Clemson junior defensive end Vic Beasley is tied atop the conference after week one with two sacks, continuing a run that really kick-started midseason 2012.
In his first 16 games (109 snaps), Beasley posted two sacks, but in his last seven contests, he is the conference’s active leader with eight.
“Not sure what he graded out at (but) he rushed the passer well,” Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables said. “He’s got that ability. He was fine in the run game. It’s a great start.
"Any time you can affect the QB the way we did up front – and he was a big part of that – that’s always going to be a big factor to get after people.”
Tigers riding the “hot hand” at running back: Rod McDowell has more than earned his job as the No. 1 tailback.
He’s currently second in the ACC in rushing yards (132) after a career-breakthrough night after four years in the shadows in TigerTown.
Still, the senior knows he can’t become complacent – so he’s ignoring the depth chart right now.
“I don’t feel like I’m the guy,” McDowell said. “I feel like somebody’s in front of me that I have to catch…That’s why I have to keep working 24/7 and I’m pushing myself. I keep telling coach (Tony) Elliott every day to keep pushing me.”
Coming out of camp, “running back by committee” was the idea going into the opener, but at halftime, “Hot Rod” was only the Tiger running back with a carry and he shouldered 76 percent of the RB touches on the game.
McDowell says he was just the “hot hand.”
Brooks hauls in first TD
“At the end of the day, coaches tell us whoever’s got the hot hand we’ll keep feeding it,” he said. “So I guess last Saturday I had the hot hand and Zac (Brooks) and everybody else throughout the season will have the hot hand and they’ll feed them. I was blessed enough to go in there and contribute.”
Brooks, a sophomore, made the most of his three carries at a 6.7 yards per clip, and he says his and McDowell’s nights embody the attitude of the team overall.
“Rod put in an extreme amount of work and he put in his time after he had waiting so long for his opportunity,” Brooks said, “and I had been waiting a while for my opportunity. When the opportunity presented itself, we both stepped up to the plate and I believe that defines Clemson.
“When the opportunity presents itself, we step up to the plate.”