Skalski confident defense will shine when it matters most

Skalski confident defense will shine when it matters most

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Skalski confident defense will shine when it matters most

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Clemson Linebacker James Skalski is gearing up for what will be the veteran’s third trip to the national championship game when the Tigers take on LSU Monday at the Superdome in New Orleans.

With lots of experience under his belt, Skalski has taken on a new role this season that has allowed him to be a key part of the Clemson defense. In fact, the Tiger’s defense has only given up a combined seven points in the second half of their last three playoff games, showing off just how unique this Clemson defense can be.

But the veteran isn’t letting any of that get to his head. Skalski knows LSU is arguably one of the best in college football right now, but he is confident that with preparation, Clemson can shine when it matters most.

Skalski on the level of excitement in competing for another national championship

“It’s crazy, I mean it’s surreal honestly that this is a chance to win a third one for me. It’s just awesome and then also the different role that I’m kind of in now compared to the first two. It makes it even more special. It’s an awesome opportunity.”

Skalski on how special his role on the team is

“I mean, yeah, it’s always cool when there’s more weight on your shoulders and it’s just all you’ve been working for all those years and it’s finally there for you. It’s been an awesome year and it’s honestly all been a blur, like I can’t believe it’s already Game 15. It’s just wild. I remember fall camp like it was yesterday and all of it is gone just like that. You got to cherish every moment because it does come and go that fast.”

Skalski on what excites him about playing LSU

“It’s just the opportunity on a national scale again to prove who we are and what this team is about. If you wanna be the best, you have to beat the best and they’re arguably the best right now. I mean they’re phenomenal on offense. Joe Burrow, I mean that guy is unreal, and every one of their skill guys is unreal. From tight end, running back, wide receiver, they are all good and the o-line, they won [Joe Moore] award, I mean, everyone is good over there and It’s just exciting to go try to prove yourself.”

Skalski on what makes Clemson’s defense so unique

“It’s how you prepare for games and it starts weeks before you even play the game. Its committing to learning a game plan, learning an offense, learning tendencies, and once you figure that out and buy into your job and the goal that we have for each other, it shows. I mean, seven points in the last three playoff games in the second half, that’s incredible, like I didn’t even know that. It’s just about sticking together and trusting your brothers beside you.”

Skalski on what he learned in Ohio State game

“We were down 16-0, but there was never the feeling that we were in trouble on the sideline especially the defense, too. We knew the offense was going to get rolling and it was only a matter of time before the whole play gets rolling. We just had to stick it out and we had some busts. I mean, if you look at, yeah, they got those yards rushing, but that’s three plays. Three plays of like 158 yards of offense, other than that, I don’t think they had 37 rushes for like 42 yards, and the three plays that they hit on us, it was a bust on our part. It was the little tiny details, so if you take away those, overall, we played a great game. I think what we’ll try to focus on, especially against LSU, is doing your job and making sure every detail is as perfect as possible.”

Clemson is going back to the national championship game after once again winning the Fiesta Bowl over Ohio State. Get your official national championship and Fiesta Bowl champs gear right here!

Shop for 2019 Clemson Tigers Fiesta Bowl Champs Fan Gear at Fanatics

Shop for 2019 Clemson Tigers Fiesta Bowl Champs Fan Gear at Fanatics

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