CLEMSON — The nature of college football coaches is they’re focused on one thing at a time. Specifically, one opponent at a time.
Which is why Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables playfully dismissed a question about getting ready for the unique challenge of facing Georgia Tech 12 days away — a question asked about 12 minutes after the Tigers had finished off Virginia.
There will come a time soon to prep for the Yellow Jackets’ triple option offense, which has rushed for more yards than any other team in the country since head coach Paul Johnson arrived from Navy in 2008.
But if you’ll excuse the Tigers, they’ll take a few days for rest and relaxation.
“This (bye week) comes at a great time. As good as we’re playing, and we’d like to keep playing and get in rhythm, we need this bye week,” Venables said Saturday.
Head coach Dabo Swinney announced Monday on his teleconference that running back C.J. Davidson and special-teamer Ronald Geohaghan suffered knee injuries (MCL), which may keep them out in the interim but avoided severe ligament damage. Cornerback Garry Peters is expected to return after a three-game absence with a foot injury, and running back Zac Brooks continues to recover from a bad shoulder.
The Tigers have not quite two full weeks off, but they do have extra time before their next game Nov. 14 against Coastal division rival Georgia Tech.
“As far as our schedule, it will be the same,” Swinney said. “But as far as how we work, we got a lot of guys beat up right now. We’ve got to get them fresh.”
After the Yellow Jackets visit Death Valley, Clemson follows up with a nine-day break before bringing in The Citadel, and then the traditional seven-day lead-up to South Carolina.
“I think our schedule sets up good as we finish this month out,” Swinney said. “We can get some guys healthy and rejuvenated this week. We’re doing a little work on ourselves, and start the process of getting ready for Georgia Tech.
“I know everybody thinks it’s an open date on the schedule, but it’s really a work weekend for us because it’s a Thursday night game.”
Coulda woulda played
Had true freshmen Mackensie Alexander and Adrian Baker avoided the injury bug, Swinney said they would have had a real chance to appear this season in the Tigers’ defensive backfield.
When cornerback Martin Jenkins proved his ability and health, the decision was made to sit down Marcus Edmond for the rest of the season as well.
“I think we’ve got a good young group there,” Swinney said of the secondary, which only loses senior Darius Robinson for 2014.
Other rookies who have not played yet this year and are headed for redshirts include running backs Tyshon Dye and Wayne Gallman, offensive linemen Tyrone Crowder and Maverick Morris, defensive ends Ebenezer Ogundeko and Dane Rogers, linebackers Dorian O’Daniel and D.J. Greenlee, defensive tackle Scott Pagano and cornerback Ryan Carter.
None of those 13 players traveled to Virginia.
Third time’s a charm
Quarterback Tajh Boyd and wide receiver Sammy Watkins were each named ACC Players of the Week at their respective positions, the third weekly honor each player has earned this year. That matches Boyd and Watkins with defensive end Vic Beasley for tops on the Tigers.