Sports

Clemson “D” Rising

Fourteen months after being humiliated by West Virginia in the 2012 Orange Bowl, Clemson University’s football team appears to have found itself on defense. The Tigers – who coughed up 70 points to the Mountaineers – made significant progress defensively last year (especially during the second half of the season)….

Fourteen months after being humiliated by West Virginia in the 2012 Orange Bowl, Clemson University’s football team appears to have found itself on defense. The Tigers – who coughed up 70 points to the Mountaineers – made significant progress defensively last year (especially during the second half of the season).

In fact Brent Venables’ unit made several clutch stops to help deliver a program-building victory over SEC powerhouse Louisiana State in last year’s Chick-fil-A bowl.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney thinks his defense is going to be even better heading into 2013.

“It’s just night and day from where we were the first scrimmage last spring,” Swinney said earlier this week.

Venables’ defense held Clemson’s All-American quarterback Tajh Boyd to a measly 5 of 15 passing for 55 yards during the Tigers’ first scrimmage of the spring. Boyd – the hero of Clemson’s win over LSU – was also intercepted once.

Clemson is led by linebacker Spencer Shuey – who recorded 93 tackles a year ago. Stephone Anthony and Quandon Christian round out the Tigers’ linebacking corps, which is poised for a breakthrough year given the depth of talent Swinney has been able to assemble.

“Really all those backers have been very, very solid,” Swinney said. “We have a really good group between Quandon, Shuey and Stephone, and Tony Steward, Kellen (Jones) and B.J. Goodson. So that’s a really good core group that we’ve got to work with.”

The Tigers also bolstered their defensive secondary with the addition of Florida high school star Mackenzie Alexander.

Clemson opens its 2013 season on August 31 at home against SEC powerhouse Georgia – the first meeting between the two teams since 2003. The former rivals have plenty of history, including a stretch of games of 1977-87 which saw both programs win national championships. Clemson and Georgia posted a 5-5-1 mark during that series – with the average victory margin standing at just 4.7 points.

Both programs are expected to enter 2013 in the Top Ten.

***

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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34 comments

Just another guy March 29, 2013 at 9:45 am

I believe all of their practices are closed you are really relying on Bagdad Bob up there for info?

Reply
CUvinny March 29, 2013 at 12:50 pm

USC fans are the ones who really believed Clowney kicked the ball out of the holders hand on a live play….

Fits even wrote an article about it. Turns out it was a busted play and no one on the line or even the kicker moved.

Reply
BigT March 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

How bout that Busted Head Tahj had, when Clowney got through w/ him, Dumb@$$????…LMAO….

Reply
RHood2 March 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I heard the story and it was always reported, that I heard, as a busted play. At the same time, he still got to the ball incredibly fast. Unless you somehow believe that every player stops completely when the whistle blows? I’ve never seen a game like that.

Reply
Just another guy March 29, 2013 at 9:45 am

I believe all of their practices are closed you are really relying on Bagdad Bob up there for info?

Reply
CUvinny March 29, 2013 at 12:50 pm

USC fans are the ones who really believed Clowney kicked the ball out of the holders hand on a live play….

Fits even wrote an article about it. Turns out it was a busted play and no one on the line or even the kicker moved.

Reply
BigT March 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

How bout that Busted Head Tahj had, when Clowney got through w/ him, Dumb@$$????…LMAO….

Reply
RHood2 March 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I heard the story and it was always reported, that I heard, as a busted play. At the same time, he still got to the ball incredibly fast. Unless you somehow believe that every player stops completely when the whistle blows? I’ve never seen a game like that.

Reply
RHood2 March 29, 2013 at 10:42 am

Clemson won that game brcause Les Miles is onsane.

Reply
TontoBubbaGoldstein March 29, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Insabe.
Onsane.
Wasabi?

Reply
RHood2 March 29, 2013 at 10:42 am

Insabe.

Reply
Spelling Bea March 29, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Okay, you’ve got one more chance to save yourself…

Reply
RHood2 March 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Insane. Away from the damn iPad, using a real keyboard, I can type like the wind.
Clemson won because Les Miles decide to “gamble” instead of protect the lead he had. It was do-able, but he is absolutely, batshit insane at times. The idea that Clemson turned a page and kicked SEC ass up and down the field as this story suggests is demonstrably, patently false. Clemson got real lucky to be going up against a team with an insane coach.
I don’t put a lot of stock in the spring practice reports. A coach of this team saying his guys are awesome. Even with USC, same deal. Every year since Spurrier has been here, our D in spring and fall practice has been running roughshod over our O. But only lately has that early talk played out completely the same way in the season. D has always been good. But it has been ass kicking dominant for the past three seasons.

