CHARLOTTE — Florida State head coach Willie Taggart isn’t sure how far behind Clemson his football team is, but one of his players does not think the Seminoles are behind at all.
Defensive end Brian Burns says Clemson has an “amazing team” but he thinks FSU is right there with the Tigers and can beat anybody.
Clemson of course will be the runaway favorite to win the Atlantic Coast Conference when the league releases the media’s pick from the ACC Football Kickoff at the Westin Charlotte in Charlotte.
“They have amazing talent and all, but I do not feel they have separated themselves at all,” Burns said Thursday. “They still have to compete just like everybody else. On any given day you can be beat by anybody.”
Burns feels good about the Tigers being the favorite. He says it gives the Seminoles the opportunity to sneak up on Tigers and it takes the pressure off of them.
“In my opinion, I am actually happy they are the favorite and they are in front of everybody and they are the headline and everything. That puts the pressure on them while we are back behind them and whatever from what the media views,” the defensive end said. “That is a perfect time to creep up without anyone noticing. I like being the underdog.”
Burns might like being the underdog, but Clemson obviously does not feel the pressure of being the favorite. The Tigers have been the media’s pick the last three years to win the ACC and they ended up winning all three, while going to the College Football Playoff all three years, winning it once and playing for the national championship another time.
“I cannot tell you how far behind we are,” Taggart said. “I know Clemson won the national championship two years ago and were in the College Football Playoff last year. I can’t say how far behind we are, but I do know we have to beat them to end all of those questions.
“Whether we are behind? They passed us and all of that. Obviously, they are at the top and not just from us but everyone else. You have to beat them. For us, it cannot be about Clemson. It has to be about Florida State and the way we play. We have not been playing the way we are capable of playing and how we should be playing so we have to get back to doing those things and everybody has to understand that.”
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