Clemson Looking Forward to Some Rest Before the Playoff
CLEMSON — The Clemson Tigers finished off the regular season with an undefeated 13-0 record following their 62-17 victory in the ACC Championship, and their reward is a nearly a month of no games before they take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl Dec. 28 (8 p.m., ESPN).
The fact that they have nearly a month to rest, recover and prepare for one opponent is a welcome thought to some of the players — especially defensive back K'Von Wallace
“We have a whole month to prepare for one team,” Wallace said. “We get our bodies better — we have like a week. Prepare the way we need to prepare. We can take care of the rest of school and go out there and get after it.”
But it is not only the players who are thankful for a break following the ACC title game. The coaches are looking forward to a rest also.
“Us coaches need the break. Are you kidding me? They all need to heal up, mentally and physically,” defensive coordinator Brent Venables said. “All of it. This will be a great week for them (the players). These guys need to get healthy and rested. They’ve worked their tails off.”
It was a little more than a year ago that the Tigers were hoisting their second national championship trophy in the last three years.
For Venables, the reason for the Tigers’ success has to do, in large part, with the fact that a young defense has been able to come together so quickly, and has become one of the most dominant defenses in school history.
“Well, I just love them. I appreciate them, respect them and I’m thankful for them,” Venables said. “It’s been a fun year. It’s gone so fast and they’re a big reason for that.”
Powerhouse takes time
While those on the outside looking in at Clemson football may see the last four years as an overnight success story, for those who have been a part of the journey, it has been anything but that.
“No. 1, it hasn’t happened overnight. It’s taken time,” co-offensive coordinator and newly hired USF head coach Jeff Scott said. “This has been 11 years since coach Swinney has taken over and I was there whenever he took over and I remember he said, ‘I want us to build a good program, not a great team.’”