Bennett Understands Need for More Collisions

Clemson defensive end also has the tall task of matching up with Miami's Eric Winston this week.

Against most offensive tackles you go up against, sometimes you try to bull-rush him, sometimes you try to speed-rush him. Is this guy (Eric Winston) good enough to handle everything that you can throw at him?
Bennett: I don't know. I'm trying to throw everything I've got at him and see what works. If it works, I'm going to stick with it so I can get better. He's pretty techniqued out, and he's taking his time, and that's really good. So I need to just come out and do the best I can against him.

Having beaten Miami last year, how does that affect this year's game – going in there knowing you can beat them?
Bennett: I think that going into every game we're always thinking that we can win. But it's a little edge, and we know that they're mad because they lost to Florida State last week and they lost to us last year. So I know they'll come in with a chip on their shoulders. I think we just have to come out and play as hard as we can; I think we'll be okay.

Have you ever seen Duane Coleman tackle anybody?
Bennett: No, I haven't – not even after an interception or a fumble or anything. I haven't seem him tackle anybody. He won't be out there by himself, never having been on defense, so we'll be out there with him to help him make tackles.

What does it tell you if Coach is shaking things up like this – moving offensive guys on defense?
Bennett: I really don't know. I think we'll be alright with him coming over to defense. I know he's going to come out and play hard.

Coach Bowden's theme this week has been that he's pleased but he's not satisfied with the entire performance of the overall team – offense, defense, even special teams. Playing a team like Miami – you guys are 2-0 – what does it say about his expectations? That maybe 2-0 isn't…and beating Texas A&M and beating Maryland on the road isn't good enough?
Bennett: It's not because we have some mistakes on offense, defense, and special teams. It's little mistakes, the mistakes that shouldn't have happened. I think that this is the week that we come together as one – offense, defense and special teams. Just do what they're supposed to do, do what they're capable of doing and just hope that it will be perfect.

Do you think he realizes the potential of this team, and that's why he's trying to raise the level – because maybe he expects more out of this team?
Bennett: We have a lot of potential on the team, and our expectations are high also, so I think we're going to be okay. That's why he's so hard on us: because he knows what we're capable of doing, also.

Do you agree with his assessment that you guys haven't gotten as many collisions, as many hits, as you guys would like?
Bennett: Yes, because defense is a collision, and we've gotta be real aggressive. We usually do this thing on Monday – the hit man – and we haven't had any of those, so I understand where we stand. I understand what they're saying about that.

What's the hit man – like an award?
Bennett: Yes, like a big collision.

How would you assess the overall performance of the defense, not only in terms of being physical but also making plays?
Bennett: We did some good things; we also did some bad things. But our main thing is to try to get better week to week – don't let the stuff that happened against Texas A&M have an effect last week at Maryland. The mistakes made at Maryland don't come back and we have the same mistakes this week in Miami.

Is it a new coordinator – is it a learning process, as well, to begin to know what he wants, know your keys, know your alignments, that kind of stuff?
Bennett: I wouldn't say that has anything to do with making collisions. Just getting to the ball, making a collision – that's what it is. If you're just getting real aggressive, just get there. That's all it is. That's the kind of defense we're running in this scheme, trying to make a better defense. Top Stories