After last weekend’s shaky victory over Syracuse, top-ranked Clemson got back at practice prepping for Saturday’s conference battle with Boston College.
Not putting together a performance Clemson is accustomed too and expects to put forth, the team heads into this next week’s game determined to get back on track.
For defensive tackle Bryan Bresee, however, last week was yet another opportunity for him to stand out and continually solidify his spot as a mainstay on this Clemson defensive line. A true freshman, Bresee has made multiple highlight plays this season with this past week’s play coming in a big way.
Up just six points late in the third quarter, Bresee broke through the line stripping the football from Syracuse quarterback Rex Culpepper, which resulted in a 21-yard Andrew Booth touchdown.
“Mike Jones did a great job of breaking off the edge and holding the quarterback,” said Bresee. “He probably wishes he was able to get him down but you know, I was able to get it all worked out. I was at nose and I had a little stunt call and I saw Mike just holding on, not letting go. So I got around the edge and got there at the perfect time to knock the ball loose.
“When I went down I saw the ball next to me and saw the lineman going down on it. Andrew Booth was right there to pick it up and take it to the house.”
As a freshman this season, Bresee has totaled 12 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, two pass deflections and six quarterback pressures while helping the team start their season 6-0.
While he’s made his presence felt since his first game for the Tigers, the young defensive lineman has gotten better by the week. With an injury riddled defensive unit, his progression has been huge for the Clemson defense.
“Since my first game, I’ve gotten a real feel for what college football is like,” Bresee said. “There’s still a lot of stuff to learn that’s still new to me, but I’d like to think I’m starting to get my feet under myself now.”
For a freshman going into the college football landscape this season, Bresee and others have experienced things no other freshman has been tasked at doing before in their career. With COVID-19 sweeping the nation for months, college football was in a predicament that led to teams not being able to schedule in person meetings for quite some time. For Bresee, this meant he had to initially learn the defense through Zoom calls.
“It actually helped me a lot in spring when I was here and really didn’t know anything,” said Bresee. “We would meet all the time in the spring over Zoom and just watch film or whatever we could do like putting in new plays coach Venables was working on at home. It slowed everything down for me as well.
“It wasn’t like I was learning a bunch of new stuff and had to go do it that day. It helped me a lot when we all came back and were doing practices and going over plays.”
While it has been an interesting start to his career, Bresee has found a way to learn fast and be impactful from day one on the field. He’ll look to continue his strong outings Saturday when the Tigers take on Boston College at Death Valley.
Another championship season is underway for the Tigers. It’s time to gear up for another year of Clemson football.
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