Al Groh Comments on Clemson

On success against North Carolina:
Groh: They had two very dynamic players on offense. Obviously Darian Durant is the one that comes to note. And they had the leading receiver in terms of catches in the conference (Jawarski Pollock). So yes, we start figuring out that we can't let these guys have the same kind of game they've had in the past. We had some specific things on our approach that we wanted to do to make it more difficult for those players to dominate the action as they had in some of the other games.

On how important the win at Clemson was two years ago:
Groh: I haven't ever thought about that as being too much of a landmark. I thought about it as a win. Probably reacting to the question here two years later, I'd say we won the (game) before. We beat Richmond. I don't know if that really showed the players anything. We haven't had too many wins down there at that place. Perhaps that might have gotten their attention a little bit in terms of maybe these guys (coaching staff) do have a plan after all.

Is Clemson the most athletic team you've faced so far this year?
Groh: Defensively, I think they are certainly the most athletic front line that we've played against. They certainly have the top corner that we've played against this year in (Justin) Miller. He's a very good player. We talk about (Darryl) Blackstock, (Ahmad) Brooks, (Kai) Parham and those guys, as a freshman last year, it's pretty hard to go in and be a dominant player in some games as a freshman corner. And as a corner and a kick return guy, he was a dominant player in a number of games last year. I'm very impressed with him as a player.

Offensively, the three wide receivers are quite a trio. They've got size. One's 6-4, 6-5. (Derrick) Hamilton and (Airese) Currie in particular have vertical speed. (Kevin) Youngblood's 6-5, 215-lb., and is just hard to deal with. He creates his space to be overpoweringly big to most corners. They've got speed. They're hard to deal with. I'm very impressed with the quarterback. What he's doing as a sophomore right now certainly Matt (Schaub) didn't do when he was a sophomore. When he came in last year at the end of our game and then pretty much played from that point on, there doesn't seem to have been any point of struggle as there often is with a young quarterback. He started out and right away he played well. Everyone was pleased with his performance, and the team played well. Now completing 62.9, that's a pretty good number for a sophomore quarterback. He throws the deep ball very well. I think he's got real poise and toughness in the pocket. When Matt (Schaub), Phillip (Rivers), (Scott) McBrien, those senior quarterbacks leave, this guy has a chance to be the next star quarterback in this conference.

On what defenses have done to combat Clemson's spread offense:
Groh: We're (defensive coaches) not as quick on the pick up as those offensive guys, so it takes us a little longer to figure it out (chuckles). A lot of it is repetition of seeing it, like any new cycle of offense that comes in like the wishbone, the veer offense, run and shoot, fun and gun, this spread business. After you see it for a while, I'm sure that the coaches at those schools figured it out faster than some of us did. That is they saw it every day in the spring; they saw it everyday in training camp. Some cases, we'd only be preparing for once a season or twice a season. That was eight days during the year you'd spend on it. The other guys are spending a whole year on it if it was at their school. So a lot of it is exposure and developing your ideas. You see someone else play against it and say, 'that's a pretty good idea' and then you incorporate that into what you're doing.

Is there a general scheme or is there more pressure on the quarterback?
Groh: I think that varies by the philosophy of the staff and the coordinator at each place. Some teams will try play it by increasing the pressure on it. Some teams have tried to play it by increasing the coverage against it. I think whatever the team's basic philosophical frame work to playing defense in, it just manifests itself in that situation, too. Top Stories