Spector ready to make another impact against Buckeyes


by - Senior Writer -
Spector celebrates a sack against Ohio State.
Spector celebrates a sack against Ohio State.

Clemson linebacker Baylon Spector made an impact in last year’s Fiesta Bowl win over Ohio State, and he says that the Clemson coaches will have another great game plan in place for the Buckeyes.

Spector recorded the first two sacks of his career and registered seven tackles in the win over the Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff Semifinal last season, and he takes the confidence from that effort into next week’s Sugar Bowl.

"Especially being in that big of a game, going in and being able to just do my job, make a couple plays on defense,” Spector said. “Playing in the system helped me for sure. And being able to execute plays, calls they coach and that we prepare for. It was very exciting."

The Tigers won’t have as much time to prepare this time around, but Spector says Clemson will be ready for the Jan. 1 kickoff (8:45 p.m. ET/ESPN).

“We prepare the same every week for each and every opponent. We will do our best this week,” Spector said. “Coach (Venables) has given us a great start and we are very excited. We will keep preparing for Ohio State. They have a great offensive line and they have great skill, obviously. They bring a ton to the table and they run the ball really well.

“They are a great team. Justin Fields is a great player that brings a lot to the table. He brings the running game and you have to contain him. Their wideouts are really good and unique. They have three returning offensive linemen, so those guys have been at this stage, too, and they know what it's like.”

Spector also feels like this year’s defense might be a tad better than last year’s defense, and part of that is because of how many younger players have gained experience.

“We will prepare the same. We will do everything like we have done all year. I guess you would say we are better,” Spector said. “Statistically, we are better. Some players left and we have more new starters this year so that is different. But we will be ready.

“We have I don't know how many different starters that have played this year. Throughout the year, multiple guys have come in and started. Even in the Notre Dame game, RJ Mickens came in and had to play valuable snaps. That means guys aren't freshmen anymore. They are ready to play and they are ready for the stage. We have 11 games in and we will be ready.”

Spector said he trusts the coaches to put the best plan in place.

“Coach Venables does a great job each and every week. The defensive staff goes in there and prepares the best they can and watch as much tape as much as possible and give us a game plan that we can go out and execute,” he said. “All we can do is go out each week on the practice field and try and execute it as best we can, It's up to us players to go in and watch the tape and execute the game plan that they give us.

“I am just thankful to be a part of this and going back to the Playoff again. Going to the Playoff six straight times is huge. It's big just being able to play in the Playoff again and getting ready to play on the stage that the Playoff brings.”

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