Georgia Tech’s Brad Jefferson said his teammates haven’t changed his nickname from “Gladiator” to “Sackmaster.”
After not dropping a quarterback in his first three seasons, Jefferson leads the defense with four sacks this season. He posted two more in Saturday’s win against Middle Tennessee State to take the team lead away from Steven Sylvester.
The surprise is the outside linebackers like Sylvester are supposed to be getting to the quarterback, and the inside linebackers are supposed to be the run-stoppers.
Jefferson, a middle man, is doing both. In addition to being tops in sacks, he also leads the team in unassisted tackles (26) and tackles (42).
He attributed his increased production to defensive coordinator Al Groh’s play calling.
“In coach Groh’s schemes we’re blitzing more,” Jefferson said. “The blitzes are coming and I’m coming up with the sacks.”
Getting to Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker may be a challenge. Because of their mobility, Tigers quarterbacks have been sacked just six times this season, one less than Tech quarterback Joshua Nesbitt has been dropped despite Parker and backups throwing 82 more passes.
“I think Kyle Parker was a good player a year ago,” coach Paul Johnson said. “By the time that we played him in the ACC championship game, he was a lot more experienced than he was the year before. This year they are breaking in some new wide receivers, but he has thrown the ball really well.”