Clemson defense looking to earn some R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Clemson’s high-powered offense steals most of the headlines, and rightly so what with playmakers such as Tajh Boyd at quarterback, Sammy Watkins at receiver and Roderick McDowell at running back.

But the Tigers’ defense is serving notice that it shouldn’t be overlooked in its second season under defensive coordinator Brent Venables. Clemson’s defense has exhibited continued improvement, and that should be the case once again this week as the No. 3 Tigers (3-0) return home to face Wake Forest (2-2).

“It’s like basketball,” coach Dabo Swinney said. “The ball’s not always going to go in the bucket for you, but if you play great defense, sooner or later you’re going to win. I’m really proud of our defense. We’re much better than we were after three games last year, and they’re hungry. The coaches are doing a tremendous job and we have more knowledge and are healthier than we’ve been in a long time.”

Clemson has shown particularly improvement in pressuring the quarterback and rank fourth nationally at 4.0 sacks per game and fifth nationally in tackles for loss per game. The Tigers also are 17th nationally in first down defense, eighth in turnover margin and fourth in kickoff return defense.

While the defense is making a name for itself, the past few days have been trying for the program.

First, linebacker Kellen Jones was lost for the season after tearing an ACL at N.C. State. Then offensive tackle Isaiah Battle was suspended for this week’s game after punching an N.C. State player late in the Tigers’ 26-14 victory.

The turmoil continued last weekend when defensive tackle Carlos Watkins was involved in an accident near his home in Forest City, N.C., that claimed the life of a cousin. Watkins was pinned inside the vehicle for more than an hour-and-a-half before he could be rescued. He was hospitalized but amazingly suffered no broken bones or other major injuries and could return to action as soon as the Wake Forest game.

Finally, Swinney announced that starting receiver Martavis Bryant would have his playing time reduced as a “team discipline” for making a slashing gesture after scoring a touchdown against N.C. State.

“He has to continue to grow up,” Swinney said of the junior, who is the Tigers’ second-leading receiver this season with 10 catches for 160 yards. “It’s just unacceptable behavior. I wish I had seen it (during the game). I with the refs had seen it and thrown a flag because the best punishment is immediate. Everybody missed it, but TV sure didn’t miss it.”

Photo courtesy of CU Athletics

Stormy weather big winner at 30th CNB Kickoff Classic

Stormy weather big winner at 30th CNB Kickoff ClassicTwo blowouts, a lightning delay and ultimately three of the [more]

Hemingway follows family, teammates to Gamecocks

Hemingway follows family, teammates to GamecocksSix minutes after his youngest child had announced his college [more]

Seahawks, Trojans, Chiefs in preseason football poll

Seahawks, Trojans, Chiefs in preseason football pollDefending state champion Myrtle Beach opened the 2019 preseason as [more]

Ten beach games that add fun to the sand, surf, sun

Ten beach games that add fun to the sand, surf, sunThe Grand Strand’s 60-mile strip of sand and surf is [more]

New blood infuses lineup for '19 Beach Ball Classic

New blood infuses lineup for '19 Beach Ball ClassicIt’s been quite some time since this much new blood [more]

Gray becomes first Chant to win SCGA Amateur title

Gray becomes first Chant to win SCGA Amateur titleCoastal Carolina rising sophomore Tyler Gray carded four-straight rounds of [more]

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFL

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFLThe past six months have been hectic ones for Hunter [more]

Surfoff makes waves for fun times, worthy cause

Surfoff makes waves for fun times, worthy causeThe water is a second home for August Powalie. The Myrtle [more]

Jordans go coast to coast for Junior Olympics meet

Jordans go coast to coast for Junior Olympics meetIt has been a long and winding trip to California [more]

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs The distance from Myrtle Beach’s TicketReturn.com Stadium to Chicago’s Wrigley [more]

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff Classic

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff ClassicConway National Bank will sponsor the 30th annual CNB Kickoff [more]

CAC swimmers team up to capture six state titles

CAC swimmers team up to capture six state titlesSouth Carolina Swimming welcomed almost 800 swimmers from 25 Swim [more]

Surfers hang 10 for 20th Guy Daniels Memorial

Surfers hang 10 for 20th Guy Daniels MemorialAs surfers prepare to hit the South Strand this weekend [more]

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior Olympics

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sand

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sandWhat was once a leisurely pick-up game on the beach [more]

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haul

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haulNorth Myrtle Beach believes Ryan Walker is the person to [more]

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut Former Coastal Carolina standout and Los Angeles Angels second baseman [more]

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures Game

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures GameMyrtle Beach Pelicans’ catcher Miguel Amaya has been selected to [more]

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth Clinic

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth ClinicEight former big leaguers - and about 60 aspiring ones [more]

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior Olympics

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program New Myrtle Beach High volleyball coach Alyssa Hunter knows she [more]

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 years

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 yearsA child steps up to the counter to purchase his [more]

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meet

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meetThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club combined boys and [more]

Rivers named honorable mention All-American

Rivers named honorable mention All-AmericanCoastal Carolina senior outfielder Kieton Rivers was recognized as a [more]

Trio of Pelicans pitchers are midseason All-Stars

Trio of Pelicans pitchers are midseason All-StarsMyrtle Beach right-handed pitchers Javier Assad, Jesus Camargo and Paul [more]

Stormy weather big winner at 30th CNB Kickoff Classic

Stormy weather big winner at 30th CNB Kickoff ClassicTwo blowouts, a lightning delay and ultimately three of the [more]

Hemingway follows family, teammates to Gamecocks

Hemingway follows family, teammates to GamecocksSix minutes after his youngest child had announced his college [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach