CUTrevor 2018-12-26 19:39:51

I've been traveling all day, but I'll have interviews with Venables, Elliott, Scott, Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, Wilkins, Ferrell, Lamar and Hyatt posted as soon as I can. Stay tuned! The big Cotton Bowl Media Day is Thursday, so be sure to check in for that as well. They press conference with Dabo and Brian Kelly is Friday. I will have the What We Are Hearing posted by Friday afternoon!

CUTrevor 2018-12-27 12:21:53

Hey, guys, it was a hellacious trip getting to Dallas from Baltimore. I was caught in that storm that had so many flights delayed, and I didn't get to my hotel here in Dallas until after 5:00 this morning! I'll have a bunch of stuff for you here over the next few hours, so stay tuned!

CUTrevor 2018-12-27 14:29:42


What does it mean to not have Dexter [Lawrence]? 

VENABLES: Obviously you've got to be preparing as if you don't have him? First and foremost, you're really hurt for him and his family. A guy that we wouldn't be here without what Dexter has contributed, what he's done for us. His play is one of the 11 on defense and then some. And so you really hurt for him having to miss on this opportunity. But really thankful that it was important for Coach Swinney to have these guys here and to still be a part of this experience.

And for us, it's like an injury and I've spent zero time oh, is he going to play, what's the chance? I don't know. Being real honest, but I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it. I've got a lot of confidence in Albert [Huggins] and Nyles [Pinckney]. They've played a lot of winning football, not just this year. Last year when Dexter was probably 50% of what he is now as a player, and they've both played a lot of really good football.

So injury's a part of the game, and that's what we're treating it like. I have nothing to do with the process, so I have spent no time really thinking about it.

Do you slide Nyles [Pinckney] into that spot or is it a combination of Nyles and Albert [Huggins]? 

VENABLES: Yeah, just like we've played all three of them all year. So now we'll play all two of them, plus Jordan Williams. You know, Jordan has gotten back healthy the last part of the season and he's going to be a good player. So he's repping in, too.

You've been doing this job for a long time. Has it ever been harder – it just seems like the offenses are just crazy at this point. Has it ever been harder to be a defensive coordinator? 

VENABLES: I got broken into coaching going against Nebraska mid-'90s.

That was pretty tough, too. That was option, and geez, they executed better than anybody. And so it's all – you know, I love my job so I don't look at it as 'hard.'

Is it challenging, gotten any more challenging? 

VENABLES: For them guys out there playing. I'm not playing. Yeah, I mean, I think it's well-known, it's well-documented just the different styles of offenses, the things that are en vogue now and the RPOs and some false reads and things like that. But we try to be multiple, stay aggressive, and it's been good for us. Not perfect, but it's been good for us.

So I love that challenge. That for me, I just – I love the challenge. And doesn't mean I always like the result, but I love the challenge. And I love trying to get your players to not only understand how to stop and defend and handle these different styles, but I love for them to be able to know it like a coach. As a teacher, that's something I take a lot of pride in and joy in.

CUTrevor 2018-12-27 14:30:14

I've got a bunch more coming....