Scoop and score

CLEMSON - Vic Beasley doesn't scoop and score if Tony Steward doesn't make the play just like Brent Venables drew it up.

There may not have been a bigger play in Clemson's 24-14 win over Boston College on Saturday afternoon in Death Valley.

On third-and-8 from the Eagles' 27, Steward strip sacked Chase Rettig for a 14-yard loss. Rettig's fumble was recovered at the 13 by Beasley, who the scored his first career touchdown.

"If you ask Tony, that's literally how you drew it up, that particular call," Venables said. "Expecting [Rettig] to scramble weak, Tony being right there, being able to scrape and add on. He did a great job."

The touchdown added to Clemson's 3-point, fourth quarter lead.

"Anytime you can score on defense, tight game or not, it's huge. It's difficult to do. It was a very critical time in the game, created a lot of momentum for us," Venables said. "Nobody deserves it more than Tony, the things he's been through. He really seized his opportunity."

Venables had no problem allowing Steward to spell Spencer Shuey at such a crucial point in the game.

"[Steward is] a good player. He's earned that right," Venables said. "Spencer's a good player. It's nice to have that kind of depth in a tough, physical game. Good teams have that kind of depth. Those guys have got to be ready, next man up and play at that same level. That's not always going to be the case.

"Fortunately, for us at linebacker, that is the case."

Dabo Swinney "praised" Steward in the locker room and again in front of reporters.

"That won't be the last sack he'll have," Swinney said.

For a time, there was some doubt as to whether or not Steward would get his first. A victim to two torn ACLs in as many years, it's been a long road back for the former four-star prospect.

"He's really the epitome of perseverance and toughness," Swinney said. "He's really been playing a lot more here lately, just throwing him in there. We've got a great senior leader in front of him -- Shuey -- out there in front of him.

"We've been trying to roll him in there a little bit more. We've got a lot of confidence in Tony. Really, really practicing well, very engaged. He just feels good and looks good. Really happy to see him make a huge play like that. That was the momentum play that kind of turned the worm for us."

Off the snap, Beasley bull-rushed the left tackle.

"I saw Tony come out. I saw him sack the quarterback, then I saw the ball on the ground. I just ran over there and scooped it up, scoop and score," he said.

Beasley, who notched his first sack of the game later in the quarter, was confident that he would score after he spotted the ball on the ground. No worries about butter fingers or tripping over his own feet.

"I'm not clumsy like that. I was thinking, I'm trying to get this touchdown," Beasley said.

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