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Carter sees Tigers’ defense ‘gelling’ ahead of Wake Forest

Ashleigh Snyder
Clemson junior linebacker Barrett Carter (0) currently leads the team in solo tackles, and is second in total tackles.

As Clemson prepares for an upcoming stretch of conference games, the Tigers’ defense is growing in cohesion as the unit spends more time on the field together.

Junior linebacker Barrett Carter sees a bright future for his unit.

“I think we’re definitely gaining confidence as the games go,” Carter said. “That’s definitely our goal as a defense — just get better every single week.”

“Especially after these last couple games, I feel like we really started gelling,” he added. “We’ve really been in sync as to the game planning, what we need to do to take that next step as a team, especially as a defense.”

That confidence is translating onto the field as well. Through five games, Clemson sits atop the ACC in total yards allowed per game, holding its opponents to an average of just 266.4.

Clemson is shifting its focus this week to Wake Forest, as the Tigers are preparing for a rematch against a team that dropped a season-high 45 points on their defense a year ago.

“Defensively, that was not a good game for us,” Carter said of their last meeting. “I think that was probably one of our worst that we played last year. So we have to just rewatch that film and see what we did wrong as a defense, as a team, and not make those same mistakes.”

Despite the departure of quarterback Sam Hartman from Wake Forest, Clemson is still preparing for the test the Demon Deacons offense will present. Wake Forest uses a “slow mesh” playstyle, where the typical run-pass option play is elongated from one second to about 2.5 seconds, and the Wake Forest quarterback begins the handoff process by holding the ball against a running back’s chest while reading the defense before choosing to run or pass it.

“It definitely requires a lot of patience,” the linebacker said. “You never know if (the quarterback) is going to hand it off or if (the quarterback) is going to pull it and throw it, so it is definitely going to take a lot of eye discipline as well.”

“Really, not much has changed from last year. As long as we do what we are capable of doing, as long as we execute the play calls that are called, we should be fine going into this weekend.”

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Ashleigh Snyder
Ashleigh Snyder, Photo Editor
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