Clemson Press Conference Quotes on Sunday


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Clemson Press Conference Quotes on Sunday

Q. When you were growing up, are you more of an

NFL fan or a college fan, and either way, when you

finally got to this point, did you ever dream that

you'd be in a playoff game in college?

Deshaun Watson: I grew up more college. A little

bit of NFL just because the Falcons are right down the

street. Just a bigger college fan because that's the

video game I liked to play, just growing up seeing that

and playing the game. I didn't think that the playoff

committee was going to become a part. I didn't think I

was going to see another playoffs until the NFL. But

hey, it's here, and I'm enjoying it so far.

Q. What teams did you play with the most when

you were playing the college video game as a kid?

DESHAUN WATSON: As a kid probably Florida. I used

to love playing with Tim Tebow, and then as the games,

as I got older, I started playing with Oregon a little bit

more. I just liked to spread the teams around and do

the up tempo little things. That was probably the main

two.

Q. From an outsider's perspective, what do you see

in Baker Mayfield?

DESHAUN WATSON: Yeah, he's a special player for

their team. You know, he does a great job because

without him they wouldn't be in this position. It takes a

special guy to lead a great team, and they're pretty

good, and they wouldn't be here for no reason.

Q. The Oklahoma defense, does it remind you of

anyone you've played this year?

DESHAUN WATSON: No, not really, just because

they're their own style. They have their own way of

doing things, and they have their own they're their

own team. When I go to play different teams I don't

compare them to no one else. I respect everyone, and

they're very good. They wouldn't be at this point for no

reason. We just have to go out there and play.

Q. Have you talked to Chad much throughout the

season leading up to the big game about what he's

been doing and what you've been doing?

DESHAUN WATSON: Yeah, we keep in touch all the

time, but it's not really about so much football. It's just

about checking on the family and checking on each

other, and just regular conversation. Whenever we talk

football, it's very brief. We just talk about how we're

doing, and hopefully we get to see each other soon.

We've always had that great relationship.

Q. Given the role that he had in getting you here,

he was one of those first guys that was recruiting

you and obviously paid a lot of attention to you to

make sure you ended up at Clemson. Is there any

part of you that's kind of sad that he's not here with

you, or when he decided to leave was it difficult?

DESHAUN WATSON: I mean, it was hard, but at this

level I understand what this role and what this business

is, and he had to take the next step. I knew during my

recruiting process that some day he would be a head

coach. God don't make mistakes. It was just time to

move on and take that next step. We talked, and it

wasn't really hard for me because we had that

relationship, that chemistry, that even though he's

going to leave we're still going to have that bond and

communicate. I'm his biggest supporter and No. 1 fan,

and whenever we're not playing, I'm going to try to

watch SMU and support them.

Q. How is Coach Swinney's personality different

than what you expected coming in?

DESHAUN WATSON: Nothing really. I mean,

everything he showed in recruiting has been true ever

since I've been here. He's probably the realest coach

I've ever talked to and been around, and he's going to

make sure you're a great citizen first before football

player, and then make sure you get your degree.

Everything he sells in recruiting is the same thing he

brings out whenever you get here.

Q. Is your mom going to be at this game?

DESHAUN WATSON: She will.

Q. What has that meant to you to have her at all

these games?

DESHAUN WATSON: It's a blessing to have her in the

stands and just to have her see her son achieve the

dreams that I always dreamed about, and every time

when I was a little kid I told her I wanted to play college

football and be at this stage, and now I'm here. So

being able to have her in the stands and support me is

great.

Q. How is she doing?

DESHAUN WATSON: She's doing good.

Q. Some of the Oklahoma defenders are saying

they have to keep you in the pocket, that if they let

you out of the cage they're going to have a big

problem. What do you think about that?

DESHAUN WATSON: You know, it's on them. They're

going to have a scheme and try to contain me, but I've

still got a job to do. Either way, if I'm outside the pocket

or in the pocket, I've got to do my job. We just have to

see what happens, and they have their strategy and we

have ours.

Q. Do you feel like you're more dangerous when

you are able to get out of the pocket?

DESHAUN WATSON: I feel like I'm dangerous either

way. I would say I didn't throw 3,500 yards for no

reason, and they weren't always outside the pocket.

