The Tigers defense will try to show that they haven't fallen off from last year. Now Clemson wasn't necessarily a shutdown defense but they made enough plays when it really mattered.
With returners like, Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence and LR's Marcus Edmond, this year's group wants to make their own mark while also upholding the legacy of a defensive core from a few seasons ago. That's what reigning national assistant coach of the year and Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables has been emphasizing with his defense. The message is starting to come through.
"The 2014 defense set the standard. Coach Venables tells us that all the time," sophomore defensive end Clelin Ferrell said. Ferrell posted 12.5 tackles for loss and six sacks last season for Clemson.
"We just want to make a name for ourselves and engrave our names in Clemson history and just be a part of a defense who can say we did the same thing and set the standard."
The Richmond, VA native also emphasized the goal that this year's Clemson defense has set for themselves.
"Every year on our defense we're top 5, top 10 in tackles for loss and sacks but I feel like we still need to put everything together as whole defense to claim that number one spot. That would be a great feat if we could do that."
The defending national champs will finally get show how good they can be on both sides of the ball this Saturday when they take on Kent State at noon inside Memorial Stadium.