CLEMSON FOOTBALL: Offense had no worries entering 2017 season
CLEMSON — As the Clemson Tigers head into the month of October with a perfect 5-0 overall record and a 3-0 ACC record, positioned as one of the best teams in the nation, memories of the question marks that surrounded this team on offense appear far in the past.
Entering this season, the questions were all the same: How will the Tigers replace Deshaun Watson, Mike Williams, Artavis Scott, Wayne Gallman and Jay Guillermo? How will they be able to compete without them?
Those questions were asked by fans and the media, but were never a thought for the Tigers, because of what they saw in practice.
“I had confidence, because I was here every day,” offensive lineman Sean Pollard said. “What we see on the practice field, what we saw in fall camp and even what we saw in skills-and-drills.
“I was confident, because we have an amazing coaching staff here so they don’t let any drop off happen and players who had to step up stepped up.”
The path for the continued success of the Clemson Tigers was paved in the summer when no coaches were allowed in to oversee the players or when there was no organized practice.
It was just a group of players that determined that they enjoyed being at the top of the college of mountain so much last season that they were willing to do anything to stay there.
“It’s 115 degrees in this place right here (the indoor facility) and we’re just a bunch of competitors,” Pollard said. “Everybody knows what buttons to push to bring out the best in everybody… and it’s just fun. There’s obviously times that we don’t like each other, but we love each other and we respect each other.
“This teams hungry — ready to get back there. We enjoyed being on top and if it doesn’t motivate you to get back I don’t know what will. There’s a drive on this team that’s special.”
So, whether it is a prime-time game at Virginia Tech or a home game against Wake Forest, the Tigers are not about to lose sight of their ultimate goal — a return trip to the national championship — or their next opponent.
“We have a one-game mentality and the next one’s the biggest one,” Pollard said. “That’s how we think about it. Big-time ACC, you can’t sleep on anybody — you’re dumb if you do.
“So, this one game mentality makes us focus on the next game.”
O’Daniel recognized by ACC
Clemson linebacker Dorian O’Daniel was recognized by the ACC Monday as the league’s Linebacker of the Week.
O’Daniel became the first player in school history to return an interception for a touchdown (his second of the season), record a sack, have a fumble recovery and amass double-digit tackles in a game.
Players of the week
Offense: Kelly Bryant; Defense: Austin Bryant & Dorian O’Daniel; Special Teams: Nolan Turner
Kelly Bryant was named one of the top eight quarterbacks in the nation for week five of the college football season by the Manning Award and the O’Brien Award.?