Either way I feel like I'm pretty dangerous, and that's

just the confidence I have in myself and my

teammates.

Q. Coaches have said that the deep ball is your

specialty. Where did you develop the penchant for

throwing it like that?

DESHAUN WATSON: It just started back in high

school, and my coach teaching me how to really

control the ball while it's in the air. Just over time

practicing it and just working on my craft, that's what I

did, and just learning tips and different ways of

throwing the ball. As I grew up, and I'm still trying to

master that position and throwing the deep ball and

learn from other guys. You know, it's still an oncoming

thing, but it's just one of the gifts that I'm happy to

have.

Q. What are the nuances of throwing the deep ball?

What are some of the things that Coach Perry

drilled into you back then?

DESHAUN WATSON: You know, just really placing the

ball, and it starts with your feet and eyes. You know,

whenever you throw the ball you don't take your eyes

where the ball is, you take the ball where your eyes

are. It's kind of hard to explain. It's really better if I

actually show you. But that's probably

Q. Can you talk about the importance of ball

security in this football game?

DESHAUN WATSON: I mean, yeah, it's hard to win a

game if you don't take care of the ball. Last year we

took care of the ball, and I don't think they did. I can't

really remember. But that was probably the biggest

difference in the game. I mean, every game, whoever

has the ball most, especially in this game, is going to

probably come out on top. We want to control that and

make sure that we have every opportunity we have to

make points.

Wayne Gallman: Man, they have everything from

TVs to memory foam mattresses. For my mom, my

girlfriend, I'll take something simple like a smoothie.

Q. For yourself?

WAYNE GALLMAN: Yes. I already got too much stuff.

Q. Was that last year's gift, bowl gift, that you've

WAYNE GALLMAN: Yeah, and last year I remember

last year we got to go to Best Buy and we had so much

money to spend on whatever we wanted to in the store.

Q. What did you get?

WAYNE GALLMAN: I got some Beats and I got my

mom some Beats.

Q. Was this a little strange playing a team that you

beat so badly in last year's bowl game, but

obviously you're a different team, new quarterback,

new system? Is that a little strange given the

circumstances?

WAYNE GALLMAN: Not really, man. Having gotten

into it the last couple weeks, that thought was in the

back of my head, we're going to play Oklahoma again.

That's not really, no, I mean, they're a good team, and

we got better from last year, so no.

Q. What stands out about their defense?

WAYNE GALLMAN: Their whole box. They're fast,

physical. Their D line is a lot more athletic this year,

more fast. I mean, they've always been strong, but last

year their backers, they played real flat, didn't move

from side to side really good. So that's what you're

going to have to look forward to.

Q. Tell us a little bit about Dabo Swinney. As a

head coach, how would you describe him?

WAYNE GALLMAN: I'd describe him as a very laid

back coach, down to earth, and someone you can talk

to about whatever. Man, he's a great leader. This

whole season has just been led by him, and we follow

everything he does. Whatever he does, we try to do to

our best ability to expect the best not only from him but

from ourselves.

Q. Are you involved with him a lot at each

individual position or are you closer with your

position coaches?

WAYNE GALLMAN: From time to time. Like I'm pretty

much cool with all the coaches, but I'd say I'm closest

with Coach Elliott, Coach Davis that works in the

building. But I talk to Coach Swinney, as well. I talk to

everyone.

Q. What do you see as sort of a key hurdle in this

season? Is it when you held off Notre Dame? Is

that sort of what ignited you guys, or is there a

point in the season that you look at as sort of the

turning point?

WAYNE GALLMAN: I'd say the turning point this

season, yeah, Notre Dame was one of those games.

But I'd say Miami was really when we got really all in,

and the plan really started to just flow together. We

were good on both sides of the ball, so I think that's

what we started to get good.

Q. What happened that day to beat a decent team

that bad?

WAYNE GALLMAN: Everything just clicked. The game

plan was right. Everybody came to play, and we played

perfect.

Q. Has it kind of hit you you're in the College

Football Playoff, what you guys worked for all

summer?

WAYNE GALLMAN: I kind of expected it out of us. I

told you a couple weeks ago, I expected it, and it just

feels really good to be here, and to be able to go

downtown and just enjoy it, it feels awesome, just the

fact that we're down here.

Q. You weren't here then, but in 2011 it seems like

Coach Swinney worked the guys to death basically.

