Learning on the fly

CLEMSON - Gifford Timothy had only 45 snaps under his belt before he was named Clemson's starting right tackle.

Ten starts and 799 snaps later, Timothy appreciates how much that game day experience means to his development.

"After this season, I can see how much difference game time makes in your game," he said. "I've just noticed it in myself. In practice, you can work on things that you've seen in game film that you need to work on.

"It's definitely a better teaching tool for you; because you can see how you're doing against people you're seeing every week on TV. I've had an opportunity to go against guys that are probably going to be in the league next year."

This season, Timothy has faced up with the likes of Bjoern Werner, Corey Lemonier and Devin Taylor.

That trio combined for 2.5 sacks against Clemson. Lemonier had two of the sacks, both of which were in the first half of the first game of the season.

Not bad for a guy who's played the entire season at less than 100 percent.

Timothy admitted earlier this month that his knee hasn't fully recovered since the meniscus surgery he underwent in August.

"It's probably about 90-95 [percent]," he said. "It's not quite there, but it's getting there, definitely. I've noticed, just in this last couple of weeks of practice, it's been coming along pretty well."

Even at less than 100 percent, Timothy said the knee hasn't hampered his play this season.

"It doesn't keep me from just being able to not do something," he said. "It definitely -- sometimes -- will slow me down. Maybe, it will get a little weak, at times. It's not too crucial to where I couldn't play or move my best."

Timothy will cross paths will another premier pass rusher in the Chick-fil-A Bowl when he lines up across from LSU's Barkevious Mingo.

"He's got some really good speed off the edge. He's got a good motor. He's always going, so it will be a good challenge for me again," Timothy said. "Just about everybody else this year, it's been end after end."

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