It was the defense again that shined in No. 1 Clemson’s 41-6 win over Syracuse this past Saturday night. But despite offensive mishaps, the Tigers traveled 852 miles north and got the job done, which is the ultimate goal each week.
“Coach (Dabo) Swinney says it all of the time, winning is hard and we got the job done,” Clemson center Sean Pollard said on Monday. “We won the game. Obviously we didn’t play the best that we wanted to and everybody is entitled to their opinion. We try not to listen to it.
“That’s why we’re not on social media. All we can control is what we can control. So, we just come in here and start over every week. It’s a one-game week mentality and that’s all we’re worried about. We’re worried about Clemson and we’re worried about being the best team we possibly can be and being the best offense we can possibly be.”
Although the offense was not always shaper last Saturday, the Tigers still totaled 612 yards, while quarterback Trevor Lawrence finished the night just shy of 400 passing yards.
“We’re not even close to hitting where we want to be,” Pollard said regarding the offense. “We just try to hit the little things every week and everything we can improve on. Nobody grades one-hundred percent, so we all have room for improvement. I think it’s internal motivation, guys in their segments, just challenging each other to try to be better each week.
“Especially on the offensive line. We all try to one up each other in grades, who has the most knock downs and stuff like that. I think everybody is just trying to push to be the best they can.”
Pollard also went on to describe why it was challenging for the Tigers to establish their run game early on against the Orange.
“They were bringing in a bunch of people in the box,” he said. “Seven, eight men boxes and just playing coverage outside and it’s hard when you try to run on eight men blocks. We try to be consistent and try to pound it no matter what the box is just to help us out. But overall Syracuse is a good team and a good coaching staff.
“They know us pretty well. They played us tight that last two years. But it was fun. Coach Elliott and Coach Scott had a good plan and we all knew it by the time Saturday happened. So we just went out, executed and did what we had to do.”
Saturday’s win not only made Clemson 3-0 on the season, but was also the team’s 18th consecutive win, making it the longest win streak in Clemson history.
The Tigers will try to continue that streak when they face Charlotte at 7:30 p.m. in Death Valley this Saturday.
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