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Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Clemson Tigers: Tigers To Watch

Offense: Andre Ellington, RB, r-So., 5-10, 190, Moncks Corner, S.C.

Reading Andre Ellington’s stat line for the season is very reminiscent of reading C.J. Spiller's old numbers. Through six games, Ellington has 82 carries for 476 yards and 8 touchdowns, and 9 receptions for 88 yards. He got the chance this past week against Maryland to show his skills returning kickoffs for the first time this season. How did it go? Well, he was named the ACC’s specialist of the week and national kick returner of the week by the College Football Performances Awards website. The redshirt sophomore took his first kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown, giving the Tigers a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. He followed that up with a 35 yarder later in the game.

With all three areas combined, Ellington is averaging 114.5 yards per game including kickoff returns and 6.2 yards per play from scrimmage. Not quite Spiller levels yet, but only in his second year the running back is one to watch.

Ellington’s stat to watch: The running back only needs 33 more yards to reach a career mark of 1000 yards. If he is able to gain 33 yards in 35 attempts, it will rank as the second fastest a Clemson rusher has reach 1000 yards, behind only C.J. Spiller.

Defense: Da’Quan Bowers, D

E, Jr., 6-4, 275, Bamberg, S.C.

This pick was easy: Bowers leads the nation in tackles for loss with 15.5 and forced yards lost at 93. He has 9 sacks, which is the most by a Tiger through six games in school history. The single season sack leader for Clemson was Keith Adams in 1999, who tallied 16. Bowers was named the ACC’s defensive lineman of the week for his 3 sack performance against Maryland, with all of them coming on third down.

He is a playmaker who lives in offenses’ backfields, and has the potential to be a huge disruption for Georgia Tech. The Jackets need space for the option to get started, and Bowers will hope to prevent that from happening.

Bowers’ stat to watch: The defensive end sits tied for eighth already in single season sack leaders for the Tigers. Although he will need 7 more to tie the all-time record, getting only one will place him tied for fourth and two will place him in third place by himself. 

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.