What they're saying: Clemson defense
A collection of quotes from Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, on preparing for West Virginia's offense:
On WVU's loss of running back Dustin Garrison: "You know, we're really big about ... it's about what we do. It's about how we line up and our accountability and responsibility to do our job and not so much about who is over on the other side and what jersey number it is or what player. And we try to approach every game like that, every snap like that.
"But the truth of the matter is, as a coach, you know obviously the guy is a starter for a reason. He's a very, very good player, very productive for them. But we've just gone about the business as they're going to have a guy out there that's very capable just like we will if we put a guy to replace a starter."
On WVU's inconsistent offensive line: "Well, first of all, when you're dealing with college football and the depth of offensive lines, I think every coach and every defensive coordinator would tell you very rarely do you see the same guys start anymore, and if you do, it's usually a team that's very high ranked, very good, had a very productive offensive year. Those guys get injured a lot. You see different five starters week in and week out, so you kind of get used to that as a defensive coach."
On the quirks of WVU's system: "There are football coaches that I've coached with that say you can't play football and lead two open edges all the time and throw the football, but they do and they do it very effectively. I think the big thing is when you've got a quarterback that gets the ball out of his hand, is accurate with his throws and the route runners are quick, catch the ball on the run and then get yardage after the catch; it can be very effective. It's been very effective for [Hal] Mumme, [Mike] Leach, those guys, and it's a tough offense to defend."
On dealing with a no-huddle pace: "In terms of the speed of it, there's so much no-huddle offense in college football now. In fact, our offense is no-huddle; we practiced against it all camp, we practiced against it in the spring. So we kind of have a system of getting our calls in, getting them in fast, just make sure you get lined up, and then it allows you to do what you've got to do, whatever that is."
On WVU quarterback Geno Smith's proficiency in the shotgun formation: He does a great job at what we call catch and throw. He's got good field vision because when you're in the gun all the time, people don't realize when you're underneath the center you've got your eyes down the field, so you take the snap and you're seeing what's there. You know there's middle-of-the-field coverage, your eyes are always downfield. But when you're in the gun all the time, at some point in time you've got to watch the ball into your hands.
On his trips to the Orange Bowl, with different teams: "Well, I think this is eight, I think, seven or eight. That either means that you've been with really, really good teams or you're getting older, and both of those are true. When you coach at Nebraska, Florida State, Alabama and Clemson, obviously you've got good teams, so they bring you to games like the Orange Bowl. I think the Nebraska run I think was four or five in a row, so you get kind of familiar with the Orange Bowl.