By the time they got here in 2011 a lot of them

talked about how worn out they were. Talk about

the time he gives you guys once you get to the

bowl site. Seems like he gives you guys a lot of

freedom?

WAYNE GALLMAN: Yeah, he does, and he actually

tells us that he's learned from the past and he knows

that we need more rest, more time to relax, and we're

just down here to have fun, but we're also down here to

beat Oklahoma. I think he's learned a lot from his

experiences, and that's always a good thing.

Q. If you guys think that you've been kind of like

overlooked and disrespected and OU thinks

they've been overlooked and disrespected, what

happens when two teams think they're

disrespected?

Eric Mac Lain: It's just a great big pile of disrespect,

like you said. We don't know who's getting more or

less, but I think it's pretty evident when you turn on

ESPN and you turn on the news who's been

disrespected and who's not. I think it's pretty silly for

them to say that. Of course they dropped to 4, but

that's the whole getting them in the National

Championship conspiracy, so that's interesting.

Q. At the start of the year basically you had one

guy come back on the line and you had to replace

everybody on the defensive line. How big a

challenge is that, and honestly did you expect to be

here?

ERIC MAC LAIN: Yeah, definitely. I just think the talent

that I knew that we had coming on the defensive line,

you know, I said from day one Christian Wilkins was

going to be a monster among children, and he's proven

that. He's just dominated offensive lines that he's gone

against. From the offensive line I knew that we had

something special, just the brotherhood that we had,

that we might not have all started games, but we

played a lot, when you look at the different snaps and

things like that. I knew that we had the capability, just

whether a matter of fact we came together and did it or

not.

Q. You've been a part of three Orange Bowls now.

What do you remember about the first two Orange

Bowls?

ERIC MAC LAIN: In the first one getting my tail drug up

and down the field. As a redshirt watching that it was

probably a very traumatic experience, one of the worst

of my college career. And then the second one was

just awesome, going against Ohio State in that Orange

Bowl, seeing the performance Sammy Watkins put on

in that game. That's where he got drafted, from that

game alone. I really feel like he just really blew up.

The Orange Bowl has been pretty good to us these last

two times that we've been here having big wins, so it's

been fun.

Q. How do you think that the first Orange Bowl

Clemson was in in 2011, how do you think the

program grew from that, dealing with that loss?

ERIC MAC LAIN: I think the biggest thing that you've

seen is the way the coaches have approached the

situation with the bowl. We've had great success the

last four years since then. I really think that Coach

Swinney has changed and adapted to the way that he

coaches. The first year we were here a week early, it

was basically camp. No one wanted to be here by the

time the game was played. We were all tired, tired of

seeing each other, and so I just think that with the

physicality that we practiced with and things like that

it just wasn't smart for playing 11 or so games. So he's

realized now that you've got to take care of your

players, and he's done an outstanding job in the way

that he's progressed and grown as a coach.

Q. Has the vibe down here been really different the

last two times than it was in that first game?

ERIC MAC LAIN: Oh, yeah. Guys are excited to be

here. Guys are happy for the opportunity. I think the

biggest thing about this team that's so unique is we all

love to play football. It doesn't matter whether we're

playing Wofford, Furman or Oklahoma in the playoff

game. We're all going to be excited to play, and I think

that's been something that's been different about this

team, and I think that's what makes us so dangerous.

Q. How have practices been different now?

ERIC MAC LAIN: Just the physicality, really. We used

to just go full pads every day, just smacking around.

Now not full pads. The first time we were in full pads

was a week ago all season except for on Saturdays, of

course. We just really have toned it down. We're not

hitting each other nearly as much. You don't need that.

We know how to play football. We know how to hit. At

this level it's all mental. So the more mentally prepared

you are, the more you can look at their defense and

know what they're doing, that's a lot better than you

being able to go against Ben Boulware and hitting him

every day, so I think that we've really been able to save

ourselves a great deal of pain and injury from that

standpoint.

Q. What's it been like to watch the transformation

of this program? That first Orange Bowl you were

a good ACC team but now you're in a playoff.

ERIC MAC LAIN: It's just been cool to watch. I think

Coach Swinney has got the character type guys that he

wants, whether that's coaches or players. I think our

support staff is second to none. We really have been

able to go out there and get the best in the country.

