South Carolina focuses on red-zone defense ahead of matchup with Clemson
South Carolina has the 10th-best red-zone defense in college football and have allowed points to opponents on only 29 of 41 red-zone trips.
As the Gamecocks prepare for Saturday night’s rivalry game against No. 4 Clemson, players know they’ll need to continue that success when the Tigers cross the 20-yard line.
LB T.J. Holloman told The State the Gamecocks’ defense focuses on red-zone situations a lot:
“We dedicate days in the week to red zone defense,” South Carolina linebacker T.J. Holloman said. “We dedicate multiple periods a day to studying team’s keys and tendencies in the red zone. I feel like that extra time we put into it has made us really successful.”
Coach Will Muschamp said red-zone defense is about knowing the situation and being mentally prepared to stop it:
“We want to make sure our guys know how to play down there,” he said. “From a secondary standpoint, it’s so frustrating to watch teams play and see defensive backs back into the end zone, guys catch the ball at the 2-yard line and fall into the end zone for a touchdown. That’s just situational awareness about where you are on the field, but you can’t just talk about it. You have to really practice it.”
If the Gamecocks are going to pull off a massive upset on Saturday night, they’ll need to be ready for Clemson QB Deshaun Watson’s ability to both run and pass in the red zone.
Watch the Gamecocks and Tigers square off on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday.