Wayne Gallman said he enjoyed his last experience to Arizona, but there was one thing he and his Clemson teammates did not do. They did not bring back the national championship to Clemson.
In order to win the coveted College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy, the Tigers will have to go back to the same place they lost it last year – The University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
“It was a good experience the last time we were there, but we just did not finish. But now the objective is to go back and reclaim victory on that field,” Gallman said after Wednesday’s practice.
To do that, the Tigers will have to beat Ohio State in the CFP semifinals at the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
“We were there last year. Just like myself, I came up six points short in an opportunity to win a national championship,” Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said. “The big thing all year has been to finish with no regrets. Make sure we understand that we are back here because we earned the right to be back here, and now what are we going to do different.”
The little things are what they have to do different says Elliott.
“I just think about offensively, there are a couple of plays,” he said. “One of the most basic things we do every day is the quarterback-running back exchange. One of the cleanest blocked plays we had in the championship game and we fumbled the exchange.
“Then Deshaun roles out for a sprint out pass and he has hit that pass a million times and the ball sails over Renfrow’s head … There was a momentary lack of concentration or just not a commitment of excellence on every single play and it results in three or four plays making the difference in a championship.”
So the goal, as it has been all season for the Tigers, is to finish with no regrets.
“We stay committed to our core fundamentals and we push our guys every single play to make sure we have that attention to detail so when we are on the big stage, those plays will not come up if we don’t want them to,” Elliott said.
Gallman says he wants to finish the season up knowing he did everything he could.
“Finish just means to finish up the season and doing what you have to do to get there. In order to get to the national championship we have to go play Ohio State, and right now that’s the objective,” the junior said.