Wilkins, Clemson defense bring their own intensity to matchup with 'Noles


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Wilkins, Clemson defense bring their own intensity to matchup with 'Noles

CLEMSON - After a heartbreaking loss in Tallahassee in 2014 players like Christian Wilkins who are very versatile know they are going to have to bring a lot of their own intensity into Doak Campbell Stadium Saturday night. Despite the losses that Florida State has had this season, Wilkins explains that Clemson is still playing a really good football team that has more than enough talent to win.

“We know that we are going to be playing a really good football team and yeah they have a couple of losses but like I said they are a really good football team,” Wilkins said Tuesday in the WestZone. “They have more than enough talent to beat us."

The Tigers know the environment in Tallahassee will be loud, but a hostile-type atmosphere is one that doesn’t faze Wilkins. He told the media this week that he actually likes playing on the road and in hostile environments the best.

“I'm looking forward to playing at Florida State,” he said. “They have a great environment, and it's going to be a great opportunity. Two really good teams going at it. I love going on the road and playing in a hostile environment. “

This will be the fourth night road game for the Tigers in 2016, but Wilkins feels that the previous games on the road this season have prepared them for what awaits Saturday night.

“We know what we have to do,” Wilkins said. “All of our games have been at the same time either noon or late. We have a lot of time during the day to prepare and were used to it as a team. It’s going to be good for us as far as preparation."

Although Florida State has a blowout loss to Louisville and another close game loss to North Carolina, Florida State is still Florida State, and they are as talented as anybody in the country.

The Tigers are going to have to play very well to get a win in Tallahassee, and that all starts with being able to stop junior running back Dalvin Cook. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said Tuesday that the Florida St. coaching staff would attempt to get the football in Cook’s hands in different ways, and Wilkins knows it will be a challenge to stop Cook

“It's a big challenge. Dalvin Cook is a very dynamic player and a good runner,” Wilkins said. “We're going to have to play team defense, and everyone is going to have to do their job. We're going to have to dominate at the point of attack."

OTHER NOTES

Q: Dabo was telling us Christian Wilkins stories about how you wanted to elope and quit football, do you pull any other practical jokes with any of the other coaches or players?

"Yeah I do whenever I have the opportunity to. I love to be funny and joke and prank around. About that story I just found an opportunity to mess with him a little bit.”

Q: Did you keep him going for a while?

"No he knew right away that it was just a joke."

Q: Is there a prank or a joke that you have played on a Coach here that stands out as a classic?

"Probably the one about the day I committed to Clemson. I called Coach V (Venables) and Coach Swinney, and it went on for five minutes and made it seem like I was going to be turning them down. But at the last second, I told them that I was coming here."

Q: Is that something you just like doing to people?

"Yes, it's just fun."

Q: Are your pranks with words or something else?

"Little bit of both. If I have the opportunity, I just run with it."

Q: Do you ever do it at an intense moment in the game?

"When things are high stressed that’s when I like to lighten the mood. I like to have fun in the tense situations to make everything easier. "

Q: Did you watch the Clemson/ Florida State game two years ago and what are your thoughts on that?

I did watch it. Obviously, we did dominate the whole game, but we let our chances go. We had opportunities to win the game but just lost it late. I'm looking forward to playing at Florida State. They have a great environment, and it's going to be a great opportunity. Two really good teams going at it. I love going on the road and playing in a hostile environment.

Q: Will this be the toughest team this year or last year you'll have played at their own stadium?

"It is definitely up there. They are a good team and are going to have a great crowd. We are going to have to prepare this week and be ready to play."

Q: How has your role been adjusted since you have been here?

"I'm very fortunate with my abilities to play at many different positions to help the team out, and be as versatile as I can. I am embracing whatever the coaches ask me to do."

Q: Has there been a favorite so far?

"I like having the ball in my hands. I would say the fake punt or catching a touchdown pass."

Q: Is there anything on the football field you think you can't do?

"I think Coach Swinney is right. I would like to think I can pretty much do it all.”

Q: What do you like best about that jumbo offense?

"Being back there with Big Dex (Dexter Lawrence) blowing guys up. I'm sure defenses don't know what to do because we can do a lot of things and it's tough to stop."


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