Clemson vs. Wofford Pre-game Press Conference


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Opening Statement

“Saturday was a good opener for us. It’s good to just play a game so we have some video to teach from and we can start growing some guys up that hadn’t played yet. All our mistakes were very correctable things. The biggest thing for me – I want to see us get better each week, starting this week with Wofford.

“Injury wise, we’re in good shape with the exception of Rashard Hall; (Demont) Buice will be back; (Bashaud) Breeland and (Corico) Hawkins will be limited today but they’ll be fine. Xavier Brewer has a pulled hamstring. “Wofford is going to be a challenge for us. They’re continuing our “schedule of (last year’s) champions. “I can’t say enough about Coach (Mike) Ayers. He’s a first class guy and has been there a long time. They do a good job recruiting to their system and when you watch them play, they play the game the way you’re supposed to play it. They have a ton of energy, they’re very physical and they play smart.

“Their offense is a big challenge; they do a lot of things and use their personnel very well. They give you a lot of different looks with the option plays. We have to do a great job with our eyes and have everyone take care of their responsibilities.

“They led the nation in rushing last year (for their division). Number-seven (Jr. RB Eric Breitenstein) is their workhorse. Our guys describe him as Chad Diehl with moves. He averaged 6.1 yards per carry last year and had 22 TDs. “Their quarterback (Mitch Allen) is very efficient in running their system. They don’t throw it a lot, but last year they averaged 19.2 yards per catch. We’re going to have to tackle better and the key for us defensively is first downs. We have to put them in some long yardage situations. I’m anxious to see how we do against these guys.

“Defensively, they’re mostly an odd front. They’re very sound. They play with great energy and don’t get out of position very often. It’s really just about us trying to get better this week. We want to correct some mistakes and see if we can get to 2-0.


On Rashard Hall’s Injury

“He probably could play this week. He feels pretty good, but they’re going to fit him for a brace that relieves pressure from where his knee is bothering him. We’re probably going to hold him out this week and see how he does against Auburn. If his knee responds well the next time he plays, hopefully he’ll be fine. If not, it may be a situation where he needs surgery at some point. He feels like he could play today, but it’s something we don’t want to get worse.”


On differences between Troy and Wofford

“I wish we had some carry over from Troy to Wofford. The defenses are somewhat similar, in the coverages, etc. But their offenses are completely different. It’s football. You still run the ball, you still throw the ball, and you still tackle. For us, it’s another opportunity to gain experience. It’s another opportunity to apply the system. From that standpoint, we have a chance to take another step.


On instate games

“We don’t take anybody for granted. They’re capable of beating you. This is a team that will come with nothing to lose and will play extremely hard. Most teams play a FC S team and I like to keep ours in-state. I think that’s great for the state of South Carolina. I think it’s good for their fan base and it maximizes their revenue because they don’t have a long way to travel. It’s a good thing for our state…only if we win.

On playing true freshman

“I knew this was coming because of the way we’ve been recruiting. We’ve been recruiting smaller classes so that this year we could sign a large class of really talented guys. As a result of that, we’re young. They’re the guys that fit our criteria and what we’re looking for, and we’re excited about it.

“We have some guys that are beyond their years – football wise. We have guys like Sammy Watkins, who everyone talks about, and guys like Robert Smith, who no one talked about, but he’s as good a player as we signed. We think we’ve done a good job the last couple years the way we recruited. The key thing for us is to play them on our terms and they’re going to get better. We’ve tried to be smart in how we’ve trained them and we’ve only asked them to learn certain things. We’ve asked the older guys to pick up the slack. “

On play of DeShawn Williams and Grady Jarrett

“They did a good job. I almost had to look the other way because they were in there really early. They did a really good job for their first game, but they have a lot to learn. They had a lot of good effort plays. You want to see young guys flying around and not having a lot of missed assignments. It was a good start.”

On Tajh Boyd

“I want to see him start against Wofford like he finished against Troy. We need to start off like we finished and play like we’re capable of playing. Hopefully Tajh has put the first half behind him and we want him to play like he finished the game Saturday. “He had the second most passing yards by a Clemson quarterback in his first start. We were asleep in the first half. He didn’t play well in the first half, but it wasn’t all his fault. We just want to get better.

On Saturday’s performance

“It wasn’t anything they were doing in the first half, it was us. I just wanted to get into halftime. I wanted a chance to restart. What we were doing on first and second down created issues for us on third down. We went in at halftime, and we had to make some adjustments into the second half. At the end of the day, we were productive. I always look at turnover margin and big play ratio. If you win the turnover margin and you have at least two more big plays than the opponent, you’re going to win. The issues we had are things we can fix and I thought the play calling was excellent on Saturday.

On play of Stephone Anthony

“That guy is special. He’s a talented freshman. To see the way he played Saturday, that was impressive. He played the wheel route like he’d already been playing for four years. He played well. On the sack, he went from point A to point B like a rocket. He’s just a special guy. I’ve seen it in practice, but to see it in a game is impressive. I’m so proud of him to be where he is right now.

On Wofford’s offense

“They have Georgia Tech, Auburn, a little of everything. They’re a very diverse offense. They must do a great job of teaching to be able to teach all the things they do. They have some Georgia Tech principles, but they have a lot more things they’ll do from a personnel standpoint.”

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