Clemson running back Wayne Gallman was part of a teleconference with the ACC media Monday to preview the ACC Championship game. A transcript follows:
Q. I know you’ve been running behind a very good offensive line for a while, but you guys when you get into short yardage and goal-line situation use that jumbo package. I’m curious your thoughts on what it’s like running behind the, quote-unquote, jumbo package with guys like Christian Wilkins in there.
WAYNE GALLMAN: You know, they just make it so much easier because they’re so big, especially having Dexter in there. Other defenders, though two coming at them, it makes it really easy to pave the way and get a couple extra yards.
Q. Do they adjust to those roles pretty quickly? I don’t know how much goes into the complicatedness of just bowling over guys, but did you notice that they kind of embraced that role of being able to get out on the field and open up some room for you?
WAYNE GALLMAN: Oh, of course. Just knowing who Dexter and Christian are as players, just knowing that they’d be willing to do anything on the field, whether it’s trying to sack the quarterback or even catching a pass, man, they’re willing to do anything, and I’m glad we’ve got those guys willing to do the jumbo package and all those other things.
Q. Do you consider yourself a better football player than you were last year, and if so, where have you made the biggest improvements?
WAYNE GALLMAN: Yes, I do, and I think I made the biggest improvement probably in my pass protection and really learned what a defense brings on different downs, blitzes and things of that order. Really just being a better player without the football in my hands.
Q. Obviously there’s been an extreme focus on Deshaun individually this year and what he’s brought to the table. Some people have pointed to the fact that maybe his stats haven’t quite matched up with what they were last year. As a guy who was on the field with him, what was your evaluation of Deshaun and the way he played this year?
WAYNE GALLMAN: You know, he’s playing good. We’re just out here playing football and trying our best to have fun and really trying to execute the coach’s plan, and for Deshaun as the quarterback of the offense, man, that’s hard for anyone in college football. You know, eventually leading to the NFL, you know you’ve got to lead the team, and even though the numbers may drop or they may be higher, look where we’re at. We’re right where we want to be, so he’s doing a good job.
Q. You guys will likely be a substantial favorite going into this game. You went through it last year, and you won it. What does it take to win the championship game? Is there any chance that you could see yourselves maybe overlooking this game a little bit?
WAYNE GALLMAN: Oh, of course not. You know, Coach Swinney really embraces the fact that having a team ready for any game as if it was a championship. We never want to go into a game thinking that we’re just going to win because we can easily lose by anybody, I don’t care who you are. It’s all about execution, preparation, and really coming out to play football, and that’s what we’re going to have to do.
Q. Some of the close games that you guys have won this year, how much can that help in a championship game if it gets down to late in the fourth quarter and you need to get something done to pull it out?
WAYNE GALLMAN: You know, it just shows that we’re battle tested and the coaches have enough confidence in us with the plays that they may call that we’ll execute them in the right way and do whatever we