Clemson Pros: Former Tiger makes first Super Bowl


by - Staff Writer -
Allen was called on to play a critical role in New England making another Super Bowl appearance. (USA TODAY Sports-Carlos Ramirez)
Allen was called on to play a critical role in New England making another Super Bowl appearance. (USA TODAY Sports-Carlos Ramirez)

Former Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen is Super Bowl-bound after seeing some of his most playing time of the season in an AFC Championship win over Jacksonville.

Allen stepped in for 39 snaps in the 24-20 win as New England's lone tight end when All-Pro target Rob Gronkowski suffered an injury after a head-to-head collision.

Although his playing time went up, Allen didn't figure in the receiving game, but he did play a key role in the blocking game, including the game-clinching run (Allen is No. 83):

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said postgame that Allen "did his job very well" in spot duty, now making his first Super Bowl appearance in his sixth NFL season.

“I prepare for the game and every game as if I’m the starter because you’re always one play away, and it’s unfortunate the big guy went down but he did,” Allen told reporters. "There’s a next-man-up mentality at every position and we’re all expected to go in there and perform as a starter and that’s what I tried to do to the best of my ability.”

Allen hasn't registered a target in the Playoffs so far. In the regular season, he logged 10 catches for 86 yards with one touchdown. The Indianapolis Colts traded him to the Patriots in the offseason.

On the NFC side, Vikings Clemson DB duo Mackensie Alexander and Jayron Kearse came up a game short with a 38-7 loss at Philadelphia.

Alexander totaled two tackles in the defeat and finished the season with 20 tackles, seven pass breakups and an interception. Kearse posted 14 tackles this season.

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