After taking advantage of an extra day over the weekend to relax following Clemson’s Friday night victory over Boston College, players and coaches met with the media to discuss the win and the week ahead as they prepare to host NC State this Saturday in Death Valley.
Here is what we heard:
Linebacker Ben Boulware felt the need to get something that was bothering him off of his chest, and took advantage of his interview time to do so. He addressed the issue of people calling him a dirty player due to some of his tackles in recent games.
“I was confused because I know my head did not touch him. I knew I literally kind of bench-pressed him off of me. I was just confused on why he threw the flag because I knew it was not close at all. I was disappointed that it was thrown so quickly,” Boulware said about his big hit against Eagles’ quarterback Patrick Towles. “If I tackle him by his neck, I’m not going to be, ‘Oh God! I have him by his neck. Let me go ahead and let go and let him go real quick. You have him by his neck you might hurt him a little bit.’ We are playing football. I’m not playing golf or tennis. This is an aggressive sport. You can see that I’m kind of annoyed by it because it has been blown up the last two weeks. Like I’m a dirty player. If you watch every single snap that I play, you will not find one dirty play. They don’t show the snaps when I’m helping the quarterback up.”
Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott believes the offense has really found its rhythm after putting 56 on the board against a defense that was previously ranked No. 1 in the nation. The 50-yard plays that aided in scoring provided a glimpse of the offense’s ability to be explosive.
“I think, looking back, that’s what this offense has really been known for is explosive plays, and that’s what we want to do,” Scott said. “We feel like we’ve got all the pieces, it’s just everything matching up. We had some of those plays early in the year and just didn’t connect, and then Friday night, we did. I think that’s something we’ve seen coming through the way the guys have worked and practiced, and hopefully that will continue.”
Quarterback Deshaun Watson said that he is confident in where Clemson stands right now as long as the Tigers continue to take the remainder of the season one game at a time.
“We have been here before and we have a lot of guys that have experienced that. They know what it takes. We know that we have to go put in the work and earn it. That comes with being consistent each and every week and taking it one game at a time. We are on that path and are in control of that, but it is still early in the season and we still have a lot of football to play,” Watson said. “At the same time, it is right there in our hands. We just have to handle business each week and continue to do what we do and earn it.”
Plenty of freshmen had the opportunity to contribute to Clemson’s success on Friday, and offensive lineman John Simpson said he’s honored to have the opportunity to get to play so early.
“I wasn’t really expecting to play my freshman year, but Coach Swinney saw something in me that I guess I didn’t see in myself,” Simpson said.
Running back Wayne Gallman said he takes pride in seeing his younger teammates do well, like when freshman running back Tavien Feaster found the end zone on a 45-yard touchdown run.
“I want those guys behind me to know that opportunities are going to come,” Gallman said. “I’m glad Tavien got out there and did his thing. A hole opened up, and he took off.”