Bowden: Adams Needs to Crank It Up

NASHVILLE – Gaines Adams stands just two sacks away from breaking the Clemson all-time record held by Tiger legend for former NFL great Michael Dean Perry. However, it's a number Adams has been sitting on for the last two games.

Adams has 26 career sacks, 15.5 of which have come this year, and Perry has 28. But trying to get those final two sacks hasn't been easy.

The opposition has decided to use Adams' speed against him.

Against South Carolina, the left tackle, who is clearly no match for Adams, allowed the star Bandit to use his speed and rush to the outside in hopes of getting to the quarterback.

Every time Adams took an outside route, which was every time, the tackle just pushed him a little further to the outside and the quarterback took one step forward into the pocket, escaping the senior's clutches.

"Part of the reason we had such a hard time trying to stop the run (against South Carolina) is because everybody is trying to sack the darn quarterback," Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning said. "They'd do spread sets, they'd hand the ball off and there's cavities in there that most NFL linebackers couldn't cover. They need to do what they're supposed to do and the sacks will come."

Koenning said that he and Bandit coach Ron West tried to get Adams to either bull rush the tackle or take an inside route because they believed he couldn't handle the much more athletic Adams.

However, Adams kept rushing to the outside.

"We got a guy rushing to Seneca and back trying to sack the quarterback," Koenning said.

Adams said he wants the sack record, but that he's not going to stress too much over it. He also said he believes he played well in his last two games and didn't do anything wrong.

"Not trying to put as much pressure on me for getting those sacks, but I would love to break the record," he said. "But I'm not going to put much pressure on me. I'm just going to go out and play."

Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden said regardless if Adams gets to the record or not, he needs to play much better than he has recently.

"He needs to crank it on up here," Bowden said. "He was trottled down. Those teams had a pretty good plan. He needs to crank it up another level this week and finish strong."

Koenning said keeping players focused on the big picture is one of the harder parts of coaching, especially when a record is within site.

"He doesn't need to go and try to (break the record)," Koenning said. "That's something that we've got to get through to their heads. It's something we've tried to harp on, but I know when they see pass sets, here we go. He'll have plenty of opportunities to rush the pass the next 10 or 12 years."

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