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CLEMSON FOOTBALL: Defense faces new BC hurry-up offense

September 20, 2017

CLEMSON — The Clemson defense will face different challenge this week as it prepares to take on the Boston College Eagles.

After spending the two weeks prior focused on stopping two prolific offenses in Auburn and Louisville —allowing a total of 27 points in those two games — the challenge now shifts to stopping a Boston College offense that ranks 75th nationally in rushing yards per game, 101st in passing offense per game, 101st in total offense and 115th in scoring offense.

Even with the challenge seemingly taking a step back this week, for defensive coordinator Brent Venables it is getting his players to be better this week.

“If we don’t fix some of the issues that are there, whether that’s pre-snap or post-snap, that’s what people are going to see. What maybe Louisville didn’t capitalize on,” Venables said. “So we got to practice and you’re kind of hoping that you get better as the year goes on, and that’s our charge this week.”

Whether facing a Louisville offense with the likes of the reigning Heisman Trophy winner in Lamar Jackson or a Boston College offense that does not feature the game-breaking players that the Tigers have faced thus far this season, the game planning is still the same.

“It’s still comes down to stance, alignment, assignment, key, being physical, playing fast, getting off or blocks. Positioning in the throwing game, pressuring the quarterback, creating turnovers,” Venables said. “The big difference, as much as anything, is the different style of run. The quarterback’s a mobile guy, but they’re going to feature their tailback. Then they’re heavy play-actions and things of that nature. So equally as tough as far as the mental challenge of the game — just a different type of structurally different.

The biggest change for the Eagles this season comes as head coach Steve Addazio and offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler shifted from the traditional huddle offense to a hurry-up, no-huddle offense.

In their opening-season victory over Northern Illinois, the Eagles ran 92 plays out of a no-huddle, up-tempo offense — the most plays ran under Addazio (the previous high was 86 in 2014).

That leads Venables to liken the new Boston College offense to one the Tigers saw last year in Syracuse.

“They’re much improved on offense from where they were a year ago,” Venables said. “Both systematically they’ve changed in regards to being a very fast Syracuse-like temp team with bigger personnel and a million formations and things like that — different unit than what we saw a year ago.”