All about accountability

CLEMSON - Believe it or not, Corico Hawkins' focus won't always be Cameron Newton this Saturday night when Clemson plays No. 15 Auburn.

Something about that just doesn't seem right.


After all, Newton has rushed for 120.5 yards a game and accounted for 281.5 yards of offense through two games this season.

But it all comes down specific responsibilities on any given down, distance and/or personnel groupings.

"The quarterback isn't our biggest focus. There are 11 guys on each side of the football. You have to be able to read your keys," Hawkins said. "You can't just focus on the quarterback. If we focus on the quarterback, it'll be a long day for us.

"I have more responsibilities and more things to focus on, besides the quarterback."

At 6-foot-6, 250 pounds Newton is built more like the defensive ends trying to tackle him.

But Hawkins is hardly overwhelmed by the biggest quarterback he'll have played against.

"He has on pads, just like everybody else has on pads," Hawkins said. "We'll do our best to try to tackle him. Do what we've got to do to keep him in the pocket contained so he doesn't do as much scrambling."

That's where defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said Newton is most dangerous.

"Now, when you've got guys in coverage and you have a pass rush and he gets through the pass rush, there's obviously a difference," Steele said. "You only have to watch football on Sunday. When Peyton Manning scrambles, there's a difference when Michael Vick scrambles. That adds a whole other dimension to things."

With all the pre-snap eye candy—shifts, motions, etc.—and some misdirection that happens afterwards, there's a premium placed on discipline.

"You have to play with your eyes and read your keys and do your job. Everything else will take care of itself," Hawkins said.

For Hawkins, it's all about accountability on Saturday night.

"If everybody is doing their job and is on the same page, we'll be successful," he said. Top Stories