Tigers switch it up at tackle

CLEMSON - Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan was a one man wrecking crew to the right side of Clemson's offensive line on Thursday.

He ate up Kyle Parker for three early sacks and played a big part in spitting out a 24-0 lead for the Yellow Jackets.

Because Morgan lines up strictly on the left side, Chris Hairston was shifted from left tackle to right tackle to help put an end to his disruption.

From then on, Morgan was contained and Clemson's offense was able to go to work.

Thanks to the cross training during practice, Hairston was able to shift from the left to right side with ease.

"All the drills we do we have to switch back and forth," he said.

As far as facing another starter in live situations from the right side, those repetitions have been very limited.

"I felt prepared for it just because I know all the footwork, plays and adjustments that had to be made at right tackle because I learned it. I'm around it," Hairston said.

Offensive tackles and tight end coach Danny Pearman said Morgan beat Cory Lambert off the line for several reasons, one of which included getting down early on the scoreboard, setting up more pass rushing situations.

"(Lambert) didn't carry his fundamentals really to the game field. I think a little bit has to do with crowd noise and vision of the ball out there with the snap count (obviously on the road)," Pearman said. "He was against a pretty good player, obviously that has something to do with it."

He also included himself in the blame.

"As a coach, I've got to do a better job getting them to perform in those arenas: on the road, against a better player when you get behind and got to perform," Pearman said.

Landon Walker will start at right tackle on Saturday. David Smith is moving to right tackle some this week, although he won't be discounted from work at guard. Pearman said Lambert will continue to play in a rotational role.

Walker's performance at the end of last year has moved him into the starting role.

"It's based on that. That's why he's getting his opportunity. If he hadn't performed then he wouldn't be getting this opportunity," Pearman said.

Whatever the rankings say, Hairston takes notice of the no nonsense approach that Boston College defenses bring to the field.

The Eagles will stunt and slant up front, but nothing to the extent of what Georgia Tech did on Thursday and definitely nothing like Middle Tennessee. "Boston College always comes with a toughness, a mentality that, ‘we're going to keep this line of scrimmage and push you back.'…we're going to really have to impose our will on these guys" he said.

Hairston's respects what Boston College has accomplished in the ACC. Their reputation as a gritty defense leaves him no room to assume that the Eagle's three freshman linebackers will be easy to push around.

"The front seven is always stout. If (the linebackers) are able to get in there and play, I'm sure the coaches have confidence in them," he said. "I'm sure they have the talent to be there."

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