CLEMSON – K & # 39; Vaughn Wallace is not proud of how he performed last season against Texas A&M.
It may be difficult for the untrained eye to determine the source of Clemson's impotence. He recorded seven games, two pass breakups and two forced hits in the Tigers '28-26 win, in addition to intercepting the last two minutes of the Aggies' Keling Mond conversion.
But the numbers do not tell the full story. Wallace, as he said Monday, "leave a lot there," at Stan College, Texas. The fact that the Aggies have a chance to tie the race late is actually a product of Wallace bobbling, which would have been a catch-up for the game in the previous game. The ball fell into the hands of A&M wide receiver Kendrick Rodgers for a break.
Wallace said he had no problem celebrating victory. Winning is profit. Still, he can't help but fall back on this weekend's death in Death Valley, feeling he has something to prove.
"It's a personal thing for me," he said. "And to redeem myself this game am I how I feel."
In Clemson's 15-0 campaign, a two-point victory over the Ages, represented by the Tigers, the slimmest margin of victory. It was also one of the rare occasions when coach Dabo Sweeney's team was outnumbered; Clemson recorded 413 yards of total offense to 501 by Texas A&M.
Mond threw 430 yards and three touchdowns, including a 24-yard touchdown to Rogers with 46 seconds remaining, which jumped out of Wallace's hands. This was not Wallace's only regret of the race.
"I almost had four interceptions," he said afterwards. "If you go back and watch the movie, I almost had four interceptions – I cut every single one of them.
" Before and after training, I do (JUGS machine) all day. However, it does. God gives all people that He loves challenges. So I have the feeling that if I go to work harder, more blessings will come to me. "
It now looks like things are going in Wallace's direction. He is a veteran Clemson defense leader with only four returning chiefs, and he said he was about to get his bachelor's degree in December.
And Richmond, Washington, born takes nothing for granted. "
" I have many people coming home looking at me, "he said." I have a lot of family that counts on me to do well, not just on the field but also off the field. "
This season represents Wallace's last year of eligibility, which means he is likely to declare the NFL draft for 2020 afterwards and try to win a professional contract and provide for his family.
First, he has to help guide Clemson's defense, which some outsiders consider less powerful than the Tigers' stellar offense, and defensive coordinator Brent Venables, for what it's worth, was pleased with his department's behavior
"(It's) more fun to deal with self-interest, "Venables said." (This) is something (this is) very, very noticeable in this group of guys. "
There was a steady approach for Wallace with selflessness. He sank on Monday when asked to respond. to Texas A&M striker Jared Hoker's claim that "there will be disorder" this weekend.
"All we can do is focus on what we control, and that's good," Wallace said, " That's all we can do. "
Follow Joshua Nuelman on Twitter at @joshneedelman.