Clemson linebacker Kendall Joseph spoke to the media during media day in Clemson Wednesday as the Tigers get set to play Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on Jan. 7.
This will be the fourth straight year Clemson and Alabama will meet in the CFP and the third time in the national championship game. Because of that, linebacker Kendall Joseph said the Tigers will not be intimidated by the Crimson Tide.
Question: I heard from five guys after the Cotton Bowl that the goal is to play your best four quarters of the year and you haven’t done that yet. Has that kind of been a team motivational tool or saying around here?
Joseph: “It’s really just the mold of the team and guys not being satisfied. You know we beat Notre Dame 30-3 and I’m just sitting there worried about my grade. Like, ‘I wonder what I graded out?’ That’s how we’re molded now to think. You might have a great game overall but we’re worried about those, ‘How did we play? How did you play individually? Can you take care of your job?’ We always just feel like we have better football to play.”
Question: Are you on equal footing with Alabama or do you feel that you’re still kind of chasing Alabama so to speak?
Joseph: “I wouldn’t say we’re chasing Alabama. We’re just trying to be the best Clemson. I would never want to say that. I think they definitely have and rightly so, a little more respect as a more dominant team because they’ve done it for a while now. So they definitely earned that but we’re just trying to be great and make Clemson its own brand. Its own kind of greatness is what we want to be.”
Question: Would you believe that maybe Alabama kind of has a mental edge over most teams in the country when they take the field? And they don’t have that over you. Obviously you guys aren’t intimidated. You’ve been there, done that. Do you feel like you’re maybe one of the only teams who isn’t behind when you take the field?
Joseph: “Yeah, some teams definitely get beat before they ever take the field. Just due to the logo, the pressure of the game. That’s definitely something that happens with teams and we’re definitely not intimidated.”