A picture is worth a thousand words.
A picture by The Clemson Insider’s Bart Boatwright after the game-saving tackle at the goal line by Clemson’s James Skalski that secured its win over Georgia Tech made rounds online this weekend.
But the picture revealed as much about the intensity, dedication and perseverance of the Clemson linebacker as it showed about his state after a long game.
“I cut my arm and just being in my stance it got all over me,” Skalski said about the blood on his pants and jersey. “We had to fight for that one, it was a good game.”
“I think we made it harder on ourselves than it needed to be but when we needed to get it done, we got it and that’s all that matters,” he said.
Nolan Turner saw the picture and thought it exemplified the effort and intensity Skalski showed for all four quarters against the Yellow Jackets.
“That was pretty cool, it just shows that he was spent after that game with everything he put into it,” Turner said. “I think that was just a great moment captured there of how he played and everything that he put into that game.”
But the veteran safety thought the photo revealed more about who Skalski is daily and what he means to the Clemson defense on and off the field.
“That what he gives at practice, that’s what he gives in the film room, it’s just the kind of guy he is, the kind of player he is and the kind of guy you want on your team,” Turner said. “That picture is a prime example of who he is.”
After a Clemson touchdown with 8:12 to play that gave it a 14-3 lead, the defense stayed on the field for 25 straight plays.
Georgia Tech responded with a 16 play 70-yard drive in 6:53 to cut the lead to 14-6 with a field goal. Then it recovered an onside kick and went 51 yards in nine plays before Skalski forced a turnover on downs at the one-yard line with 0:15 left in the contest.
The Yellow Jackets got the ball right back with seven seconds to-go after forcing a safety. But again the Tigers held with an interception as time expired.
“It didn’t feel that long to be honest,” Skalski said. Somebody told me that between TV timeouts and everything else we were on the field for like 50 minutes straight, which is nuts to me.”
“But it didn’t feel like that I was just playing ball and having fun,” he said.
Football season has finally arrived. Time to represent your Tigers and show your stripes!