Upon the road to the playoffs, No. 2 Clemson bears down as it prepares to face No. 2 Ohio State on Dec. 31 in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona.
Following practice earlier this week, the media spoke to defensive end Clelin Ferrell about the Tigers’ defensive line, the Buckeyes dominate offense, and how he has learned that prosperity is a terrible teacher.
Question: Talk about how you’ve become so comfortable in your play.
Ferrell: “I feel like I got comfortable right around the Louisville game. I was happy to go out and probably have my best game against Virginia Tech, so that was big.”
Question: What do you know about Ohio State’s quarterback J.T. Barrett and running back Curtis Samuel?
Ferrell: “He’s (Barrett) a really good quarterback, everything goes through him. He’s definitely going to be the key. We’re going to have to focus in on him and the game plan. I think we have a really good game plan for him. That running back… they’ve got a good offensive line, a bunch of NFL guys up front. So, it’ll be big this game.”
Question: Do you feel like the defensive end position has been a strength this year? Has it been as good as you guys have wanted it to be?
Ferrell: “Definitely. I feel like we’ve been a strength this year. The defensive line in general has been a strength. We’ve opened a lot of people’s eyes because I feel like we’ve exceeded expectations.”
Question: Is this the best defensive line in the country?
Ferrell: “I believe so. But, I’ll just let that speak for itself with our play.”
Question: Do you believe in Coach (Dabo) Swinney’s saying “prosperity is a terrible teacher”?
Ferrell: “It’s true. Prosperity is a very, very bad teacher. Adversity has been the best teacher for us coming out of the Pittsburgh game.”
Question: You’ve been here two years. This program is 26-2 since you have been here. You don’t have many opportunities to learn from a loss. When that’s the case, how do you approach learning from a loss?
Ferrell: “When you aren’t used to losing, and when you actually lose, there are so many things that you go back and look at and say ‘wow, we’ve been doing those things for a long time but we’ve just been getting away with it.’ It’s huge when you see the things that caused you to lose a game. When you’re not used to something and it actually happens, it presents a huge opportunity to learn from it.”