Braden Galloway: "We are at a special place at Clemson"

by - Senior Writer -
Braden Galloway says the players understand this is a special time in Clemson history.
Braden Galloway says the players understand this is a special time in Clemson history.

Clemson and Notre Dame are set for a rematch a week from today in Charlotte and the ramifications of what’s at stake for the Tigers is not lost on the players. Also not lost on the players is just how special this time in Clemson history happens to be.

No. 3 Clemson and No. 2 Notre Dame will battle it out for the ACC Championship at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte next stadium. On the line is not only the ACC Championship trophy but a spot in the College Football Playoff. If Clemson loses a second time to the Irish, the streak of five consecutive College Playoff appearances might come to an end.

If Clemson beats Notre Dame in a competitive contest, both the Irish and the Tigers could make the Playoff. If Clemson routs Notre Dame, the Irish might be left out.

Clemson is also looking to win a sixth consecutive ACC Championship Game, and the historical aspect of that feat is not lost on tight end Braden Galloway.

“It's exciting. We are at a special place at Clemson, and more importantly, this is a special time in this program's history,” Galloway said this week. “A lot of the guys, we are thankful to be a part of it. But there is still more business to handle, so we are keeping our heads down and staying focused on the next task at hand, which is Notre Dame. We are just trying to be the best we can be.”

Galloway said the week off before the title game makes it feel like the Tigers are already in the playoffs.

“There is usually that break after the ACC Championship and before bowl season, and that is what this week kind of feels like,” Galloway said. “Just from the fact that after the ACC Championship we won't really have another bye week or a true bye week. That is the way I am looking at it. We have a lot to do to prepare for Notre Dame, but we are right where we want to be. We still have everything ahead of us. But we still have to beat Notre Dame to clinch that spot in the Playoff and do what we want to do.”

Galloway was asked if the Tigers paid attention to the Irish after the 47-40, double-overtime loss in early November, and he said the focus always has been and always will be on Clemson.

“We always just focus on Clemson. We knew every after we lost to them that we were still in control of our own destiny,” Galloway said. “So we were focused on playing the best games that we can play. And we knew that if we took care of business that we would get another shot. And if they continued doing what they were doing, we would end up meeting in the ACC Championship. But it was all about Clemson and focusing on what we need to do to improve and to keep that momentum and put ourselves in the best position to get a rematch against Notre Dame. But it was mostly just focusing on what we could do to get better and moving on from there.”

Playing a team a second time is unusual but should make preparation easier.

“It's not really all that different. You know what you are going to see,” Galloway said. “There are little tricks and things you can change before you play. We have recent film of our offense playing against them, so we know how they line up against certain things. Things can change, but at least we have a solid idea and some proof of what we think they are doing to do at certain times and with certain formations and things like that. That is always a positive.”

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