"Talking season's over," said Clemson offensive lineman Matt Bockhorst when asked about the opening week game with Georgia. A few words from one who often offers a lot, Bockhorst's thought processes speak for fans and media alike who've heard the game hype for months now.
There was no shying from his oozing optimism about the current offensive line's gelling before fall camp began, even losing early-round NFL talent Jackson Carman and others ahead of the Georgia game.
"I'm very optimistic and, you know, that's not without due. I'm a tough critic, especially on myself and the group to which I'm their leader," Bockhorst said. "And you know what, there was a lot of criticism from last year, and I'm not going to shy away from that. I'm going to acknowledge that criticism, and we're going to move forward. Do I think some of that criticism is unfair; I do, but that doesn't matter. It doesn't matter, and I said this back in the spring.
"It doesn't matter how I feel. It doesn't matter what I think. What matters is how well we do this year, and that's, plain and simple; the end. Because it's a production game, and I feel very good about the offensive line. I'm excited to put that into fruition because sooner or later, talking season's over, and on September 4th we got to put our hands in the dirt and prove it. Against a really good defensive line. So when you're talking about the o-lineman, we've got some dudes that are competing this summer, and I can tell you that for a fact. So I'm excited, and I'm fired up about it."
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A dogfight to start the season even without the pun, Bockhorst and others didn't hesitate to say how excited they are to run with the top of the college football world instead of a 'tune-up' game to start 2021.
"(We're excited to play Georgia) yeah absolutely, because it tests your oil up front and it's not a tune-up game," Bockhorst said. "And you know what, sometimes you can go early on in the season and get a false sense of security about how good you are, and if you play a team like Georgia up front, you're going to get a good idea."