Obviously our coordinators have been a huge deal in

that. So I really think it's just been a growing process

through players and coaches, and you guys have seen

first hand what that can do.

Q. Was there a turning point during your career

that you went, oh, wow

ERIC MAC LAIN: I think the summer after the LSU

game. The off season, going into that, that was

obviously a huge win for our program, and kind of the

momentum that that took us into the off season with I

think was just really cool, and the leadership that you

saw emerge from young guys was just second to none

that I've ever seen.

Q. When you're protecting a quarterback who's

mobile like that, do you kind of always have to be

aware of where he's at?

ERIC MAC LAIN: Yeah, you never know where he's

going to scramble out and run, but at the end of the

day, him being so mobile really helps us out. I don't

have to block perfect every single play because I know

that he has my back and he's going to make us right,

so I think the ability of Deshaun Watson has saved us a

ton this year. But it is a little difficult, like you said, just

because you might be blocking your man one way, and

I could be straying into where he's running. So it's a

little difficult at times, but it's definitely more positive

than negative.

Q. A year ago when you guys were kind of learning

the ropes, you figured out what you wanted to do

your first bowl game, how much have you changed

personally, both of you, in the last year?

JEFF SCOTT: Obviously the experience through those

14 games are very valuable, but I would say deep

down, philosophy wise and really the same mentality

and goals that we had going into that bowl game last

year and kind of the foundation of what we wanted to

do offensively really has not changed. I think probably

we've become a little bit better in our planning and

scripting and doing those type of things, and then

obviously on game day the communication and all that,

you're going to get better each game that you go, so

that's helped. But I think philosophy of what we were

doing offensively and what we wanted to do each game

really has not changed.

TONY ELLIOTT: Think the biggest thing for me is just

growing in confidence prior to the game last year, I

think all the way up in preparation I was fine, and then

we had our final meeting in the hotel before we sent

the kids back to the room before pregame, and that's

when I started to get nervous, and I don't quite get as

nervous because I know that, one, I've got a great staff

and a great group of players that believe in me. The

coaches are prepared. The call sheet is not too big.

That's what we learned last year I think coming out of

that bowl game is we looked at the call sheet from last

year and there wasn't a whole lot on it. Obviously it

was our first time and we just wanted to give our kids

an opportunity to be successful. I think learning that

and the challenge of staying as simple as possible but

also making sure that you're not predictable but then

just getting back to the foundation of the system and

being committed to running the football, and a lot of

that has to do with the guys up front and Wayne and

how they perform this year.

Q. Did you guys feel more pressure last year going

into your first game as OCs or this year going into

a playoff game?

JEFF SCOTT: I would probably say last year with it

being the first one. There were a lot of questions, not

just with the promotion of Tony and myself to co

offensive coordinator, but obviously we had some

injuries. We were short at tight end. Deshaun had just

played a great game versus South Carolina, and now

he's going to be out, and so there were a lot of

questions going into that game, playing a very tough

opponent, and I don't remember the exact dynamics of

it, but I think Oklahoma popped up out of nowhere on

our radar screen for the bowl game, and we went, wow,

from the outside, I think there were a lot of people

maybe doubting how that bowl game was going to turn

out.

But I think the confidence that just like we coach our

players, you never arrive as a player. You always are

continuing to learn and get better, and as coaches

we're the same way. We don't feel like we've arrived

and we have all the answers. But we feel like we're a

lot more prepared, and so I think with preparation kind

of alleviates a little bit of the pressure, and really we

kind of try to live in a little submarine right there within

the walls of what we do and try not to get caught up

with all the outside stuff, and obviously having time

over the break to kind of sit back and think about the

position you're in and the possibilities that lie ahead,

really we try to use all of our energy and time in our

preparation because you waste some time thinking

about all the outside stuff, it will not help us.

TONY ELLIOTT: Coach Swinney does an unbelievable

job of kind of insulating us and protecting us from the

outside pressure, and then the same way preparing our

guys that every game is the biggest game of the

season, so this game right here that we we're

preparing for, we're not going to do anything different. I

wish we would have a little bit more time, so we'll go

back and study ourselves to make sure our tendencies

are not too predictable, but it will be the same

approach. We'll have the same practice plan. I think

that helps us from a confidence standpoint and it helps

us to not get caught up in ourselves and put more

pressure on ourselves by focusing on what's going on

outside. I'd say the more pressure was last year

because it was the first time not knowing what to

expect my first time up in the box, but now I've got a

little bit more experience, but also at the same point I

understand that I haven't arrived like Jeff said. I've got

a lot to learn. I've made some bad calls this season.

