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No. 11 Clemson defense tightening up

By PETE IACOBELLI
AP Sports Writer

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables knew he had talented players, even if they hadn't always shown that early on. Now, the Tigers are showing they can play a little defense, too.

No. 11 Clemson put on its best defensive showing of the season, holding Maryland to 180 yards in a 45-10 victory on Saturday. The Tigers (9-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) have been fueled all season by a record-setting offense that's scored 45 points a game during its 6-game win streak. These days, the high-flying offense is backed up by a defense that seemed a lost cause earlier in the year.

Venables is the first year coordinator brought in to tighten up a group that gave up a bowl-record 70 points in losing to West Virginia in the Orange Bowl

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