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Stock Report: NC State Week

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Bandit Ends
Early in the season Clemson was getting little to no production out of the Bandit End position, which is essentially the weak side defensive end. Sophomore Corey Crawford was penciled in as the starter, basically by default since he was the only player with any experience, and in truth he was still green and played there as a backup last season. Vic Beasley was moved in to Crawford's backup position after spending some time at both tight end and outside linebacker, and lacking the ideal size (225 pounds) to be anything more than a situational pass rusher. After a few games with minimal pass rush, difficulty in setting the edge, and making no impact behind the line of scrimmage, the situation looked bleak, and the bandits looked to be a position that opponents would continue to exploit.

Around midseason, the situation began to change, as both Crawford and Beasley began making more and more impact plays. Beasley has stepped up the pass rush, and has now tallied 5 sacks on the season, good enough for a Top 10 ranking within the ACC. Crawford has also picked up the pace, and was in on 3 tackles of loss against Maryland, as well as scoring a touchdown off a Maryland fumble. Even better for this duo, they are both only sophomores with plenty of room to grow and improve, and in Beasley's case, more time to get in the weight room and add another 20 pounds of muscle.

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Ball Security

Ever since Chad Morris stepped foot on campus, he's preached protecting the ball. And why not? The hallmark of all good teams is limiting turnovers, while creating turnovers by the opponent. The last two games, Clemson has been especially sloppy in handling the ball, with 4 fumbles and 3 interceptions. The fumbles are especially troubling, as two have been by quarterback Tajh Boyd, and the others by the normally sure-handed Adam Humphries and DeAndre Hopkins.

As for the interceptions, one was on Boyd as he stared down a receiver against Duke and paid the price, while the others were a pre-halftime Hail Mary (excusable) and the other was a pass ripped away from tight end Sam Cooper. Still, this is a team game, and turnovers are costly no matter who was at fault. With the weak competition of Maryland and Duke, these mistakes didn't amount to much, but with the competition set to stiffen up the next two weeks, turnovers could mean the difference between a win and a loss.

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PLAYERS OF THE WEEK – DUKE GAME

TE Brandon Ford
In limited time Ford returned to form with 2 receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown. Ford had been missing in action of late, so it was good to see him get back into the offense and display the production from earlier in the season. He could be very valuable to Clemson in the upcoming games against NC State and South Carolina.

DE Corey Crawford
As noted earlier Crawford was in on 3 tackles for loss, and also scooped up a Maryland fumble for a touchdown, giving Clemson an early 14 point cushion.

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THE FIRST STRING

NOTE: This is NOT a copy of the depth charted released by the Clemson University SID. Instead, it is the latest projection of where Clemson247 believes the lineup stands -- heading into the next game -- while taking into account info regarding possible suspensions or injuries, Clemson’s main expected defensive formation (ex. base 4-3 or nickel?) and general comments from coaches. Every attempt will be made to identify one projected starter when possible at each position.

Quarterback
Tajh Boyd
Hold on position: Strong
Next in line: Cole Stoudt

Tailback
Andre Ellington
Hold on position: Strong
Next in line: Rod McDowell

H-Back
Darrell Smith
Hold on position: Strong
Next in line: None

Wide Receiver
Sammy Watkins
Hold on position: Strong
Next in line: Adam Humphries

Wide Receiver
Jaron Brown
Hold on position: Moderate
Next in line: Charone Peake

Wide Receiver
Nuk Hopkins
Hold on position: Strong
Next in line: Martavis Bryant

Tight End
Brandon Ford
Hold on position: Strong
Next in line: Sam Cooper

Center
Dalton Freeman
Hold on position: Strong
Next in line: Ryan Norton

Left Guard
David Beasley
Hold on position: Strong
Next in line: Ryan Norton/Kalon Davis

Left Tackle
Brandon Thomas
Hold on position: Strong
Next in line: Isaiah Battle

Right Guard
Tyler Shatley
Hold on position: Strong
Next in line: Reid Webster

Right Tackle
Gifford Timothy
Hold on position: Strong
Next in line: Shaq Anthony

Place-kicker
Chandler Catanzaro
Hold on position: Strong
Next in line: Ammon Lakip/Spencer Benton (Long attempts)

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Nose Guard
Grady Jarrett
Hold on position: Weak
Next in line: DJ Reader

Defensive Tackle
DeShawn Williams
Hold on position: Moderate
Next in line: Josh Watson/Carlos Watkins

Defensive End
Malliciah Goodman
Hold on position: Weak
Next in line: Tavares Barnes

Bandit End
Corey Crawford
Hold on position: Moderate
Next in line: Vic Beasley

Inside Linebacker (MIKE)
Spencer Shuey
Hold on position: Strong
Next in line: Stephone Anthony

Outside Linebacker (WILL)
Jonathan Willard
Hold on position: Strong
Next in line: Corico Wright/Tony Steward

Outside Linebacker (SAM)/Nickel Back
Quandon Christian
Hold on position: Moderate
Next in line: Travis Blanks

Cornerback
Bashaud Breeland
Hold on position: Strong
Next in line: Garry Peters/Dante Stewart

Cornerback
Xavier Brewer
Hold on position: Strong
Next in line: Cortez Davis

Strong Safety
Jonathan Meeks
Hold on position: Strong
Next in line: Robert Smith

Weak Safety
Travis Blanks
Hold on position: Moderate
Next in line: Rashard Hall

Punter
Spencer Benton
Hold on position: Moderate
Next in line: Bradley Pinion

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INACTIVE LIST
(Players who would be listed but are currently expected to miss game)

CB Darius Robinson (Ankle – Out for Regular Season)
LB Justin Parker (Groin – Out for Season)
QB Tony McNeal (Knee – Out for Season)
CB Martin Jenkins (Hip – Out for Season)

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