A lean Beasley leads No. 3 Clemson, ACC in sacks

CLEMSON, S.C. (WACH/AP) -- Clemson's Vic Beasley is a lean 235 pounds and looks lost in the trenches amid the 300-pounders.

Then the junior defensive end goes to his patented "Dip-n-Rip" move and everything changes -- usually ending in a Beasley sack.

The converted tight end leads the Atlantic Coast Conference with five sacks, and is second in the nation in sacks, continuing the passing-rushing tear he's been on since last year. He was Clemson's breakout defensive star last year, leading the team with eight sacks in a part-time role.

This week, the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia named Beasley the Chuck Bednarik national defensive player of the week. He also had five total tackles and two pass break-ups in the 26-14 win.

On Monday, Beasley said he is chasing Clemson's single-season sack record.

"Whatever the record is, I am going for it," Beasley told "I learned a lot from last year. Last year, I used a lot of my quickness and not much straight speed power. This year I have put on a little more weight and gotten a little stronger and tied that in to my pass rush."

Former Clemson linebacker Keith Adams holds the single-season sack record, collecting 16 in 1999. Beasley is currently on pace for 20 sacks this season.

Since earning a full-time spot this season, Beasley has been a big part of Clemson's improved defense.

The unit is no longer an embarrassment, it's a point of pride for the third-ranked Tigers.

"Still got a long ways to go, but, I love the attitude of the group of guys. Their willingness to fight and handle adversity well," said defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

Clemson (3-0, 1-0) hosts Wake Forest (2-2, 0-1) on Saturday at 3:30 pm. The game will be televised by ESPNU.