said last week, statistically, the number one stat is keeping them out of the end zone," Steele said. "We did that for the first-time this year.

"Yeah, it was the best this year. Is it the best we can be? It's not even close."

The third-year coordinator also preaches: play the next play. Now, nearly half-way through the regular season schedule, that's starting to show up on a more consistent basis.

"We're starting to mature a little bit more, and be accountable and be responsible, and understand that one play does not make the game," Steele said. "Play the next play. We're getting a little bit better at playing the next play."

The next opponent is Boston College, a 1-4 team that's last in the ACC in total offense and scoring offense.

The Eagles' rush attack averages just 116.6 per game while the passing game has put together an average of 213.2 yards per game.

Senior running back, Montel Harris, the school's all-time leader in rushing yards, missed the first two games of the season.

In two games, he's rushed 31 times for 135 yards.

"He's got good vision. He's relentless. He's a tough guy," Steele said.

To read more from Kevin Steele, visit the CUTigers.com premium message board The Valley:


CUTigers.com Top Stories