Wilkins says Thomas will be hard to stop


Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins spoke with the media on Tuesday afternoon following the third-ranked Tigers win over S.C. State last week.

Wilkins says he is looking forward to Thursday night’s challenge against Georgia Tech and its triple-option offense when the Tigers visit Bobby Dodd Stadium on Thursday night in Atlanta.

Here’s what the sophomore had to say about the match up with Georgia Tech.

Question: How has the defense prepared for Georgia Tech’s offense?

Christian: “Obviously it’s a lot different. We have to switch up our whole defensive scheme and everything. This is the week of discipline. With a short week, we really have to focus and go that extra mile to prepare for the triple option.”

Question: Now that you’re playing at defensive end, how important is it for you to be able to set the edge against an offense like that?

Christian: “It’s really important. It’s different than what I had to do last year playing inside, a lot different actually. I watched a little more film this week than I usually do because it’s a shorter week and my whole week is kind of altered because of the short week and getting ready for the triple option. I think, as a defense, we’ll be fine.”

Question: How good is Justin Thomas at holding that ball till the very last second when deciding whether to pitch or keep?

Christian: “He’s really good at what he does. He seems a lot better on film this year than he did last year, too. We’re going to really have to stop the dive first and foremost and just focus in on him and make sure he’s really decisive with the football.”

Question: When you were preparing for Georgia Tech in August, how much did you play then?

Christian: “I did a good bit. I was able to hold on to a lot of things I learned in camp, so it was really helpful.”

Question: Coach (Dabo Swinney) talked about how it’s not something you prepare for over a few days, it’s a year around thing, getting ready for Georgia Tech. How does it benefit you guys as a team, not just yourself, going into such a game where you talk about “doing your job?”

Christian: “We had a bunch of periods and designated times for Georgia Tech, just to prepare us for this moment, and I feel like guys work really hard to be in a good position to be ready for it, so I think we’re going to be ready for it.”

Question: When you prep for Georgia Tech that early in advance, how do you save those lessons and practices in your head for a game week like this?

Christian: “Really just taking good notes and even looking back on some of the film, some of what we did in those practices so you know what your alignments need to be and exactly what your job is supposed to be.”

Question: What does Ben (Boulware) mean to this defense?

Christian: “He’s our emotional leader. He’s a great teammate. He’s someone who plays with energy, he brings it every day. He loves to compete and loves getting out there so it’s good to have him back this week.”

Question: Coach Swinney told us that y’all would have Friday and Saturday off after this game. How much do you think that y’all will use that as time to prepare for Louisville?

Christian: “That’s already what I was planning on doing anyways. It’s good that we will have a little extra time to prepare for Louisville. But we don’t really want to get ahead of ourselves thinking too far into the future because we still have to play Thursday.”

Question: Are you guys going to get that win and end that streak, that curse down there in Atlanta?

Christian: “That would be really big. Coach (Tony) Elliot was playing receiver the last time we beat them, which is crazy to think about. But it would be great to end that streak.”

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