When Christian Wilkins rumbled through a wide-open gap for a 1-yard touchdown against Florida State this past Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla., everyone across the country was talking about it. Not since William “The Refrigerator” Perry scored on a similar play in Super Bowl XX has a 300-pound defensive tackle received so much attention.
Second-ranked Clemson calls the play or set of plays, “The Fridge Package.” On Saturday, the Tigers lined up in a Power I-formation, with Wilkins positioned as the tailback and Dexter Lawrence as the fullback.
They ran it so well, Wilkins received no resistance at all from the Seminoles. That’s the part that surprised defensive coordinator Brent Venables.
“We practiced against it, and it had more success than I thought it would,” Venables said Monday from the Poe Indoor Practice Facility in Clemson. “Kendall Joseph spiked that gap and stoned him in the backfield and stuffed it up pretty good in practice. I can’t remember if I blitzed him in there or not, but that is a lot of weight going down hill at you and a lot of fun.”
Venables revealed there could be more to come from both of his defensive tackles in “The Fridge Package.”
“It is going to be fun to see.”
As for offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, he has to tries not get to caught up in the moment too much because he has to call plays, but going into the game they were hopeful they would get the opportunity to call the play, along with Garrett Williams’ two-yard touchdown on the following possession.
“Christian and Dex, we know that they mean to our program,” Elliott said. “The type of young men that they are and to come in on Tuesday and tell them we have a thought, we are going to put you back there and see what you do, and they took ownership.
“It is not easy to take a 300-pounder and teach him how to take a hand off and teach him aiming points and his track, but he looked very natural back there… So, our guys really accepted the challenge and that is what makes it fun. When they accept the challenge to give of us an opportunity to do that, that is what makes it fun.”