Same old song and dance

COLUMBIA - Brent Venables wasn't in Columbia the last time Connor Shaw ran wild on Clemson, but he certainly was aware of what happened.

Venables watched the film. That was one of the first things he did when he got to Clemson from Oklahoma in 2012.

In 2011, Shaw rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown. He picked up 94 yards and a score on the ground in Saturday night's 31-17 loss to South Carolina.

"Tried everything, none of it worked, obviously…rush four, rush five, rush six, spy him," Venables said. "[Shaw] continually made plays, designed plays and scramble plays."

And, boy, were they devastating.

Many of those 94 yards Shaw gained on the ground converted third-downs into first-downs. For the game, the Gamecocks were 10 of 19 on third-down. In the first half, they were 8 of 11.

"[Shaw] continually made plays with his legs. So if you don't take away -- a team like this -- what they do best, against a good team, you have no chance," Venables said.

Through the air, Shaw connected 14 of his 26 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown.

"He's just a gamer," said Grady Jarrett, who had seven tackles and two tackles for loss. "When he doesn't have anything down field he's going to take off and run with it. You've got to contain him. You've got to have somebody on him. He's a great player."

Venables touched on a couple of other topics from Saturday night's game.

On the QB draw: "It was just putting a hat on a hat. We went left, they pushed us left. We went right, they pushed us right. It's pretty simple. It's execution and blocking 101."

On limiting Mike Davis: "Limit Davis? It all goes hand in hand. He's part of the run-game, every bit as much as [Shaw] is. You want to be effective; you can't do one without the other. Guys threw the ball all over the lot, too. So, when you're in coverage, you've got guys that are responsible for him. We've got to do a better job, execution-wise. We can't sit out there in zero coverage the whole game and play it like it's the option, so anyway."

On the TD pass from Pharoh Cooper to Brandon Wilds: "That happens because they're effective at running it, so it sets up the play-action. We got nosey, being aggressive; they sneak the guy out of the backfield. It's because we're not doing a good enough job at stopping them at what they're doing. They've got to have a compliment off the run game, everybody does." Top Stories