Tuesdays with Kevin Steele

CLEMSON - Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele discusses Saturday's game against No. 15 TCU.


No matter how many yards are given up or the number of points scored, Kevin Steele's idea of perfection is only attainable at the end of the season.

It starts with winning a national championship.

"If you're fortunate enough to ever win the national championship, be ranked the number one defense in the country and have everyone playing with a relentless pursuit, you'd probably have to look back for a couple of days and say, ‘wow'. But I don't know if there are too many people that have done that," he said.

All the praise for Saturday via shouldn't go his way, so he says. It's all about the players on the field.

"I didn't play a snap," he said.

It's not the first time he's been a part of such a dominate performance as a coach. He vaguely remembers a few at Nebraska that were around the area of 54 yards allowed. There was one at Florida State too. Not specific as to which school, but seven total yards sticks out in his mind for one of the games.

None of those previous games were perfect.

And it wasn't all perfection on Saturday either. Steele said there is a laundry list of technical things and execution mishaps from the 25-7 win over Boston College. He will admit that the two lightning delays made it harder for the defense, "to get its juice going again."

Not one to dwell upon the past for too long, Steele and his defensive staff preach performance on the next play.

"There's a reason they make the windshield how ever many feet across and how big it is and the rearview mirror is about (this) big-real small," he said. "There's a reason the car is made like that. If you're going to drive to your destination, you better look a whole lot more out of that big window than you do out of that little, bitty one."

Ahead in the Clemson windshield is Texas Christian. What Steele sees as the Horned Frog's biggest strength on offense is how hard they play.

Normally, the Tiger defense focus on itself with everyone doing their own job. Allowing the other team to shoot itself in the foot is no easy task when that other team is Texas Christian.

"They're very well coached…more teams beat themselves than other teams beat them," he said. "When you watch TCU's offense, they don't beat themselves."

Using multiple formations and personnel groupings, Texas Christian changes tempo several times throughout the course of a game. Quarterback Andy Dalton is a three-year starter who manages the game well. The offensive line is full of big guys who move their feet well.

"At the end of the day they're running the same plays. They execute them very nicely," Steele said.

He believes out of conference games, no matter what level the opponent is, should be approached the same way. It's not about the other team, Steele said, it's about Clemson.

"You do the same thing, the same way everyday," he said.

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