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Sep 15, 2018

Gameday Media Portal: Georgia Southern


Thank you for attending today’s contest and for your coverage of Clemson Football. Included below is a guide intended to assist you with your coverage of today’s game.


All WiFi access at Memorial Stadium is handled by Clemson Computing and Information Technology (CCIT). Members of CCIT are seated at the Media Check-In table outside the entrance to the Bob Bradley Press Box.

Please connect with CCIT to receive your individual login to access the “clemsonpress” Wi-Fi network.


Live stats are available by scrolling to the bottom of this page. Clemson Athletic Communications will distribute quickie stats in the press box following each quarter.


Following the contest, Clemson players and assistant coaches (Co-Offensive Coordinators Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott and Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables) will be made available in the photo work room, which is accessible via the glass Clemson Sports Medicine door in the visitor’s tunnel.

The most efficient means for accessing Clemson’s postgame media area from the press box is to exit the stadium via Gate 16 (directly behind the press box), and re-enter through the visiting team tunnel. Media may also walk down the lower deck stairs from the concourse level and cross the field (following the conclusion of the game) to enter the visiting tunnel and enter the media area.

Given the limited space in the area, outlets with multiple reporters on-site will be kindly asked to be cognizant of the number of reporters they have in group media sessions for each interviewee.

Later in the postgame interview window, Head Coach Dabo Swinney will address the media in the old team meeting room on the second floor of the Nieri Student-Athlete Enrichment Center in the West End Zone. A member of Clemson Athletic Communications will announce a five-minute warning to allow media to relocate from the photo work room to his postgame press conference area.

To access Swinney’s postgame press conference, follow signs into the West End Zone, follow signs to the second floor, then follow signs to the press conference room. 


For inquiries pertaining to the availability of visiting coaches and players, please connect with members of the visiting sports information department, seated on the far right side of the press box.

Georgia Southern has elected to conduct all postgame availability with Head Coach Chad Lunsford and select players outside of the visitors locker room in the tunnel in the northwest corner of the stadium.


Photo vests are issued on a game-by-game basis. All vests must be returned at the conclusion of the game at either the Media Check-In table by the press box or in the photo work area/





On the game:

“With the first quarter of the season coming to an end, we couldn’t be any better than 3-0. We’re where we hoped to be, but we’ve still got a lot of improving to do as a football team. I like how we finished today, but I didn’t like how we started. I’m disappointed in the three turnovers. We also had some missed opportunities that we’ve got to take advantage of. There were lots of good things in today’s game, too. We had nearly 600 yards of offense and limited Georgia Southern to 140 yards of offense. We never let the scoreboard dictate our energy.”


On the performance of the Clemson offense:

“There were lots of positives, offensively. Eighteen different guys touched ball for us. Travis Etienne played well; he had a career-high 162 rushing yards. All of our running backs did good things. We ran the ball like we needed to. After Kelly Bryant went out with a chest bruise, Trevor Lawrence did a lot of good things, too. He made some big throws, but he missed some throws, too, [ones] that he probably wishes he could have back. Also, Justyn Ross showed everyone that he’s a really special player by getting 103 receiving yards. Again, overall, there were lots of positives on offense.”


On the defensive and special teams performances:

“Defensively, we played four quarters. I’m proud of our guys on defense. They were where they were supposed to be on most every play. They dominated up front. Austin Bryant and Clelin Ferrell both got a couple of sacks. Nyles Pinckney had a big fumble recovery…the sideline would’ve come unglued had he run it all the way back. We’ve now forced a turnover 11 games in a row. Special teams played its worst game. We had two holding calls on punt returns. I love the effort, and guys are fighting. But we’ve got to clean up our technique a little bit. We were just able to overcome some mistakes because of our talent.”


On his outlook moving forward:

“We’ve gotten some good, quality experience under our belts in this first quarter of season, which bodes well for us entering conference play. We’re going to Atlanta next week, so we have a huge challenge ahead of us. There have been lots of positive takeaways from the first three games, though. We’ve already got nine plays of 40 or more yards this season. Our next goal is to win the division.”


On the impact of the fans:

“I told our players to be sure to thank our fans. It’s been a chaotic week due to the weather. I didn’t know what type of crowd we’d have today, but they were awesome. Death Valley was practically full. We appreciate the fans that we have and the type of environment that we get to play in. Hopefully, we were able to give people some pause from what they might be dealing with to enjoy some football this afternoon.”



On the offense’s performance:

“We wanted to come out and run the football and establish the run. Overall, [I] just loved the effort. I thought we were ready to play [but] we just have to be more consistent. We had a couple drives where we shot ourselves in the foot with penalties and weren’t able to capitalize.”


On what changed in Clemson’s fourth drive of the game:

“If you look at [the drive], we were moving the ball. On the first three drives, it was self-inflicted. We had a penalty, got down in the red zone [and] had a penalty, then we had a turnover. So, we just had some things that cost us, but the guys [eventually] locked in. They continued to play, continued to work through the issues, and they started having success.


On the game plan for the running backs:

We wanted to make sure when we came out into this game that we were going to [make] an emphasis to establish the run. So, we knew it wasn’t just going to be Travis [Etienne] but all of the guys touching the ball. We wanted to see a consistent group. We wanted to see guys run with desperation, run hard… and go get ahead of the chains.”



