10 questions with Brandon Maye

CLEMSON - He's been a one-man wrecking crew at times this year. CUTigers.com sits down with sophomore LB Brandon Maye in another edition of "10 questions with ..."

ALSO SEE: 1-on-1 with Brandon Maye

Clemson linebacker Brandon Maye has been named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District III football team. Maye will now be on the ballot for the Academic All-America team that will be voted on later this month.

Maye is the third leading tackler on a Clemson defense that ranks 12th in the nation in total defense and 15th in scoring defense. Maye has 53 tackles for the season, including two tackles for loss, a sack and nine quarterback pressures. He is second on the team in quarterback pressures.

The native of Mobile, AL is in his second season as a starter. Last year he had 87 tackles for the year, helping the Tigers to a top 15 national ranking in scoring defense an total defense.

Maye has a 3.36 career GPA in sociology. He is the first Clemson linebacker to make an Academic All-District team since Chad Carson in 2001.

What worries you most about Florida State?
Maye: One of the biggest thing is there coaches do a good job of giving them their space and using their offensive speed and getting those guys on the edge to make plays. We have to do a good job of coming up top.

How can you slow down these guys down?
Maye: By doing our job. You can't try to be a hero, because when you try to be a hero in a certain play, Ponder will make you miss a hit. He'll mess with your head, he's like a genius at QB so we have to do a good job of controlling him and not allowing for any huge runs.
Do you feel like FSU is more of an unconventional playing team in comparison to Miami?
Maye: Yes. It's one of those games where you don't really know what they're going to do, you just prepare. You have to prepare for what you have seen and what you've seen them do on film. They're very multiple. Like I said, they do a really good job of scheming every week. We just have to come out expecting that. It's all about how we are and how we execute our play.

Do you feel like guys being able to run too much has a been one of the bigger problems for this Clemson defense this year?
Maye: We made it a problem. We had guys in the wrong gap. Me personally, I wasn't putting up the best. But that's one of the things we're concentrating on this week, just knowing where we need to fit in at. Ponder can do a real good job of running his space, making places, and making guys miss. We have to track them well.

Do you think Christian Ponder's bruised ribs injury will limit him in the pocket?
Maye: I think it will be like everybody else. He'll be so pumped up and juiced up on the game, he won't even think about it. I feel like either way, he's a great QB, and we have to do a good job of containing him.

What do you remember about facing FSU's offense last year?
Maye: As a whole, they were fast. They did a lot of stuff as far as getting the ball on the edge. Their offensive linemen movements were good, they had a big offensive line. So they did a very good job of holding us back. They would look at you and look you off and calling another player in at anytime. You're basically going up against Coach Bishop, that's how he works them.

Clemson has obviously been running a variety of screens over the years. What makes FSU's screen game so much more effective?
Maye: It's very similar to the way we run our screens here. We're going to have to just slow them down early. Coach Bishop does a good job of utilizing his offensive line's speed and getting them on screens because they're pretty fast, that's the difference.

How would you compare them to TCU, do you think FSU is more systematic?
Maye: They definitely do things similar to what TCU did, as far as utilizing a lot of quarterback and zone plays. They definitely move in that same direction so that's one of the things we have to look at and prepare for.

Talking about your relationship with Rodney Hudson [FSU offensive guard]?
Maye: That's my good friend. He's from Mobile too. We work out together every summer. We train together and we do a lot of things together, we're very close. I actually just sent him a text earlier saying "I'll see you this weekend, big guy," so I'm ready to see him.

How does it feel to finally have a 7:45 game time on ESPN in Death Valley?
Maye: This is definitely one of the games we've been working towards all year. Being able to play in that prime time spot and having the whole nation watching us is a big deal. It's a good time for us to show what this program's capable of doing, so we're excited to be able to take advantage of that.

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