Man on a mission

CLEMSON - Miguel Chavis' frenzy of emotions usually kick into high gear on Thursday, before culminating on Saturday.

The senior defensive tackle relishes his role as one of the fiery leaders of the Clemson defense.

"I wear my heart on my sleeve. I feel like, in this game, you're supposed to," Chavis said at the West End Zone on Monday. "There are guys that are just quiet. They'll be in game prep and they're just quiet as a nun, not making any noise at all. Then, you put them on the field and they're ready to go.

"For me, I have to be into it pretty much three days ahead of time. By Thursday, I'm already getting jacked up. I have to tell my mom, ‘Don't talk to me. I'll be yelling at you over the phone.'"

His passion, of course, has translated to productive play through the first six games of the season. While his 151 snaps are fewer than the totals of Jarvis Jenkins, Brandon Thompson and Rennie Moore, he has more tackles than all three (22).

Those four will be front and center against a Georgia Tech ground attack that ranks second-best in the country with 328 yards rushing per game.

It's the same wing bone option that's given Clemson fits since Paul Johnson arrived to Georgia Tech in 2008.

Last season, the Yellow Jackets rushed for over 300 yards twice against the Tigers. The first was a 30-27 loss for Clemson in Atlanta. Round two ended with the same result, a 39-34 ACC Championship defeat in Tampa.

"We just have to stick to it, play disciplined football," Chavis said. "More than anything else don't try and make a play. Let the plays come to you, as coach [Kevin] Steele says, and just play disciplined football with the option."

There are lasting memories from last year's heart-breaking title game, starting with the final Georgia Tech drive. After 13 plays for 86 yards, nearly five minutes were milked off the clock, leaving Clemson with just over a minute to regain the lead.

"To not win the game, and to have those oranges thrown at you, not for you, it sticks with you," Chavis said.

A win would help atone for three years of defeats at the hands of Georgia Tech.

"I've never beaten a team from Atlanta or in Atlanta during my tenure here at Clemson. I need to get one, and I hope this is the one," Chavis said. Top Stories