Jackson aware of close history

CLEMSON - Richard Jackson doesn't make any bones about how nervous he was going into the Middle Tennessee game.

In his first extra-point attempt since 2007, he joked with Michael Wade about not having to wait and think about attempting that first extra point.

"C.J. (Spiller's) kick off return really helped because I didn't have an entire possession to think about kicking the extra-point," he said. "I was just kind of thrown out there and it's now or nothing."

While he obviously made the extra point, Jackson later missed his first field goal attempt from 45.

"It kind of ticked me off a little bit. After that I was locked in the game," he said.

Kevin Costner's character in the movie ‘For Love of the Game' serves as a Jackson's model of focus and relaxation when he's stepping up to attempt a field goal.

"He tries to block out everything and focuses on breathing," Jackson said. "He focuses on an aiming point and tries to block out the rest.

"That's kind of (my) routine. I take the same steps and kind of pick out the spot I want to look at."

By the time he knocked down his second attempt from 22 yards, the nerves had worn off. Also good on his next two from 19 and 44 in the second quarter, he missed his final attempt from 48 yards under a light rain with five minutes left to play.

Despite the solid contact, Jackson thought both misses didn't deserve to go in. But the last attempt is always the toughest one to get over.

"You always like to finish on a make, finish on a positive," he said.

Even though the snap was a little high for Wade to handle, Jackson dismissed the notion of his timing being thrown off. He was complimentary of long snapper Matt Skinner, who was making his collegiate debut.

"(Skinner) threw strikes all day. I was really proud of him," Jackson said.

Special teams coach Andre Powell is proud of how Jackson has changed over the years.

"There was a time when I couldn't have said anything good to him or about him," Powell said. "He just kept coming back and he's really matured."

He's also confident in Jackson's leg strength. Despite the misses, the solid contact gives Powell every reason to believe that Jackson is capable of knocking down kicks up to 50 yards, maybe even further.

Out of the last 13 meetings, Clemson and Georgia Tech games have been decided by five points or less 10 times. Jackson realizes the value of extra-points and field goals could be even greater on Thursday.

"I've got to be prepared, feel comfortable out there and have some confidence, incase my number is called," he said.

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