SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Clemson is the defending national champions, 13-0 on the season, and has won 28 consecutive games.
Yet, the Tigers enter the College Football Playoff as the No. 3 seed behind No. 2 Ohio State and No. 1 LSU.
“It gives us a little fuel and something to work for,” Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence said Tuesday during his Fiesta Bowl press conference at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn of being the No. 3 seed. “We’re still — if people think we’re the third-best team, so that’s just how it’s going to be until we prove it. Since we’ve got the opportunity, we’re not upset. We’re happy to be here and happy to have the opportunity to prove ourselves.”
Clemson left guard John Simpson echoed those sentiments, saying the Tigers are excited for the chance to show they are still the top dog.
“I feel good. I’m just glad to be here,” Simpson said, laughing. “All I can say is Clemson, we’re blessed, man. Getting an opportunity to play, prove to everybody – I’m not going to be salty about it. We can just prove to everybody that we’re the best in the country, then that’s what we’re going to do.”
Clemson’s quest to prove it is the best will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday when it takes on Ohio State in the CFP semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona.
Disrespected as the Tigers feel by being No. 3, it is simply motivation for them to put their best foot forward against the Buckeyes.
“We definitely use it as fuel,” running back Travis Etienne said. “We’re always looking for things to use as fuel to get you going, so we use that. But we’re just worried about going to play the best four quarters of our life in that game. So, as long as we execute and play to the best of our ability, we’ll look at the score and be able to live with it whether it’s a win or it’s a loss. So, we just got to go out there and just play the best ball that we’re capable of.”
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