Calm, cool and collected

CLEMSON - All defensive coordinator Kevin Steele needed from Da'Quan Bowers at Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday night was a little bit of patience.

And he got it.

Despite Clemson's 27-24 loss to No. 15 Auburn, the junior defensive end picked up a team-high 9 tackles, ½ sack and a game-high 3 tackles for loss.

"I was able to make a lot of plays by just doing simply my job. They came to me like coach Steele said they would," Bowers said.

At the West End Zone on Tuesday, he admitted there have been times over the past two seasons when his play was too erratic. Bowers would try to go out and find the play instead of sitting at home and waiting for it to come his way.

The pupil credited his teacher for Saturday night's performance.

"I think it was just basically scheming, being in some great situations," Bowers said. "I was able to read some key blocks and react off them pretty swift. It allowed me to make some plays I probably couldn't have made last year, playing wild and not doing technique."

As a result, a career-best night.

"I do indeed think that's probably one of my better games I've had since I've been here," Bowers said. "If I continue to do what coach Steele asks me, I think I can have a couple of more games like that."

Keeping containment of Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton was one of the biggest points of concern in the week leading up to the game. Bowers played a big role in holding Newton to 68 yards and no touchdowns on 17 carries.

"I think we had a decent game against him," Bowers said. "We didn't stop him at crucial times, when we needed to. Other than that, it was a few small details that we could have fixed. I think we had a pretty good game against him."

Outside of the 21-point third quarter, the Clemson defense had a near flawless performance.

The visiting Tigers gave up just over 150 yards in the first, second and fourth quarters, plus overtime. In the third quarter, the home Tigers racked up over 250.

"We've just got to learn how to finish as a whole unit. As a defense, close the game out," Bowers said.

All Bowers needs to concern himself with is his assignment.

"It's all about doing your job and having faith in the other 10 people on the field to do their job," he said. "When everything collides together, you have a pretty good defense." Top Stories