Venables proud of response

CLEMSON - To those Clemson fans ready to give defensive coordinator Brent Venables a pat on the back for making adjustments at halftime, keep one thing in mind.

There weren't many.

Sure, Georgia Tech rushed for 197 yards, threw for 95 yards and scored 21 points in the first half. And, yes, the Yellow Jackets were held to 191 yards of total offense and 10 points in the second.

But, according to Venables, he really didn't make any sweeping changes.

"I was very proud of the way they responded in the second half. We just lost some leverage had a couple of poor tackles [in the first half]," Venables said. "We didn't really change a whole lot. I think our plan was good. You've just got to trust the guys around you and know what everybody's responsibility is."

A couple of big plays and a friendly bounce certainly helped Clemson's defense in the second half.

Whether it was the fourth-down fumble recovery of a bad quarterback/center exchange, Spencer Shuey's safety tackle, a third-down pass red zone breakup by Jonathan Willard or Josh Watson's blocked field goal, the Tigers' defense capitalized on the second half opportunities.

"I think those were steps in growth, our confidence…just defending more and more sound," Venables said.

Clemson held Georgia Tech below its season averages in points [39] and yards [487].

"Big plays stink, but I'm so glad that game is over," Venable said. "It's a pain in the butt. It's a tough offense to defend. It creates a lot of stress. They do a good job of making some good in-game adjustments.

"I'm really proud of our guys for staying calm, didn't freak out. We made some minor adjustments and they handled those really well."

Heading into the second half of the season, there's something to build upon.

"Last week, I didn't feel great about that one. This week, I do, [for] a lot of reasons," Venables said. "A couple of missed tackles in the second half, but I thought our guys played much more assured, confident, structurally."

CUTigers.com Top Stories