While the national media focuses on the turnover chain at Miami, the Clemson Tigers quietly carry a stout defense of their own into Charlotte Saturday.
Twenty-three members of the ACC All-Conference teams announced this week split the rosters of Miami and Clemson, but the six first-team members all have something in common: they all play in the trenches.
All four members of Clemson’s defensive line were on the second team and above, with Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins all earning first-team billing.
While Miami can boast the nation’s biggest turnover margin, Clemson brings the ACC’s second best scoring defense and two years of ACC Championship Game experience to the table.
Ferrell believes that experience will help the Tigers greatly on Saturday:
You could argue that one of the first-team snubs is Butkus Award Finalist LB Dorian O’Daniel who sits Clemson’s leading tackler approaching the century mark (95).
Also of note, O’Daniel and Austin Bryant, Clemson’s leaders in tackles for loss both ended up as second-team honorees.
O’Daniel says he doesn’t have to look hard for motivation to play this week.
The man who made the most important play on defense against the Gamecocks for Clemson, Ryan Carter, was named as an Honorable Mention in the ACC All-Conference list.
Carter’s interception return for touchdown sparked Clemson on defense in their victory over South Carolina, and his leadership of a secondary that’s been depleted at times has been extraordinary.
Clemson will be without Mark Fields, who re-aggravated his ankle against USC last week.
Carter says he’ll be ready to lead once again:
Clemson and Miami meet in the ACC Championship Game Saturday night at 8 PM in Charlotte.