Steele, Tigers prepare for Wake

CLEMSON - With the exception of one quarter in Clemson's 24-21 loss to Maryland in College Park last Saturday, Kevin Steele's defense looked just about like what you would expect.

Even subtracting the second quarter wouldn't have made the defense's performance a perfect one. Although critical errors were down and there were the second fewest number of missed tackles this year, Steele still saw plenty to teach before next week's game against Wake Forest.

"If the scoreboard was different…the errors would be the same," he said. "We look at every play; analyze every play and accountability, responsibility and application of technique, whatever the scoreboard says."

Steele said, on Maryland's field goal drive, a route that wasn't matched that usually is wasn't. The route was an underneath, check down one that didn't match the technique. There was also a misunderstanding in personnel groupings resulting in a missed check with one player running on to the field late.

There were issues to correct from Maryland's two-minute scoring drive to close the first half.

"I made a horrendous call on a situation and I wish I had it back but I don't. It wasn't a scoring play," Steele said. "I looked up at the scoreboard as was counting time outs and miscounted…he ran the ball into a call that, to be honest with you, you have to play hard to play out of that one. That one's on me."

Also on the drive, there were calls to hit gaps weren't and a man coverage call where "we just didn't get down on them."

In the second quarter, Maryland scored 17 points, completed nine of 11 passing attempts for 129 yards and rushed 13 times for 59 yards. In the second half, the Terrapins had just four first downs.

"There were three drives there…and we come back the next eight or nine drives and they don't make it from here to that chair," Steele said.

Preparation for Wake Forest will be an extra week with the bye. Plenty of time for him to stress the importance of assignment football against a team that uses a lot of misdirection.

Steele said the Demon Deacon's lead personnel group is three wide receivers and a tight end.

"They run the stretch sweep where you just hand it to the back and pull people," he said. "It's kind of the Green Bay Packers sweep out of the one back, if you will."

The wide receivers are involved in the play by going in motion and taking the occasional handoff. There's also plenty of drawing and trapping.

"It's almost like going back in time. I'm talking about the old fashioned, inside trap. That kind of went away for some time," Steele said. "You'll see it every now and then but (Wake Forest) will do it a lot."

Out of two backs and one tight end, the zone play is being run with the extra blocker. Sometimes the looks will be in the wishbone and others in the Georgia Tech double wing bone.

"It's a lot of eye control. You better know where you are lined up and better play fundamentally sound football," Steele said. Top Stories