There's some things I'd like to do differently. There's

more efficiency that I'd like to get into the game

planning process that's going to come over the next

couple years as we continue to go forward. So just

focusing on what we do, how we do it, alleviates a lot of

the pressure?

Q. Just being up in the box, this is your first year

with that vantage point.

TONY ELLIOTT: I think it's allowed me to be in a

situation where it's a lot calmer and so I can listen to

Jeff and hear what he's saying, I can hear what Coach

Swinney is saying, Coach Streeter, Coach Caldwell

and take all the information in between series and kind

of formulate a plan like, okay, this is what we're all

seeing and let's get to this. So it's not so much that it's

all me. It's just being able to be up where I'm out of the

battlefield environment with a lot calmer, so I can just

be focused on the call sheet, and take in all the

information, processing it and then getting it back out to

the guys so we can make the proper adjustments.

Q. How different is this Oklahoma defense from the

team you played last year at this time?

TONY ELLIOTT: I'd say structurally it's very similar.

They have added a few wrinkles which makes them a

little more multiple, but they're playing with a lot more

confidence. It looks like up front they're moving a little

bit better. They had a really, really big nose guard that

causes problems, but now you've got to account for all

three of their down linemen. The linebackers are very

experienced, very skilled in the secondary. Their

corners are very dangerous. They can play you in off

coverage and be effective. They can come up and play

you bump and run, man coverage in your face, so they

are little bit more multiple, but they are just playing at a

higher level, a lot more confidence, communicating

better and you don't see any busted assignments. You

see them all on the same page.

Q. Coach Stoops was saying he feels like Deshaun

is about as advanced as you can be more a

sophomore. You obviously had him committed for

a long time and had a plan for him. Where is he

right now when you look at him from the big

picture at the end of his sophomore year?

JEFF SCOTT: Well, I mean, we knew talent standpoint

wise that he was going to be a very talented player

early on, and we were very fortunate that he came to

our football camp maybe before he went to anybody

else's football camp so we could see that part. But the

part that you don't know until they get there inside the

meeting room is the mental aspect, and I think we

found out pretty quickly his freshman year being put in

some games, his very first game at Georgia has been

talked about a little bit already, but it was a huge check

that he made against a very exotic blitz, and to be able

to get it checked and throw his first touchdown pass in

his first game in his home state of Georgia, that was

probably the first moment when we went, wow. And

then later on in the season there was a run where he

started three or four games there and had a lot of

success, and just the decision making as coaches, I

said last year we set the record for most times using

the word wow on the headsets. I mean, his freshman

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year, we're sitting here, a lot of these plays that are run

pass tags and they're combo plays that he can throw it

to the boundary, he can throw it to the field or he can

hand it off or run it up the middle, and based off the

defense he's got a decision to make, and he's sitting

here as a true freshman, and a lot of times obviously

we know the offensive play call and we can see the

defense start moving, so in our mind we've done this

for four years, we know what the end result, where the

ball should go. We're just watching this freshman go in

there and make the right decision every single time,

and even though we've seen this 10 times over the last

four years, this is the first time this 18 year old

quarterback has ever seen it and he's getting it right.

So I think we knew really early on that not only does he

have great physical talents, but his mental strength and

decision making is going to be a huge advantage. But

Deshaun would tell you, as every competitor, he's not

he hasn't reached his ceiling. I mean, I think he's

obviously an elite talent, one of these guys that as

coaches you may not coach another guy like that, but I

think he still has things that he wants to work on and

improve. But we're obviously very pleased with where

he is, especially missing the games that he missed last

year with all the injuries and all that. I mean, he picked

right back up this fall like he was a second year starter,

played all season last year.

Q. What do you remember about that game in 2011

and how that put you guys on the road to where

you are now?

Charone Peake: Yeah, it was a very ugly loss, but it

was a tight game going into halftime. We had that

turnover, they had that long fumble recovery for a

touchdown, and that kind of led to a lot of wrong things.

