Clemson's Depth in the Secondary Beginning to Show on Gameday

Christopher Hall

Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables said his unit grew up right before his eyes Saturday night in the dominant 42-17 win over then-7th ranked Miami. 

The front seven was aggressive and didn't allow Miami to truly get into a groove or find any sustaining tempo within the offense. That is a credit to both the pressure the Tigers were able to create as well as a very solid night in coverage by the secondary. 

The defense held Miami in check for most of the night outside of a pair of big runs from quarterback D'Eriq King. In the passing game, Derion Kendrick and Kane Patterson joined the turnover party and the nation caught a glimpse of how talented and deep this secondary truly is. 

"We knew Miami was bringing a nice group of receivers and we wanted to make sure we contained the quarterback," cornerback Sheridan Jones said. "We knew that our DBs had to come to make plays on the ball and just be in great position all night. We wanted to show the world our corners and safeties could make plays." 

Dabo Swinney has raved about this secondary over the last several weeks following a strong fall camp. That competition among the secondary is not only fun to watch, but it is making the Tigers better both collectively as a defense and individually with each player. 

"It makes you practice harder," Jones said. "Everything counts from walk-throughs all the way to getting work at the end of practice. So, you have to make sure you are really on your P's and Q's all week and putting in extra work in the film room. Everybody wants to go out there and play so it's really competitive." 

Jones said each player brings a little something different to the table and collectively it has made for a hungry group pushing each other to get one percent better each day. 

"We hold each other to a very high standard. We just make sure we get the best our of each other and always hold each other accountable," Jones said.