Friday football notebook

CLEMSON - Quandon Christian is ready to tackle somebody not wearing orange.

In eight days, he'll get to do just that.

"We're tired of hitting our own guys. We're ready to hit somebody else," he said.

Christian and the rest of the Tigers turned their focus over to Troy on Thursday, the first practice since preseason camp came to a conclusion.

The Trojans head to Tigertown on Sept. 3 for a 3:30 showdown.

"They're a great team. They almost beat Oklahoma State and Oklahoma State went 11-2 last year," Christian said. "So they're a pretty good team."

Landon Walker can empathize with the defenders. He knows they're ready to hit an opponent.

Heck, so is he.

"We need the four days in between to prepare and put this new game plan," Walker said. "Obviously, the time is now. We've got to have the time. But we couldn't be more ready to hit somebody else."

He, like Christian, had plenty of good things to say about Troy.

"They're a very, very good team, especially defensively, up front. The left defensive end -- I don't know his name right now, but I'll definitely learn it -- he's very good pass rusher," Walker said.

Roderick McDowell will be one part of the five-headed monster at running back this fall. (Roy Philpott)
It's Jonathan Massaquoi, No. 94. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound junior was third on the team with 52 tackles and first with 13.5 sacks a year ago.

Across the front, Walker said, the Trojans are solid.

"They've got a good defensive line. A lot of guys aren't there anymore, but it's Troy. They're going to put some guys on the field to rush the passer.

"They've been a very physical team up front, in the last decade or so, especially the last five years, to win the conference. They're not light up front, that's for sure."

Roderick McDowell's a team guy, and his job for 2011 is a simple one.

"My role is to just go out there and execute. When my name is called, I'm just going to go out there and do what I've got to do, do what I've been coached to do," he said.

According to McDowell, any of the running backs, whether it's Andre Ellington, Mike Bellamy, D.J. Howard Demont Buice or him, are all capable of making plays.

"It doesn't matter who goes in there, whoever goes in there. D.J., Speedy, Demont -- everybody -- we go out there and have fun," McDowell said. "No matter who's in there, we go and ball out."

Eight days and counting. Top Stories