I think that loss itself helped us improve as a program

and how to prepare for a bowl game. A lot of guys

were drained before the game even started. Mentally

they weren't there, and it showed on film.

Q. Offenses these days have become so much

about 50/50 balls, who wins those individual

battles. Why has it become such a big factor in

offenses these days?

CHARONE PEAKE: I think because of the way these

freaks we have in the game now. We have like Odell

Beckham as receivers as stuff. Knowing how athletic

those guys are, you just throw it up, and either you're

going to catch it or you're not.

Q. Basically it's almost impossible to defend if

you've got a guy that can go get it, right?

CHARONE PEAKE: Yeah, exactly. That's why that

guy that ran them up, it's probably not even 50/50, it's

more like 80/20. That's what teams are really looking

for, receivers like that.

Q. And the way Deshaun throws the deep ball,

right, it's almost perfect for your offense?

CHARONE PEAKE: Yeah, it definitely is. He puts the

ball exactly where he needs to be every time. He does

a good job controlling the offense, and the good thing

for our offense is we don't really have to do that as

much because we're confident that we can take the

little things sometimes or even run the ball because our

offense is so balanced.

Q. Do you go into the game thinking, okay, we're

going to take so many 50/50 shots because you've

got to do it? Do you have to do it now in this day

and age of football where you've got to try to?

CHARONE PEAKE: We definitely don't do it as much

here as we used to. I think that's because our

coordinators, they really do a good job of they don't

just say, we're going to throw it up and see what

happens. They do a good job of preparing every week

and having plays to get us open.

Q. You replaced your entire offensive line,

defensive line, playing a lot of freshmen, and yet

you guys are No. 1. How do you get there?

CHARONE PEAKE: Like you said, we had to replace

all of them, but I think our long game has been the

strongest part of our offense, and Deshaun has gone

multiple games without getting sacked. We're so

balanced, and we protect Deshaun, and us as

receivers, so those linemen, they've been successful.

Q. Were you confident that they could be as good

as they are?

CHARONE PEAKE: Definitely. They've got some great

leaders up front with Aaron Mac Lain and Ryan Norton,

and I know they were definitely working all summer and

I knew it was going to be a special season.

Q. How prepared do you feel for this game?

CHARONE PEAKE: Really prepared. We've been

doing a lot of meetings. Oklahoma has a defense just

like ours, so we're very prepared, and I think that's

going to be really key for us.

Q. How much pride do you take in the

transformation from the 2011 Orange Bowl team to

now?

CHARONE PEAKE: Yeah, definitely a lot. Because of

that team, that 2011 team, it's definitely everything

we've done up until now. I think guys now on the team,

they don't I think we used to be in the past we used

to be overwhelmed with the big games. I think now

they're used to it, and when adversity hits, we're

calmer.

Q. Oklahoma's secondary struggled quite a bit last

year. This year they've completely kind of had a

makeover. It's the same guys but maybe a couple

of different positions. What's been your

perspective?

CHARONE PEAKE: Yeah, it's pretty much the same

defense, same guys last year we went up against, but

they've gotten a lot better, and you can see they're

more confident, too. They do a good job when the ball

is in the air going and attacking just like the receivers,

and I think for us as a team, we're going to have to be

disciplined in protecting Deshaun.

Jordan Leggett: I remember I was really young so

I didn't get to play as much, but I did have one key

catch. Every bowl game we get to play in, it's all about

just having fun and getting bowl experience. It's been

fun so far, so I'm definitely excited for the game. I feel

like a lot of Clemson fans are going to be there, as well,

so it might turn out to be another home game like the

ACC Championship.

Q. Is there anything that makes the Orange Bowl

experience special from what you've been a part

of?

JORDAN LEGGETT: I think the experience just comes

with the location, just being down here in Fort

Lauderdale/Miami area, it's been a blast. I know the

whole team has been having fun with it. We get to go

to South Beach tonight, so I'm pretty sure the whole

team will be down there just walking around the

streets. It's just been a whole lot of fun to spend time

with your teammates.

Q. Is there any advantage to having played here

earlier this season when you guys faced the

Hurricanes? This is the third time in five years the

team has been back here. Do you feel like that

helps you at all?

