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
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,"
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.
Scoop and score
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