Tuesdays with Kevin Steele

CLEMSON - Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele won't bother to venture a guess as to what Coastal Carolina Coach Dave Bennett is using to motivate his team this week.

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"I'm not in Conway, I don't have a clue," Steele said.

All he cares about is what's going on in Clemson with his defense. Despite facing an FCS opponent in game eight--as opposed to on earlier in the season--Steele continues with the business as usual approach.

As easy as it could be to look past Coastal Carolina, he doesn't care about the name of the team he's preparing his defense for this weekend. Logos, rankings, classifications, records and teams aside, he's worried about just a few things.

"It's jersey numbers and bodies in positions. Are they eligible? Are they not eligible? Where they line up and what they run out of it," Steele said.

The routine this week would be the same regardless of this Saturday's opponent and this past Saturday's result.

"A lot of times, mistakes, corrections, things get swept away by a victory and accentuated by a loss," he said. "That's why we keep the same routine everyday, all year long."

Despite giving up 433 yards to Miami, Steele points to 51 plays in the game that he believes were played "dad-gum well." But there were 10 plays that gave up 282 yards. Never satisfied enough to call a game perfect, there were mistakes for Steele to speak of from Saturday.

Among the mistakes that showed up included being thrown off by Miami's unbalanced line personnel package where a third tackle was used in place of a second tight end. The Hurricane personnel would lead a defender to believe he was lining up on a tackle, but the third tackle was being used as a second tight end.

When the second tight end was put in place of that third tackle, the defender would be left looking for the third tackle.

"You have to give them credit. They did some things new, gave us some communication problems--not that we didn't know what we were doing, but communicating it correctly," Steele said. "They executed against it and we got that corrected. We never got that totally worked out."

From Coastal on Saturday, he expects to see different looks with several different formations and personnel packages that range from four wide receivers to two wide receivers.

"They have talented receivers and two quarterbacks that play. Both of them make plays," Steele said. "The running backs and fullback--(Tommy Fraser) is all over the place. They use him everywhere. You can tell he knows what he's doing."


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