Q&A with John Lovett

Clemson defensive coordinator talked Tuesday about the similarities between Duke and Wake Forest. Do the Blue Devils run the same sort of misdirection that has given Clemson so many problems before?

How do you explain the difference between the Wake Forest game and FSU? What did you guys do that really made a difference?
Lovett: Well to open the game, they went three and out, and then Tye got an interception and I think that set the table for what was going to happen against Florida State. Our kids executed. There were a couple of times our guys got them out in the flats and tackled real well. There were a couple of times our kids came with some pressure. The bottomline though is they executed and executed well. That was the difference.

Was it tactical or making tackles better?
Lovett: Like I said, the Wake Forest game was part me and part them. They were tuned in last week, and we are going to try and tune them in this week.

You guys play Duke now, do they present the same problems as Wake Forest with their misdirection running game?
Lovett: Well I don't think it's quite like Wake Forest. They probably have the leading rusher in the conference right now though. They run right at you and there's no hiding. We are going to have to play real physical on Saturday. And you know that they've added a different style now lately. Earlier, they seem to be run pass. They've had some misdirection before, but now they do a little more of it I think. They also do some option.

Is that the triple option?
Lovett: They run the loaded option, and also some speed option. They've gotten into doing a lot of shifting and motion, and that will be something that we have to account for Saturday.

So this isn't the misdirection stuff that we saw with Wake Forest?
Lovett: No, Wake Forest runs the zone divide running game. They shift around in motion a lot and try to get a numbers advantage. We have to make sure that we get aligned correctly when they do that sort of thing.

Does it help your focus and preparation that they put 40+ points on Georgia Tech?
Lovett: I think it helps send a message to our kids that the coaches are blowing smoke. Hopefully, our kids will respond better because of that. They just smashed Georgia Tech off the ball all the way down the field, and they did it all day long. Their running back carries the ball sometimes 25+ times a game, sometimes 30. There's not many tailbacks right now that are doing that. So yeah, I think that helps get the attention of our kids and helps them believe more what we are telling them.

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