Breeland comes up big after suspension

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Bashaud Breeland was forced to sit in solitary confinement for the first half of Saturday's win over Maryland.

Ejected from the Florida State game for a third quarter targeting penalty on Jameis Winston, Breeland was suspended for the first half of the 40-27 win against the Terps.

As was the case immediately after last week's ejection, Breeland was not permitted to be on the sidelines while he served his suspension. So, just like last week, he sat behind a closed door in the locker room.

"He had to sit inside like a criminal or something in the first half," Dabo Swinney said.

There wasn't even a TV for him to watch.

"It was terrible. I just had to sit in there and look at the walls and the lockers. I couldn't go out and watch the plays, couldn't do nothing," Breeland said.

The 48,134 folks in attendance served as his eyes.

"I had to listen to the crowd to see whether a big play happened for their offense or our offense," Breeland said. "It was just a bad experience."

Clemson led 16-7 when he stepped onto the field for the second Maryland drive of the third quarter. About 15 minutes later, he made one of the biggest plays of the game.

With the Tigers clinging to their 19-13 lead, Terps running back Albert Reid rushed around the right edge for a 6-yard gain. Before he could make it a 7-yard pickup, Breeland swooped in for the tackle and forced a fumble.

Spencer Shuey recovered it.

"I had my fit and the ball bounced outside of it. He came up and made a great hit, was able to pop the ball out," Shuey said. "I was able to pick it up and get an extra couple of yards."

For a moment, Shuey thought he was going to the house.

"I almost broke that tackle, but he was able to trip me up. I felt like I had a chance to take it all the way back, but I got tripped up," he said.

Tajh Boyd took care of that four plays later with a 5-yard touchdown run, to push the lead to 26-13.

"That was huge. It was huge. It was just kind of that shot of energy that you need, especially on the road," Swinney said. "We were battling back and forth."

Indeed they were. According to Swinney, Breeland did more than force a fumble to push the momentum in Clemson's favor.

"He took some things away that they were trying to do, from a matchup standpoint," Swinney said.

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