By Gray Gardner.
CLEMSON, S.C. – The Clemson football team is wasting no time in shifting focus to their next game against Boston College.
According to senior defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins, the team has been guilty of either looking ahead or thinking too much about previous games this season.
“Guys were thinking, ‘Oh we’ve got Auburn,’ or, ‘We played like this against Auburn,’ instead of focusing on the next game,” Jenkins said. “I think most guys were kind of looking ahead and that was kind of our downfall.”
That raises the question, With division rival NC State on schedule the week after next, will the team be looking ahead to that game instead of focusing on 2-5 Boston College?
Jenkins said he doesn’t think it would be a problem.
“It’s just like Coach (Dabo) Swinney said, we’re taking this as a one game season,” Jenkins said. “We can’t really worry about who wins or who doesn’t win or what happened in the past – we control our own destiny.”
Jenkins said that he will be doing everything he can to make sure his team does not lose focus this week after a big win against Georgia Tech, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
After all, Boston College running back Montel Harris leads the league in rushing, averaging just under 100 yards a game. Although the Tigers had a great defensive outing against the Yellow Jackets this past Saturday, they cannot afford to focus on their success from a week ago.
“We’ve got to let it go,” Jenkins said. “He’s (Harris) a good back and is probably one of the better ones we’re going face as far as technique goes and running the ball hard. We just have to play our technique, stay low and wrap up and we can get it done.”
That’s what the Tiger defense did a year ago against Boston College when they held the Eagles to only 54 yards of total offense. Jenkins said he hopes for the same outcome this week, although thinking about last year’s game has hurt the Tigers more than it has helped.
“We’ve gone into each game saying, ‘Let’s make it another Boston College,’” he said. “I think that’s kind of what hurt us – we’ve tried to play that game from last year. It’ll be great if we can do it again, we just have to stay focused and should be able to get it done.”
Last year’s team found success against Boston College and eventually made its way to the ACC Championship Game in December. If the Tigers hope to find their way back to the championship in 2010 they will have to avoid the late season hiccup that Clemson has become famous for.
Jenkins does not think that will be a problem for this team so long as they remain focused on each game.
“If we do what we’re supposed to do each week then it shouldn’t be too hard to go where we want to go – the ACC championship,” Jenkins said. “We just have to take it one game at a time like everyone is preaching.”