Jackets have variety of weapons

CLEMSON - First team All-ACC running back Jonathan Dwyer didn't make the biggest impact on the ground for Georgia Tech when the Yellow Jackets beat Clemson 30-27 earlier this season in Atlanta.

Dwyer rushed for 66 yards on 18 carries--that's 39 yards below his yards/game average.

That Thursday night, it was Anthony Allen's 82-yard touchdown run in the first quarter that amassed the majority of his game-high 127 yards. He's been the most explosive back (20 carry minimum) in Paul Johnson's offense, averaging 10.3 yards/touch for a total of 585.

On the season he leads the team with 1,236 yards and is second in touchdowns (12) to Josh Nesbitt, who has 17. Nesbit also leads the team with 237 carries.

Florida State's Jermaine Thomas and South Carolina's Kenny Miles the only other 100+ yard rushers the Clemson defense has yielded this season, rushing for 119 and 114, respectively.

Clemson defensive tackle Jamie Cumbie summed up the formula to keeping Dwyer below the century mark again with an idea that sounds pretty cut and dry.

"We've got to play Clemson Tiger defense- that's all we've got to do," he said. "We've got play with great effort, do our job and tackle well. We do those and everything else will fall in its place."

Having already seen Georgia Tech, there's somewhat of an advantage to having seen the option before this season. Clemson defensive line coach Dan Brooks said, "They're not a lot different.

"It's just a matter of the scheme and people being locked into taking care of ‘this is my job.'"

It was the "small things" that got allowed the Gamecock rushers to hit big, gashing runs.

"It was a lineman here peaking or a linebacker scraping too far," Cumbie said. "I don't think it's too serious."

Assignment football is a must against an offense that requires the utmost discipline to stop.

"The veer, the mid-line, they have a number of weapons to go to and check you out and see if you prepared for them," Brooks said.

In September, Georgia Tech punted six straight times before throwing interception after the three previous drives ended with consecutive touchdowns and a field goal. The Yellow Jackets settled for field goals on two of the final three drives. The first of the two ended a 12-play drive of 69 yards that took 11:26 off the clock.

"They do what they do, and they try to take advantage of what you're doing, which is (Johnson's) knowledge of the option," Brooks said.

Georgia Tech typically operates with same personnel grouping but out of different formations that use a lot of motions.

With responsibilities that include watching the dive, quarterback and pitch on every play, the option isn't as simple as those three reads, though it seems the number of plays can be limited.

"When you defend true triple option, that does compound it, but if you study what they do there are a lot of different plays," Brooks said. "They trap and they loop and they arc. They make a different play."

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