Through two games, it’s clear to Clawson what the Deacons’ weakness has been defensively.
“I think our pass defense so far is probably what would be the weakness of our defense,” he said.
Now, it comes with a caveat. Utah State features a quarterback likely to be a first- or second-round draft pick in Jordan Love. Clawson was sure to point out that, when Love threw for 416 yards in the opener, the Deacons had receivers defended well and were simply beaten by “darts” from Love.
Against Rice, the Deacons put their cornerbacks in single coverage without as much safety or linebacker help — so that those players could be better positioned for run support. Clawson was pleased at times with breaks on the ball by those cornerbacks on islands at times — the issue is that when passes were completed, tackles were missed.
“At times we had good breaks on the ball and defended it well, and at times we didn’t defend well and, worse than that, we missed tackles,” Clawson said. “We allowed some 5- and 6-yard passes to become 19- and 25-yard plays. And we’ve gotta get those things on the ground, because it’s, like anything else, if you don’t defend it well, you’re going to see more of it.”