Last year before the Clemson-Georgia Tech game, Calvin Johnson was labeled as the X-factor. Coming out of the game, it was clear he was on his way to being one of the top wide receivers in college football. Now, he has the attention of every media outlet that covers Clemson leading up to this weekend.
The questions have been asked to how Clemson will stop Johnson. Not surprising, there has not been a clear cut answer. Simply put, there are no answers for Johnson. He is simply a special talent.
Now, Tye Hill is looking forward to the rematch, and he feels he has something to prove from last year. Hill is a much improved corner this season, and his ability to be more physical will help him. Ultimately, Johnson will get his catches.
So how do stop Johnson?
You stop the other 10 guys around him, mainly Reggie Ball. Johnson is one of the best receivers I have seen in college, but even he cannot throw the ball to himself. The erratic Ball is the only thing stopping Johnson from breaking a lot of records, which he still may do.
Putting pressure on Ball is the key. If you hit Ball early, he has a tendency to become inaccurate. His throws will sail from time to time, and it should give the Clemson secondary a chance for some interceptions.
The key will not be for Clemson to stop Johnson, but to at least slow him down. Another three touchdown performance and the Tigers will be facing an uphill battle on the road.