Back to the drawing board

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - There wasn't much Brent Venables could say that would spin Saturday night's loss to Florida State in a positive light.

In front of a sold out crowd at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday night, Florida State rolled up 49 points and 667 yards of total offense.

"First are foremost, we've got to coach them better -- that's where it starts," Venables said. "I thought they grabbed the momentum and made some explosive plays. They were able to run the ball in the second half."

The Seminoles had plenty of success passing the ball, too. To go along with his 102 yards on the ground, E.J. Manuel threw for 380 yards with two scores.

He wasn't the only 100-yard rusher for the Seminoles. Chris Thompson had a game-high 103 yards and two scores.

There were plenty of chunk plays from Florida State. Three separate runs went for 41, 35 and 28 yards. A little under half of the passing yardage was piled up on completions of 64, 31, 29 and 28 yards.

"We coached them poorly. At times, obviously, we didn't play particularly well. That being said, we had a chance in the second half, had a chance to win the game," Venables said.

Clemson spent a majority of the night running a 3-3-5 alignment.

"Obviously, it didn't perform like we hoped it would," Venables said.

Now, one-third of the way into the season, the first-year assistant said it's time to start looking elsewhere for answers.

But that's always the case, win or lose.

"You're always evaluating, trying to get better and find ways to get better," Venables said.

So how exactly does it get better?

"It's a lot of things. First and foremost, it starts with us," Venables said. "What are we asking our guys to do? Why are there issues in the running game and passing game?

"Poor tackling, letting guys get behind us, giving up cheap scores…getting punched in the gut in the second half and letting them run it at will. It's not just one thing." Top Stories