Watkins says team focused on getting the job done against Wake


by - Senior Writer -
Discuss on TigerBoard   Print   | TigerNetcom Facebook ClemsonTigerNet Twitter TigerNet RSS Feed
Watkins said the Tigers now understand that with a Top 10 national ranking they are now the hunted instead of the hunter.
Watkins said the Tigers now understand that with a Top 10 national ranking they are now the hunted instead of the hunter.

CLEMSON – Freshman receiving sensation Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Fr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 200
Fort Myers, FL

View Full Profile
said the Clemson Tigers have undergone a culture change, and it took a 31-17 loss to Georgia Tech at the end of October for the players to fully realize the implications.

The Tigers have had an underdog mentality for most of the season – trying to prove to the world that they belong – but Watkins said the Tigers now understand that with a Top 10 national ranking they are now the hunted instead of the hunter.

“We realized that we are not that team that can just come out here and beat somebody,” the Fort Myers native said. “Teams want to beat us. We are not the underdog anymore. We just have to come out and play our game every time.”

Watkins said the Tigers need to understand that despite the 8-0 start and lofty numbers from the offense, they still need to bring their ‘A’ game every time they take the field.

“I think [last week] we saw a bunch of guys that realize we can be beat,” he said. “We have to come out and play hard every game. Not just against Florida St. or Auburn. We have to play hard against every team instead of just looking down against certain teams.”

The Tigers fell into an early 24-3 hole against the Yellow Jackets and never recovered, and Watkins said the Tigers may have overlooked the Yellow Jackets going in.

“That is what happened with us,” he said. “Me. Tajh. We didn’t expect them to come out and play that hard. They came out fired up and were out there making plays, and they made more plays than we did. Now we have to get focused on Wake Forest and put that behind us. We have to learn from that loss. They beat us pretty bad and everybody knows it.”

Watkins called the loss a learning experience, and said the Tigers won't make the same mistake again.

“I think we are actually going to come out and play a great game,” he said. “We came back this weekend focused. We are going to prepare this week and I think we are going to be ready to play.”

Senior punter Dawson ZimmermanDawson Zimmerman
Sr. Punter / Kicker
#96 6-2, 205
Lawrenceville, GA

View Full Profile
said that he and his fellow seniors understand what is at stake, and are doing everything in their power to make sure a loss like that one against Tech doesn’t happen again.

“I think all of us, especially the seniors, have heard for the last four or five years that it has been 20 years since Clemson has won an ACC championship,” Zimmerman said. “I think all of us pretty much want to end that streak, especially knowing the heritage of Clemson University and knowing that is something that needs to return to normal. Having been there once and being so close, I think that is motivation.”

Zimmerman said this year’s senior class wants to be a part of an ACC championship team.

“Me personally, I would really like to contribute to being on the team that broke that streak,” he said. “We can do it if we take care of business this week and in the rest of our games. We understand what is at stake, and we understand that if we win this game that there is still work to be done. We are not looking past this game. We just have to go out there and execute and everything will take care of itself as long as we focus on the little things.”

He said that a person would have to sit in on the team meetings and listen to the seniors to understand just how much this team wants to reach the next level.

“If you were able to sit in on our senior meeting and hear the stuff we all say from a leadership standpoint you would be amazed,” he said. “It’s all about helping the younger guys who haven’t been here before. We have lost an ACC championship and we know how it feels. We try to keep the younger guys focused. When the seniors consistently lead and consistently practice and execute and play to best of our ability, it trickles down to the whole team.”



Rate this Story:
6 votes

Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment
Discuss on TigerBoard   Print   | TigerNetcom Facebook ClemsonTigerNet Twitter TigerNet RSS Feed
Post your comments!
Subject (Replies: 26) Author
spacer Front Page Story: Watkins and Zimmerman say team focused on getting the job done against Wake
B-Meist®
spacer Better late than never...win that division again & ACCC Game
lightbulbbill®
spacer Please spare us the "we underestimated them" B.S.
Judge Keller
spacer Re: Please spare us the "we underestimated them" B.S.
deanteb®
spacer Anybody who has followed Clemson's history vs Ga Tech
apextiger®
spacer I don't think Homecoming carries a lot of weight***
tiger chuck
spacer It really really doesn't.
darkhuntingtiger
spacer I'm glad you know their mindset better than they do***
jonnyboy
spacer Re: Please spare us the "we underestimated them" B.S.
Dugatiger®
spacer You weren't paying attention if you thought it would be easy***
deleted
spacer Re: You weren't paying attention if you thought it would be easy***
apextiger®
spacer Re: You weren't paying attention if you thought it would be easy***
Dugatiger®
spacer Yes ...
apextiger®
spacer Re: Yes ...
Dugatiger®
spacer They are 18-21 years old ... same as a lot of posters.
apextiger®
spacer 18-21 year old posters???........
tigrjm76®
spacer Re: Please spare us the "we underestimated them" B.S.
Dugatiger®
spacer Re: Please spare us the "we underestimated them" B.S.
Orange Lightning
spacer Sammy underestimated them, but it didn't matter...
Shevlin77
spacer You should always expect your opponent's best, but...
clemson guy3
spacer Re: You should always expect your opponent's best, but...
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Re: You should always expect your opponent's best, but...
Dugatiger®
spacer Re: Please spare us the "we underestimated them" B.S.
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Re: Please spare us the "we underestimated them" B.S.
owensdj
spacer Re: Front Page Story: Watkins and Zimmerman say team focused on getting the job done against Wake
rundahill
spacer Sucks that it took a loss for the players to realize
AllTimeClemson
spacer Easy now...
ClemsonTiger1988®
Thursday's scrimmage a battle of the elite versus the elite
Thursday's scrimmage a battle of the elite versus the elite
Unfinished Business: Mark Fields looking to put it all together in 2018
Unfinished Business: Mark Fields looking to put it all together in 2018
WATCH: Deshaun Watson hype video "Doubted"
WATCH: Deshaun Watson hype video "Doubted"
Fox Sports analyst thinks Deshaun Watson could 'change the sport' of football
Fox Sports analyst thinks Deshaun Watson could 'change the sport' of football
For Trayvon Mullen, knowledge leads to championships
For Trayvon Mullen, knowledge leads to championships
WATCH: Behind the scenes with Clemson Football
WATCH: Behind the scenes with Clemson Football
WATCH: Dabo comes from 17 lengths behind to win.... a horse race
WATCH: Dabo comes from 17 lengths behind to win.... a horse race
Tigers to give "punch-drunk" freshmen the weekend off as Furman prep begins
Tigers to give "punch-drunk" freshmen the weekend off as Furman prep begins
WATCH: Former Clemson WR's diving TD grab
WATCH: Former Clemson WR's diving TD grab
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Features
Breaking
Daily Digest