Just like in times past, Clemson's D-line could tell the tale against Georgia

DeShawn Williams on what the Tigers learned from LSU: 'It took a little bit of 'enough is enough.' You have to do something about it'

Clemson's DeShawn Williams during spring practice.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's DeShawn Williams during spring practice.

Win or lose, do or die.

What match-up is most likely to decide the Clemson-Georgia game?

Forget all the bells and whistles and get ready for some grunt-and-grind football.

It's the Clemson-Georgia tradition.

Look for Clemson's tag-team defensive front to spell the difference against Georgia's rock-solid, all-starters-back offensive line.

One way or the other.

We saw what happened last December when the Tigers' defensive front ran roughshod over LSU's vaunted offensive front.

We saw what happened a game earlier when South Carolina's offensive line had its way with Clemson's front four.

And, not to belabor the Gamecock references, but we also saw how, and by what means, South Carolina ambushed Mark Richt's Dawgs early last season.

Clemson has good reason to think that the emergence of its defensive line as a dominant force against LSU was more than coincidence.

The Tigers' coaches put their players through the wringer in preparation for LSU, know that anything less than matching the Bayou Bengals' physicality would be a recipe for disaster.

They weren't too nice about it words-wise, either.

No football player likes to be called soft. No one likes being described as his team's weak link.

For the Tigers, those were fighting words. Even if, and perhaps especially, because they came from within their own camp.

DeShawn Williams remembers. And he's got a pretty good idea of what it's going to take to beat Georgia.

"We took it upon ourselves that we weren't going to get bullied any more," Williams said. "It took a little bit of 'enough is enough.' You have to do something about it."

"They didn't like what we told them," defensive line Dan Brooks said prior to camp, at the Tigers' summer media day. "I told them 'somebody's going to get their nose bloodied, either you or them - that's the way they play the game.'

"The good part is that our guys bought into it."

Williams said the Tigers' preparations for Georgia have mirrored those physical practice sessions between the South Carolina and LSU games.

"We've been doing the paw drill almost every day - goal line, short yardage, everything," he said. "In the three years I've been here, this is by far the hardest and most physical camp I've ever been in.

"We know the game is going to be a hard, grinding game. It is going to be down and dirty. You have to just bow up and play.”

Georgia's offensive line won't be easy to move; but if Williams and his teammates - Josh Watson, Grady Jarrett, D.J. Reader, Carlos Watkins, Vic Beasley, Tavaris Barnes, Corey Crawford, Rod Byers and Kevin Dodd - can get the job done, they'll set the stage for a rocking night in the Valley.

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Comments » 2

rsb8931#286014 writes:

We shall see. Forgive me for not sharing in their optimism and I for sure am not as confident as the team seems to be. And that's good, because I'm not going to be playing. It's good they have been practicing so hard and it's even better they know what it's gonna take to beat Georgia. It seems to me the team knows what's going on and what they have to do to get the job done. That's a lot more than I can say for myself.

TrevorT writes:


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