WATCH: What Clemson coaches said after 52-3 rout of Wake Forest


by - Assoc. Editor -

Clemson coordinators Brent Venables, Tony Elliott, and Jeff Scott discussed Saturday's 52-3 victory over Wake Forest during a post-game media session.

On the offensive consistency:

“The biggest thing for us is just to continue to make it about the process and make it about preparation. We understand the importance of, with how our defense is playing, getting off to a hot start and putting a lot of pressure on opposing teams. We’re playing complementary football, so the biggest thing for us is that we have a goal in mind and these young men want to be the best in the country. We’re definitely not there, but they’re working every single week and focusing on what they can control, and what they can control is how they play week in and week out and I think that’s what the focus of this team is.”

On Travis Etienne’s six-straight 100-yard games:

“It’s probably the best offensive line that’s been here in a while to help him along the way. He understands that and he gives credit to his offensive line, and I’m not taking anything away from Travis. He’s a special special talent, but an even more special young man. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy so to speak just the way he carries himself, how humble he is. He’s really turned it on. He’s not focusing on the record or trying to go out and have a hundred yards every week. He’s just trying to go out and be the best version of himself and each week he continues to perform.”

On the pressure on Trevor Lawrence:

There was one [play] they did a little different look that caused a little bit of confusion and miscommunication there. Sean Pollard had a guy that he was on and the guy spun off and made a play but I was really proud [that] we started off very fast and we kind of got out of rhythm a little bit but we were able to kick it back in there late in the first half, and then we were able to carry that into the beginning of the first half. That’s what you want to see out of a championship caliber team is that they can respond to adversity and I thought we responded to adversity well and finished on a positive note.”

Opening statement:

“[I’m] really pleased again with the way that we started. The last four weeks, getting off to a fast start has been awesome. I think we controlled the game early, on the first two drives, and the other thing Coach Swinney has really spent a lot of time talking to our guys about is kind of that middle eight, last four minutes of the first half and the first four minutes of the second half. You know, being able to get two touchdowns drives in the final two minutes of that half was critical, and then to be able to come out, really challenge the guys, and get the ball back in the third quarter and the first two drives of the second half, to be able to get two more touchdowns, so to get four touchdowns there was really important. A lot of guys did a really good job. Tee Higgins [got] three touchdowns. I’m really proud of him. He’s done a good job attacking the ball; he’s been playing well and finally got some good opportunities today. Also, a senior, Diondre Overton, made some really big plays in his last game. And then, it was pretty neat on senior day to have two true freshmen make some really big plays. They’ve made some plays this year but that was really the first time Frank Ladson-with Justyn Ross being out for a bit, getting checked out-Frank was in there rolling with the ones. That was a critical play down there at the goal line and that was big to seen him be able to finish that play. Then, Joseph Ngata - it was really good to see him finish that play. We keep bringing those guys along. So, [I’m] really pleased with how we played. I thought we finished our [home] season really well. Thought it was great for our seniors and they’re getting ready for South Carolina.”

On WR Tee Higgins

“The first time he’s dropped the ball all year was last week. So, it was good to see him go out there and make some big plays - not just a normal play. I mean, those were some nice catches, had to really go attack the ball in good coverage. He’s been playing very, very well. It’s just the way our season has gone. We’re running the ball, got a lot of guys out there. We haven’t really had to force the ball to him this year. But he knows his time is coming, especially as we get into this championship phase of our season. So I thought it was great for him and Trevor to have a big day together.

On WR Joseph Ngata and WR Frank Ladson Jr. in the postseason

“I think the biggest thing is [they’re] true freshmen, right? I mean, this is game 11 for them. Everybody should improve as the season goes but I think for the freshmen, every week is critical. They’ve been practicing really well. I think the season is getting pretty long for them compared to high school. They’ve been here since January. Same thing happened to Justyn [Ross] about Week 8, Week 9. They’re looking around like ‘how long is this going to go on? I mean, this is pretty tough’ and then they kind of catch their second wind.

On Denzel Johnson’s last game in Clemson and his recruiting process:

“He had a really good game and we started doing some research on him. Coach Swinney kept that in his back pocket and we had a spot open. We drew out a plan for him for the criteria he had to meet in order to get to Clemson, and he came through. He’s been great, and he’s got a great spirit to him. He’s always positive, always ready to go, very up-beat, always appreciative of his opportunity and it’s neat to see all the success he’s had and he’s been a great leader for us.

On the defense’s performance:

“It was a great performance. First of all, I’m just thankful for our players and their dedication and their commitment. There’s been 150 years of college football and what they’ve accomplished through 11 games is pretty special. Hopefully they'll get a game ball out of it. That's probably my favorite thing of victory is the opportunity to get a game ball. I’m super proud of them and their coaches. It’s hard to sustain success and the mindset it takes to not only win but to play well against a really well-coached and talented group, a very tough system to defend. For the seniors to be able to go out, they’ll never forget that last game at home, 22 in a row now, it’s pretty special to sit back and witness now so I’m thankful for each and every guy in that locker room.”

On having a bye leading into the South Carolina game:

“I don’t even think like that. I’ll be here tomorrow going through the same routine. We’ll practice and prepare like we’re playing this weekend so expect to have a game-week attitude as far as that’s concerned.”

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