Clemson linebacker Dorian O’Daniel spoke with the media on Tuesday after No. 2 Clemson’s loss to Pittsburgh last Saturday in Death Valley.
The linebacker was not pleased with the performance of the defense during their loss, but feels it is something they should put behind them. He said the team’s main focus now is beating Wake Forrest so that they can continue to hold on to their goals that were put in place at the beginning of the season.
Here is O”Daniel’s thoughts on their loss to Pittsburgh and their upcoming game at Wake Forrest this Saturday at 7 p.m.
Being on of the best games you have ever played at Clemson, was the loss on Saturday to Pittsburgh bittersweet?
O’Daniel: “It’s ironic because my other best game was my sophomore year against Georgia Tech and we lost. It’s kind of ironic that my two best games were games we lost in but I am proud of myself. I would obviously trade that for the win but I’m still proud.”
Were you guys prepared for the shuffle pass from Pittsburgh’s offense?
O’Daniel: “That’s the thing. We prepared all week. We had a great week of preparation. It is just the way that they were getting aligned, which we haven’t seen as much I guess. It killed us. I would like to say we had a great week of preparation. We played that play every day at practice. They just lined up to it differently.”
Do you expect to see the shuffle pass performed Saturday by Pittsburgh?
O’Daniel: “Yeah, you would think so. Teams study opponent’s weaknesses not their strengths and that was a weakness in that game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it again.
How did the defense respond during practice Monday night?
O”Daniel: “Just putting the game in the rear view. We are correcting mistakes, watching film to see the little mistakes we made during the game that were critical and cost us. We have to get focused on Wake Forrest. They are a good team who is capable of beating us. We just have to put our best foot forward.”
What is the emotion of this team right now after a loss like that?
O’Daniel: “We are just ready to bounce back. There are a lot of doubters out there but everyone is ready to step back and really refocus on what is ahead of us. All of our goals are right in front of us. We just have to put in the work day by day. “
Is their a recognition that a loss at Wake Forrest could ruin the team’s goals for the season?
O’Daniel: “We can’t lose to Wake Forrest. We can’t lose period. That’s my mindset from here on out and it always has been. We just want to win the game in front of us. Although we lost to Pittsburgh, it is done with. We just have to focus on beating Wake Forrest.”
Do you think there is an officiating bias towards Ben Boulware because of how he plays the game?
O’Daniel: “Ben is a physical player that’s no secret. Anytime an official sees something they may think is a little aggressive they’re going to call it. This because they know he had a track record of not being dirty but being aggressive.”