Clemson right guard Gage Cervenka spoke with the media Tuesday and said he is eager to hit the field for Saturday’s matchup versus 12th-ranked Texas A&M.
Flashback to a year ago, when No. 1 Clemson struggled in Week 2 against the Aggies, one of few games to threaten Clemson’s perfect season. But the Tigers were able to battle through with a win.
With limited snaps against the Aggies last year, Cervenka faces a new challenge of facing an unfamiliar opponent and is striving to help make the Clemson O-line the best it can be when the Tigers hit the field Saturday at Death Valley.
Cervenka on strength improvement
“Just going from last year, I’ve PR’d on bench, gone up on my rep max, and gone up in squats. I take that very seriously because it’s a huge aspect of this game and is just something that I love to do. Just getting in that weight room and doing everything that I can to better myself is just something that I strive to. I try to push myself because I know that if I push myself then I’m going to kind of help bring those guys behind me up. In the weight room, just as an offensive line, we have so many guys who have gotten so much stronger, so it’s just something that we strive to do.”
Cervenka on offensive penalties early on versus Georgia Tech
“I guess there was just a little rust on there, being slow with our feet and our hands weren’t as tight as they needed to be, so just little technique things. At the end of the first half when we went back to the locker room, we were just kind of like ‘hey, we need to tighten this up and fix this’, so just easy things. It’s nothing like, ‘oh gosh, how can we fix this?’ We know how to do it. There are some things we just need to talk about, communicate on, maybe change the snap counts, and things like that.”
Cervenka on offense having a rare 400 yards rushing first game and competitive stat goals
“We always strive to get as many rushing yards as we can. We always have a goal and I think as an offense we have 200 yards, but we shoot for 300 as an offensive line and then anything above that, we just keep going up between the game. We have a little friendly competition between all of us. We’ll go out there and I’ll mess with the guys and say, ‘hey, I’m setting the goal, I’m going to get at least five knockdowns this game.’ So, then I’ll get guys like John [Simpson], Tremayne [Anchrum], and Sean [Pollard] and see how many they can get, and we’ll try to one-up each other. There’s just a lot of competition between us.”
Cervenka on Jackson Carman
“I feel like he has just exploded. He seemed like he was a whole different person than he was last year when he first got here. He had a great first game and was very dominate, technically sound, and is taking things very seriously. He wants to be a great player, wants to be a leader, and is a vocal guy. He’s really blown up and it’s great to see as a young talent because he has all this potential and so much he can improve on as well. The sky is the limit for him. He’s huge, strong, quick, athletic, and is just a freaky athlete, so it’s great to see how he’s progressed and how he’ll end up this season.”
Cervenka on Texas A&M Saturday
“They are well-coached, have some big players, and are physical. It’s going to be a tough match and last year we left a little bit out there, so I just feel like this is going to be a very dominant match that we need to come out and dominate in the trenches. This is a game last year where I only got to play one snap, so this game and opponent is kind of new to me and I’m very eager and excited to get out there and play them.”
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