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October 16, 2013

Adams: D-line's impact beyond stats

How does someone with two total tackles in a game grade out at 91 percent?

Just another amazing feat for Jadeveon Clowney, who may be having the most impact with the least statistics of anyone in football history this season.

At least that's what his position coach, Deke Adams, thinks, pointing to the fact that his defensive line teammate, Kelcy Quarles, had zero tackles but also had an impact on the game.

"Obviously that's what everybody looks at is stats," Adams said. "That's what it is. But if you sit down and look at the entire game you look at the way they played and how hard they played, then you see the true impact that they made in the game.

"There were times when Jadeveon was being blocked by two and three guys on a consistent basis, so he's playing hard, he's playing hard every week and I'm happy with the way he's playing. If he keeps playing, the stats will come to him."

Is it difficult to motivate Clowney with no stats of note to point to? No, Adams said, because the way Clowney plays.

"He plays hard, he gets hard after it every time he gets out here," Adams said. "Things have been said about him throughout the year, this and that, just turn the film on and you'll see how hard he plays."

Another area that doesn't show up on stat sheets is leadership, and coaches and players alike have praised Clowney for his vocal leadership in Arkansas.

"He was (vocal)," Adams said. "That was definitely a positive. He was talking before the game, talking at halftime, talking on the sidelines. The guys fed into it.

"We've talked to him about that, and he has to do that more. These guys, they follow him and they feed from him. That's going to be a big impact for us, and if he can continue to do that for us it'll help us throughout the year."

For Quarles, Adams said the junior has been steadier than his numbers may suggest.

"Kelcy's done a good job," Adams said. "He's been playing consistently. The thing I want him to do is continue to work to get better on technique and things like that. He's gotten better at that, and he's made some plays.

"But it's like I said, you can't really judge what happened Saturday off stats whether he played well or not. They both did a good job."

One player Adams said hasn't been as good as he can be so far is Chaz Sutton.

"He knows he hasn't made the plays that he needed to make on a consistent basis," Adams said. "He knows that. We talk about it all the time. He knows if he gets in a one-on-one situation he has to capitalize. That's the only way to open things up for us.

"I challenge him about it every day, and he's working to get better."

Overall, it's hard to find much fault with a defensive unit that only allowed seven points and is ranked No. 3 in the SEC in total defense.

"We still made some mistakes and have a lot of things we need to clean up and get better, but it was good to see progress," Adams said.

Even if it wasn't measurable on the stat sheet.

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