Clemson defense becoming dominant

CLEMSON - Kevin Steele was so overcome with excitement after DeAndre McDaniel grabbed his fourth interception of the season, the Clemson defensive coordinator hyperventilated.

"I went black and I went down," he said after Saturday's 14-13 win over N.C. State in Death Valley.

Steele's defense has been lights out lately. Since the 31-7 win over Maryland, Clemson has allowed just four touchdowns--exactly one in each of the last four games.

"What they've done is they've started a consistency over the last four or five games in a row now where they've just being relentless in trying to keep them out of the end zone," he said.

Of the five red zone trips by the Wolfpack on Saturday, only one resulted in a touchdown. Two others ended with field goals. The missed scoring opportunities were a blocked field goal by Jarvis Jenkins and McDaniel's interception--both of which occurred in the second quarter.

"Once I got over there, I saw him laying down," McDaniel said of Steele's black out. "I don't know what caused it. I don't know what happened. I didn't get to see it. He got up and finished the game with us. It made us happy."

McDaniel's interception tied him for 16th in the country. He is also now tied for second in Clemson history with Fred Knoebel in career interceptions (15).

Terry Kinard owns the all-time Clemson record with 17.

"He was happy for me. I was happy he put me in that position. We were happy together," McDaniel said.

Da'Quan Bowers continues to push his name through the Clemson record books, too. The nation's leader in sacks recorded two on Saturday.

He is now tied for second place in Clemson history for sacks in a season with Gaines Adams, who recorded 12.5 in 2006.

Clemson (5-4, 3-3 ACC) will head to Florida State (6-3, 4-2 ACC) on Saturday for an 8 p.m. tilt at Doak Campbell Stadium.

A win would keep the Tigers' push for a second-straight ACC Atlantic Division title alive.

"This is going to create a lot of momentum for us. we have to keep up the intensity on the defensive side of the ball, and the offense is going to get it together," Bowers said. "We're going to take it down to Tallahassee and try to get the victory." Top Stories