Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson earlier this week said that Clemson safety DeAndre McDaniel is one of the best players the Jackets have faced since he took over as coach in 2008. In ’08, he had seven tackles as a reserve against Tech. Last season, he had 10 tackles and a pair of interceptions in the regular season, and nine tackles in the ACC Championship game.
The most disruptive Clemson defender is defensive end Da’Quan Bowers.
The 6-foot-6, 294-pound junior was considered the No. 1 or No. 2 high school prospect in the nation in ’07, and leads the nation with 14.5 tackles for lost yardage. His nine sacks are most in school history for the first six games, and he’s third on the team in tackles (37) behind safeties Rashard Hill (41) and McDaniel (38) despite playing 47 fewer snaps than Hill and 76 fewer than McDaniel.
Coach Paul Johnson said, “We may have to,” double-team Bowers. “If we were going to, I wouldn’t tell [you].”
Bowers said, “My job is to . . . squeeze down on the tackle . . . and take the fullback. If my reads are wrong, I’m going to screw up about five or six other people.”
A-back Roddy Jones, who could be involved with Tech tackles in those double teams, said, “We’ve got some stuff in there where we may help out a little bit. It’s nothing different than what we’ve done last year and the year before. But I don’t think we’ve put in anything extra to take us out of our game plan.”
Heisman a two-timer
Did you know that John Heisman coached at Clemson before he took the Georgia Tech job in 1904? In fact, the legendary coach was at the helm at each school for its highest scoring game. Tech beat Cumberland 222-0 behind Heisman in 1916, and led Clemson to a 122-0 win over Guilford College in 1901. He had a record of 19-3-2 at Clemson, and 102-29-7 at Tech.
– Matt Winkeljohn, for the AJC