Clemson offensive tackle Tremayne Anchrum said there was feeling of regret in the locker room following the 43-42 loss to Pittsburgh last Saturday, and that the agony of defeat was something the Tigers needed to experience and something that will benefit them in the long run.
“We were definitely disappointed in the loss. It definitely hit us in a spot that hurt,” Anchrum said on Monday. “There was a feeling in the locker room of regret, but we all understood that it was needed. We needed to understand the pain of a loss so that when we get into a tough situation, we know that pain and we don’t want to feel it again.
“Given that Michigan lost and all those other teams lost, it does affect us in the grand picture, but it doesn’t affect us because we know what we need to do and if we keep doing what we’re supposed to do, we’ll be where we need to be and accomplish all our team goals.”
Anchrum, a freshman from Powder Springs, Ga., played a career-high 89 snaps in the game after an early injury sustained by starting left tackle Mitch Hyatt.
Despite throwing the ball 70 times, Clemson’s offensive line gave up just two sacks. The unit now ranks 17th nationally with only 13 sacks allowed on the season.
Anchrum talked about the offensive line’s performance, his growth as a first-year player and more during his interview with the media on Monday. Following is an edited transcript of the interview:
Question: When you got here, did you expect you’d be playing almost a full game at left tackle as a true freshman?
Anchrum: “No, I didn’t think so. When I first came in, I didn’t think I’d be starting and I didn’t think I’d be playing as much as I would, but I knew my skill capabilities and that they may or may not need me, and I always prepared that way ever since the spring.”
Q: What was the difference for you in moving from the right side of the offensive line to the left side after Mitch Hyatt’s injury?
Anchrum: “The biggest difference is probably balance, the balance in your body, the steps you have to take, the plays — you have to flip everything, so once you learn something and it’s kind of a reflex when you’re here, now you have to pause, think and flip it, and then go into that instinctual mode.”
Q: Against Pittsburgh, the offense ran over 70 plays and allowed only two sacks. Talk about the unit and the pride you all take in protecting Deshaun Watson.
Anchrum: “We take pride in protecting our quarterback. He’s our guy, so we take a lot of pride in keeping our man up, keeping him safe. He’s the heart of our offense, and he trusts us to protect him, and we work hard every day to get better individually so that we work as a cohesive line to keep him up.”
Q: How do you feel like you’ve matured and progressed from the offseason to now with game snaps under your belt?
Anchrum: “I feel like I’ve matured a great bit, actually. I’ve felt myself making strides in my mental game, going out and just taking it play by play, taking it day by day, just trying to get better and trying to keep my body conditioned to play because I’ve been in a game now, I’ve been in the longevity of four quarters and now I know how to train and how to prepare for the upcoming games.”
Q: After watching Wake Forest on film and seeing the defense play well for three quarters against Louisville last week, does anything stick out to you about Wake’s defense?
Anchrum: “They’re a pretty active defense. I watched a little bit of that recap of the game, and for the first two quarters, they gave them a run for their money. They were getting pressure, they were stopping the run. I was surprised, and we’re definitely going to have to prepare for the level of talent they have over there.”