Marcus Edmond: A play was made and the game decided
|Sunday, October 2, 2016, 2:29 AM- -|
CLEMSON – Marcus Edmond had one job, and he executed it to perfection.
Facing a 4th-and-12 at the Clemson 14-yard line and the game on the line, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson found wide receiver James Quick on the right sideline, and Quick was headed towards either a first down or a game-winning touchdown.
Clemson’s redshirt junior cornerback was playing Cover 3, but when he saw Quick catch the pass and head for the marker, Edmond lowered his shoulder and knocked Quick out of bounds a yard short of the first down. A yard short of victory.
The ending was reminiscent of Clemson’s win over Louisville two years ago in Death Valley. The Cardinals had marched inside the Clemson five, but a fourth down pass intended for Quick was batted down by former defensive tackle DeShawn Williams.
Game over then, game over now as Clemson escaped with a 42-36 victory, and Swinney credited Edmond – who missed most of fall camp with an injury - with making a play when it mattered.
"Fourth down and we have a redshirt junior that hasn’t played until this year," Swinney said. "He missed fall camp and is just now getting healthy – it's awesome to see that guy make a play on fourth down. Last year he was running routes as a wide receiver, and one year later he makes the game-winning tackle That’s special."
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables says the Edmond play was an example of a player maturing over a period of time. Edmond entered the season with just seven tackles over 53 snaps in 19 career appearances.
“Just keep watering that bamboo and eventually it will be ready. He's a fourth-year player,” Venables said. “He does a good job of having zone eyes and coming up, and like everybody else I was wondering if he was going to make that play, and thankfully he did and that won the game for us.”
Edmond said he saw Quick make the catch and had one thought: don’t get beat inside.
“I was worried about him cutting it inside, so I tried to push him outside and make the tackle,” Edmond said. “Like I said, I was just worrying about coming up and making the tackle. And I didn't want to get juked. I just told myself not to get juked. If I get juked, it's a touchdown. So what I did was play it inside out, and push him to the sideline and he went to the sideline.”
Louisville scored 26 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarters to take a 36-28 lead with 7:52 to play. However, Clemson held on the game’s last two possessions, and Edmond said it was because the Clemson defense took it one play at a time.
“We still didn't lose track of what we wanted to do,” he said. “We knew we wanted to stop him (Jackson), of course, and win the game. We took it one play at a time, and one play won the game. We knew we were going to come through some adversity and we made some plays.”
Edmond said he knew the game would come down to a few plays.
“We knew there would be adversity, and that it would come down to two or three plays,” he said. “A play was made and the game was decided. I knew I was going to get there in time, for sure. It was just making sure I was going to make the tackle. It means a lot to me. I missed all of fall camp, but I still was working. It means a lot to me.”