Quandon Christian's Orange Bowl resolution: 'Do my job, play loose, make my plays'

'It would be great to get another fumble for a touchdown, or an interception and maybe a couple of sacks'

Football  - Quandon Christian pressures Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas

Photo by Mark Crammer

Football - Quandon Christian pressures Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas

In his five years at Clemson, Quandon Christian has heard it a zillion times: keep your mind on your own business, stay in your rushing lane, maintain gap discipline, do your job!

For three seasons he heard it from Kevin Steele. For the past two years, he's heard much the same from Brent Venables.

And still, Christian says it's hard. Not because of a lack of understanding or attention or a lapse in want-to, but just because of human nature.

"You can get caught up trying to make plays that aren't yours to make," said Christian, who'll play his final college game against Ohio State in the Orange Bowl. "It's a struggle. I've got caught doing that a few times.

"I came into this year saying 'I'm going to do my job, just do my job.' But you get out on the field, the juices get going, and sometimes it still happens. I'm going into my last game with the mindset that it won't happen again."

Ohio State's dynamic running duo of quarterback Braxton Miller and running back Carlos Hyde will test Christian and his Clemson defensive teammates to the max.

Miller is of particular concern, especially in light of how South Carolina's Connor Shaw torched the Tigers last time out with both called and improvised runs.

"We had a couple of mistakes against South Carolina and he took advantage of that," Christian said. "I think it just comes down to guys trying to do too much in a ball game - trying to make a big play in a big game. You know you're on TV, you know it's a big game, you want to make all the plays, and you forget to do your job."

If that happens against Ohio State, Christian knows the results are likely to be disastrous.

"Conner Shaw was a load - really quick, in that way a lot like Braxton," Christian said. "But Braxton Miller, man, he could play wide receiver - he could play wide receiver at the next level. He's that fast, that quick. He could be a running back.

"He's a great athlete and very smart. He makes his decisions based on what the defense gives him. He takes what they give him and turns them into big plays. And he's so fast - probably a 4.3 guy in the 40.

"We have to do our jobs, take it from there and see what happens."

By doing that, Christian knows he'll give himself his best chance at having an enjoyable Clemson finale.

"I'm going to turn it up in this last game," he said. "It would be great to get another fumble for a touchdown, or an interception and maybe a couple of sacks.

"I try to play loose every game. But this is my last game, so I'll be extra loose, just trying to make my plays."

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