JORDAN LEGGETT: It brings a lot of momentum. I

mean, home field advantage is kind of for the team that

knows the field the best kind of thing. Since we've

played here three times, like you said, the last five

years, we definitely know the field. We know

everything about it. It was really good to have the

young guys play in it this year. It will definitely be okay

for us just being so close to Florida and stuff like that

and South Carolina. But I feel like it will be a home

field advantage for us since we've played here so many

times.

Q. Wayne was saying after the Miami game he

remembers Coach Swinney telling you guys, you

have a chance to be back here at the end of the

year. Do you remember him talking about that?

How much did you guys talk about getting to this

point, to the Final Four, all year?

JORDAN LEGGETT: We just tried to take it one game

at a time, really, just each game was just as important

as the last one. If we would have got beat by Wofford

at the beginning of the year I don't think we'd be sitting

in this place right now. We just took every game one

step as a time, but it's been a long season, and getting

closer and closer to the playoffs and the semifinals, it's

been fun to talk about with the team just because we're

so close. We're about to be the No. 1 seed. We're

excited, but we couldn't get complacent or anything like

that. We had to keep practicing with a purpose and go

out there and win every game that we had a chance of

playing in.

Q. Oklahoma hasn't really faced a legit tight end

threat, certainly not the way that you are. Do you

kind of view this as a match up that you're excited

to be involved in because they're not going to be

used to going against somebody who does what

you do on the field?

JORDAN LEGGETT: It's definitely going to be fun. I

guess, like you said, they don't use them as much up in

their conference. It'll definitely be fun for me to see if

they change their defensive game plan at all or if they

just keep it the same. I'm just going to do whatever I

can to help the team win really, and I'm not going to do

anything extra, just keep doing what I do, just be

Jordan Leggett. So it's definitely going to be fun. I feel

like our offense is going to match up against their

defense pretty well. Hopefully it's just like last year.

That's what everybody is thinking, hopefully. We'll just

see how it goes, but we're definitely extremely excited.

Q. How does your role change this year? Did you

envision at the beginning of the year that your

season would go like it has, or has this been a little

bit of let's see how far we can push Jordan Leggett

and see what he can do?

JORDAN LEGGETT: I had no idea that I'd be sitting as

I am right now, just being All ACC and stuff like that. I

had no idea I'd be here, but I guess that just came with

staying healthy throughout the whole season this year

and just coaches putting a lot more trust in me, just

working in the off season and stuff like that. I feel like

the coaches have really developed trust in me, and it's

really shown through all my games that I've played, just

with them giving me the rock and stuff like that.

Q. What do you see in Oklahoma's defense and

what they do?

JORDAN LEGGETT: They play a 3 4, so pretty much

they're designed to play two gap on the defensive line,

stop the run. All their linebackers are very athletic.

They run very well side to side. I feel like they're going

to try to stop the run early on, but since we have so

many skill players out there that are phenomenal

athletes, I feel like they're going to have to rethink how

they play defense against us, just because we're so

dual threat and multidimensional. They're going to

have to really game plan to see which way they want to

play us.

Q. They were saying they don't envision changing

their game plan much. They're kind of doing the

same thing. Do you think from what you see on

tape that you can explain?

JORDAN LEGGETT: There's definitely a lot of things.

Every team has tendencies and stuff like that. They

bring a lot of blitz, but with that comes with just

knowledge, offensive line being on the same page,

picking them up, and whenever that happens, that

means we've got to hit them deep or something like

that. It will definitely be fun to watch, but just having

Deshaun back there, I feel like we'll be able to pick him

apart the whole game, just tell when they're coming on

the blitz or anything like that. But the offensive line

hasn't given up a sack in I think the last five games in a

row, so I don't think it's going to change.

Q. Is this going to be one of the better pass

rushing teams you've seen this year?

JORDAN LEGGETT: I wouldn't even say that, just with

striker being an outside linebacker. I feel like both of

our tackles are going to be ready for him. I mean, it's

just a mismatch problem, with him being so big. He

can try to run around them, but just having two athletic

tackles like that might be a little harder for him. Striker

is definitely a phenomenal athlete. It's going to be fun

to play against him, and he has a pretty badass name,

Striker, too. It will definitely be fun. We've game

planned all week for it. We've got ready for all the

blitzes that he's going to run. It'll be fun to see.

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