Tuesdays with Kevin Steele

CLEMSON - Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele discusses the aftermath of Saturday's defensive performance.


Steele bluntly prefaced his evaluation of the 35-10 win over North Texas.

"I'm going to rehash it. When I'm done, I'm done. I'm past that…I'm going to say what I have to say and that's it," he said. "I'm done."

The stats, of course, almost speak for themselves.

North Texas racked up 462 yards of total offense, including 193 on the ground and 269 through the air. The Mean Green also converted on 11-of-22 third downs.

"In terms of the game Saturday, probably the thing from the staff, immediately following the game, that is not what we saw in spring practice," Steele said. "That is not what we saw in fall camp. In fact, it was far from it. We made a lot of progress towards being a dominant, accountable, responsible defense."

But Steele wouldn't lay the blame on the players due to a lack of execution and poor tackling.

"It's coaches making sure we get it done, get it done well and it's players making sure they do their job," Steele said. "We're all in it together."

After watching the film, Steele said effort wasn't an issue. There weren't many busts due to poor preparation or comprehension of the game plan. The plan, Steele said was simple.

"Real simple."

"It was an eye-transfer mistake here, not keying the right thing. Lined up right, knew your job, you just didn't key the right thing," Steele said. "Then we had some technique mistakes where we get too fast on some things and lose leverage on it. We get too slow on things and get behind leverage on it."

He sent a message to concerned fans.

"Rest assured. We will get it fixed. We know what needs to be fixed and we know how to get it fixed," Steele said. "We will get it fixed, because that was unacceptable."

Getting it fixed starts this weekend with Presbyterian. Not a bad place to start.

Presbyterian, which is in its first year of Division I play, lost 53-13 to Wake Forest last week. The Blue Hose threw for 292 yards and rushed for another 70 last Thursday.

"Obviously, they know how to move the football," Steele said. "The running back [Trandon Dendy] is a powerful guy. He's not just going to take the first shot and go to the ground. He's thicker…kind of a fireplug guy that runs with power. You're not going to run up there and arm tackle him. You're not going to do that. Obviously, we'll have to make sure we're no tackling the same way we were last week."

Quarterback Brandon Miley completed nearly 53 percent of his passes for 165 yards and a touchdown in the season opener.

"He really does a good job of throwing the intermediate, to short routes. He gets it out of his hands quick. He's accurate with it," Steele said.

He's always got an eye out for trick plays, maybe even more so now after Presbyterian's appearance in ESPN's top plays for the bounce pass touchdown.

"You always have got to [prepare for trick plays]. The thing about it is, usually when you play certain teams, you get a lot of stuff thrown at you, in terms of different formations, different plays," Steele said.

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