Clemson was one of just two opponents last year against which Bradley Chubb did not have a sack or tackle for loss. North Carolina State's senior defensive end has 0.5 tackles for loss and zero sacks all-time vs. the Tigers.
Nonetheless, Dabo Swinney knows the nation's most disruptive defensive end can take over a game.
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Chubb enters Saturday's game against Clemson — his 37th career game — with 48.5 tackles for loss and 23.5 sacks in his career, 17 and 7.5 of which, respectively, have come in eight games this season. He is one of two FBS players with at least 16 tackles for loss and seven sacks this year (Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois) and is coming off a three-tackle for loss performance against Notre Dame, his sixth game with multiple tackles for loss this season.
"He's the real deal, man," Swinney said during a conference call this week. "He's long, he's fast, he's explosive. He plays with excellent technique. He's a very knowledgeable, instinctive player. "
The former three-star recruit from Georgia is two sacks away from tying the program record of 25.5, owned by Mario Williams, whom Chubb honors by wearing the same No. 9 jersey. And though it's doubtful Chubb will also be the top pick in the NFL Draft, the 6-foot-4, 275-pounder could be a top-10 selection.
"This guy has got all the little nuances down," said Swinney. "He understands what you're trying to do offensively, so that allows him to anticipate. When you have the type of speed and skill and strength that he has, plus you have knowledge, you're a tough guy to handle, which he is."
Swinney admits you "win some" and "lose some" when facing Chubb and the rest of a defensive line that is "probably going to play in the NFL," but the Tigers will have more than one plan to contain him and hopefully send him to the NFL without a single tackle for loss or sack against them.