Tuesdays with Kevin Steele

CLEMSON - Dominance isn't defined by a shut out, at least according to Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.

"A shut out would be great. You go in there and watch that film, and there's till that list of four or five things that are critical. Eight or 10 have to get cleaned up. Then the individual stuff," he said. "That laundry list of cleaning up on Sunday after a shut out won't be any different than one when they score 20."

Shut out or not, he'll celebrate a win for about 15 minutes before moving on to the next task. By the time he's in the car on the way home from a game, Steele's thinking about the opponent that's up next on the schedule.

Typically the last to leave Death Valley, he practices a long running post-game ritual that consists of him sitting in his locker, eating a meal--always the first of the day--wearing his game day attire, usually with the shirt un-tucked.

Once the meal is done, he'll sit there for a little while longer before taking a shower and heading home.

"It's not nerves. I'm just worn out. It may be age… it's just a habit," Steele said.

Despite the struggles of the Virginia offense this season, he continues the habit of worrying about what happens on Saturday, not the previous results.

"It's about the formation, the down and distance, hash marks--go play," Steele said.

He's impressed with the physical makeup of the Cavaliers. It's a group that he said looks like an NFL team.

"They're big across the board…the offensive line is pretty impressive looking," Steele said. "There's a little bit of an enigma in figuring out a couple of things that they have gone to, which is kind of a Rich Rodriguez/Urban Meyer-kind of offense. It's kind of migrated into something else."

With the 245-pound Rashawn Jackson at running back, Steele said Virginia runs the ball with a "NFL style." When throwing with Jameel Sewell, Steele pointed out the quick hitting routes that's similar to everyone else Clemson has seen. The vertical threat is comparable to Florida State's.

"The quarterback has had some pretty impressive games," Steele said.

With Saturday's game potentially deciding whether Clemson earns a birth in the ACC Championship, don't worry about Steele thinking about December 5. There are plenty of assignments, calls and plays that must go in Clemson's favor before he can start thinking about a trip to Tampa.

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