Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The Jackets have owned Clemson of late, but the 4-1 Tigers look poised for a big win against GT on Saturday.
The Clemson vs. Georgia Tech series has been lopsided of late, with the Yellow Jackets winning five of the last six meetings between the schools. But the Jackets are reeling from a loss to MTSU and Clemson seems to be firing on all if not most cylinders. Still, the Paul Johnson triple option has a way of surprising defenses, and Clemson's somewhat shaky second half against Boston College could be cause for alarm.
New defensive coordinator Brent Venables will have to contend with GT's cut blocking, something SB Nation Clemson blog Shakin The Southland credits as a reason for Tech's recent success:
I think our defensive players hate playing GT because they know they will get cut. It is a chore on the schedule and not one I think they look forward to playing. That is kind of an obvious statement (who really wants to play the triple option) but in an interview with Corey Crawford it really hit home for me this feeling among the players when he was asked about offensive lineman cutting and diving for knees:
"That's the worst thing ever. It's just nagging. I dislike it. I can't really describe how bad I dislike it. It's the worst."
Clearly there's an element of apprehension in the Clemson defense going into Tech, something Venables addressed:
We’re going to go after it. It’s part of the risk and reward. You don’t cut, then you’re going to get mowed down on game day, because you’re not ready for it. You cut, that’s a chance you’ve got to take. I think it’s a risk-reward deal that I think our guys need to feel. They need to experience it, so we’ll do it.
Read more on the Clemson coaching staff's thoughts on Georgia Tech here.