Super senior LB discusses Tigers' goal-line stand at Louisville, more
Clemson’s defense came up clutch at the goal line after Louisville had four attempts to score the game-winning touchdown. Linebacker James Skalski is to thank for his sack on Cardinals quarterback Malik Cunningham on fourth-and-goal with less than 30 seconds left, causing a 2-yard loss to secure the Tigers a victory.
The Tigers’ defense shines week in and week out but even more so when they are caught in doubtful situations. How does this gritty team do it?
“I think it’s just will, will to keep people out of the end zone,” Skalski said. “I have been a part of countless goal-line stands now since I’ve been here, which is pretty cool. … We just made the decision that we were going to give it everything we’ve got, and whatever happens happens. And we’ve come out on the right side of it again.”
An inside look on the Tigers’ defensive huddles from Skalski: “We’re screaming and yelling. Can’t share some of the words that were actually said. We knew Cunningham was their go-to. They were going to give the ball to him. Once we got them to fourth-and-goal, I think we were pretty comfortable with what was coming next and that we could stop it. The key is slowing that guy down, and we knew they were going to run the football and he was going to be the guy.”
Skalski, confident in still making the ACC championship game, stated, “It’s a possibility. Until it’s no longer a possibility, I won’t sit here and tell you that, and I believe that. That’s how we get preached to. You have to have an unshakeable belief about any possibilities. If we just keep taking care of our business, then maybe that’ll happen for us. And fingers crossed it does.”
Skalski on how special the chemistry is within his team this year: “Probably the most fun I’ve had since I’ve been here.”
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