Reply
mph March 29, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Don’t worry about Will Folks getting on you about typos. He’s incapable of using a comma and uses the ellipse as a crutch. His 5th grade teacher would be so disappointed.

Reply
Spelling Bea March 29, 2013 at 5:54 pm

We all have moments like this. Just having some fun.

Reply
RHood2 March 29, 2013 at 10:42 am

Clemson won that game brcause Les Miles is onsane.

Reply
TontoBubbaGoldstein March 29, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Insabe.
Onsane.
Wasabi?

Reply
RHood2 March 29, 2013 at 10:42 am

Insabe.

Reply
Spelling Bea March 29, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Okay, you’ve got one more chance to save yourself…

Reply
RHood2 March 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Insane. Away from the damn iPad, using a real keyboard, I can type like the wind.
Clemson won because Les Miles decide to “gamble” instead of protect the lead he had. It was do-able, but he is absolutely, batshit insane at times. The idea that Clemson turned a page and kicked SEC ass up and down the field as this story suggests is demonstrably, patently false. Clemson got real lucky to be going up against a team with an insane coach.
I don’t put a lot of stock in the spring practice reports. A coach of this team saying his guys are awesome. Even with USC, same deal. Every year since Spurrier has been here, our D in spring and fall practice has been running roughshod over our O. But only lately has that early talk played out completely the same way in the season. D has always been good. But it has been ass kicking dominant for the past three seasons.

Reply
mph March 29, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Don’t worry about Will Folks getting on you about typos. He’s incapable of using a comma and uses the ellipse as a crutch. His 5th grade teacher would be so disappointed.

Reply
Spelling Bea March 29, 2013 at 5:54 pm

We all have moments like this. Just having some fun.

Reply
Bubbas Brother March 29, 2013 at 11:10 am

Can anyone figure out what RHood2 is talking about?

Reply
The Colonel (R) March 29, 2013 at 11:10 am

Can anyone figure out what RHood2 is talking about?

Reply
BigT March 29, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Looks like FITS is ALL-IN…
Kevin Steele was a better DC than Vulnerable. That will play out before it’s over.
But I’m glad FITS is buying into this Clemaon hype and worship. You’ll just look like a Dumb@$$ when it crumbles…and then you’ll claim you warned us…
FITS is a stupid as the rest of SC’s punch-drunk media…

Reply
Srsly? April 5, 2013 at 9:41 am

Dude, he didn’t say Clemson will be better than SC, he just said Clemson is better on D then it was, and they are, that doesn’t mean he likes Clemson over SC. If you read other articles he reads, he seems more partial to the Cocks. I’m a Gamecock fan and I think you’re just being hateful and a homer, personally, I like it, if Clemson’s only loss is against SC, they makes us look great.

Reply
BigT March 29, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Looks like FITS is ALL-IN…
Kevin Steele was a better DC than Vulnerable. That will play out before it’s over.
But I’m glad FITS is buying into this Clemaon hype and worship. You’ll just look like a Dumb@$$ when it crumbles…and then you’ll claim you warned us…
FITS is a stupid as the rest of SC’s punch-drunk media…

Reply
Srsly? April 5, 2013 at 9:41 am

Dude, he didn’t say Clemson will be better than SC, he just said Clemson is better on D then it was, and they are, that doesn’t mean he likes Clemson over SC. If you read other articles he reads, he seems more partial to the Cocks. I’m a Gamecock fan and I think you’re just being hateful and a homer, personally, I like it, if Clemson’s only loss is against SC, they makes us look great.

Reply
mph March 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Dabo is a carnival barker. I bet anything he lays another egg this year and doesn’t make it to the Florida State Invitational.

Reply
mph March 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Dabo is a carnival barker. I bet anything he lays another egg this year and doesn’t make it to the Florida State Invitational.

Reply
Scrappy March 29, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Go ahead and tell us why Georgia will get beat in the opener. Will Richt be Insane also? Maybe a Gambler? STFU! Amazing a man can dominate the SEC and be insane. I’m guessing he will never win again with his mental disability. Les Miles should appeal Clemsons win to the NCAA . He could claim insanity! Fucking moron!

Reply
Scrappy March 29, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Go ahead and tell us why Georgia will get beat in the opener. Will Richt be Insane also? Maybe a Gambler? STFU! Amazing a man can dominate the SEC and be insane. I’m guessing he will never win again with his mental disability. Les Miles should appeal Clemsons win to the NCAA . He could claim insanity! Fucking moron!

Reply
Scrappy March 29, 2013 at 8:27 pm

And BigT, Please enlighten us on Kevin Steels pedigree to persuade us that he is superior to Venebles?

Reply
Scrappy March 29, 2013 at 8:27 pm

And BigT, Please enlighten us on Kevin Steels pedigree to persuade us that he is superior to Venebles?

Reply

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