On the play of the defense:

“I thought our guys were very detailed today. [They] played with a lot of energy [and] were very physical. We were able to get five sacks, which gives us options. They’re doing pretty good, and that comes from their preparation. I just loved the attitude the whole time. We played a bunch of guys, and everybody got in there and did well. Regardless of who you’re playing, it still comes down to details in alignments and eyes and footwork. Again, it just requires you to be very precise. You have to do a lot of little things because they’ve got angles and leverage on you. I thought our guys did a great job of really understanding how we felt they were going to attack us. We’re real pleased with the effort, and again, our attitude. You wouldn’t have known the difference if we were playing the Denver Broncos or Mary Poppins. That’s what it’s about. When you’re playing to a standard, and you’ve got the right guys in your huddle, that’s what it should be about.”


On the lateral pass by Georgia Southern:

“Yeah, the double pass was a well-designed play, so they got us on that one.”


On improvement of defense’s discipline:

“We just have to take it one week at a time. You try to correct the mistakes from a week ago, and it’s a process. We’ve got three new guys in the back end, and backups that haven’t played much. We’ve just got to keep coaching, put them in a good position and do a good job with correcting the mistakes and explaining how we think they’re going to try to attack us. We’ve got good enough players. We’ve just got to improve on a lot of little details and techniques and discipline and understanding and schemes, all of it.”


On keeping the intensity for four quarters:

“A week ago, the intensity was not a problem. Intensity with details is a big part of it, and that leads to great execution. We played with great effort for three games. I’m very pleased with the intensity and the passion that our guys are playing with. You just have to play smart, and we have to coach them better. Our effort’s been there.”


On Nyles Pinckney recovered fumble:

“He’s a guy that’s been really on the come-up, has really made a ton of improvement since he’s been here and has worked incredibly hard for his opportunities. I feel like he’s going to be a really good player, and he’s capable of getting out there and playing real quality football. That was a really big play in the game, and that’s 11 straight games that we’ve forced a turnover…that’s a big deal. Part of playing good defense is ball disruption and getting the ball back for our offense.”



On team’s offensive performance:

“We ended up finishing well. We stalled on a few drives but, for the most part, we moved the ball well. We are trying to get better in all areas. We are focusing on more specific plays and are trying to be more consistent.”


On skilled receiving core:

“It’s nice to have good wide receivers. I know that if I don’t throw a perfect pass, and it’s a little bit off, they’ll still catch it. We have really great receivers making plays for us. Everyone on the field is a great player, and I can go anywhere with the ball at anytime.”


On personal growth through first three games:

“I feel like I have matured a bit, as far as handling situations goes. Individually, I feel more confident now that I’ve played a home and an away game.”


On performance of Travis Etienne:

“He played really well. He ran hard and ran tough. He was very explosive, so that was awesome.”



On his career-best game:

“I feel like, as a running back, the results were a reflection of my [offensive] line. The line did a great job, and the receivers really did a great job of blocking. That really helps the back, and we really need that to be successful.”


On splitting time with other RBs:

“I feel like we all complement each other. We can do different things with the ball and, when we rotate, we are all fresh and play our best.”


On his offensive production:

“Yardage-wise, this was one of [my] best games, but I still think about the things I didn’t do. Technique-wise, it might not have been my best game, but when it comes to yards, it was.”



On the game:

“We know what we’re capable of, but we just had to go out there and do it for four quarters. We played well last week; in the first half, we were lights out. We kind of fell asleep in the second half. Today, we just wanted to prove that we could play a full game and be dominant for four quarters.”


On facing Georgia Southern’s offense:

“It’s always tough getting ready for a new opponent, especially the offense that Georgia Southern runs. That option offense isn’t easy to defend. Every option team doesn’t look the same. Furman’s [offense] is different from Georgia Southern’s [offense]. It’s a challenge each week to play those option teams, but we were locked in in our preparation this week, and I think it shows.”


On whether the time change was a distraction:

“Not really. We could have played on Thursday at four in the morning. It [doesn’t] matter.”



On team’s defensive performance:

“We had a successful game against the triple option. Obviously, that’s the second time that we’ve played against something like that. It is going to give us great momentum going in against Georgia Tech.”


On building the team’s confidence:

“Your confidence can only go up when you play well. I guess it helped us as a defense that we feel like we played well. As a team, I feel like we’ve definitely gotten better, but we still have a long way to go. It was good to go out there and see a lot of great improvements against a team like this.


“We’re through the first quarter of the season. Now we are starting ACC play, which is going to be huge. We are on to our next goal, which is to win the division so we are hoping to get started on that coming up.”



On the game as a whole:

“To have [had] a chance in this game, we [had] to make sure we got in a rhythm on offense. When we finished the first half, I think we had 18 plays on offense and we had 50 plays on defense. There’s no chance [to win], when you’re playing the No. 2 ranked team in the country, if you’re going to do that. So, we’ve got to make sure that we get in some type of rhythm…that we’re going back and forth. I think the defense played really well in the first quarter to give us a chance to hang around and play, but we just [have to] get more on offense at the start of the football game.”


On play of CJ Wright:

“We’ve been working CJ Wright. This has really been the first opportunity to get him in [the game], and he did a really good job. I know he put a fumble on the ground later in the game [but] a lot of that has got to do with [the fact that] he played a lot of defense today, and he probably got tired. We [have] to continue to work with him on ball security because he can be a weapon for us.”


On Clemson’s defense:

“I think Clemson’s defense is really good. I think that front four is maybe one of the best in the country, and they did a really good job today. Our guys tried to fight them, tried to get after them, but those guys, they got us.”