Players' View: 'Our defense has been playing great ball'

Spencer Shuey on Tigers' confidence: 'It’s as high as it has ever been. I feel everyone is confident in our ability'

Clemson's Tajh Boyd runs by Maryland's Abner Logan during the fourth quarter at Maryland.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Tajh Boyd runs by Maryland's Abner Logan during the fourth quarter at Maryland.

Clemson Players

Sammy Watkins

On his performance: “The coaches did a great job with game plan this week. We knew what coverage (Maryland) was going to run and Tajh (Boyd) and the line did a great job with holding up and keeping their poise.”

On their game plan for Maryland’s defense: “They just ran their base defense, so when teams do that, we get to run a lot of different things. They did not change what they do all through the season, so from watching past games, we knew that are game plan was to run the ball to open up the passing game.”

On how running back Roderick McDowell’s success aided the passing game: “It brought the safeties down when we ran play action, so that’s why Martavis (Bryant) had some big catches out there. The offense did well tonight, but we have a lot to work on.”

On if he was trying to set a physical tone for the game: “Not really. I was just playing ball and that was one of the things I worked on for this year; being physical and finishing plays.”

Spencer Shuey

On if there was a sense of a hangover from the Florida State game: “I don’t think so. Maryland is a great team and we always have trouble playing here. Both sides of the ball faced some adversities but we were able to complement each other well have each other’s back.”

On the team’s confidence: “It’s as high as it has ever been. I feel everyone is confident in our ability. We put the Florida State game behind us the next day and moved on to Maryland. It’s definitely good to come out and get that bitter taste out of our mouth with a win.”

On his fumble recovery: “Bashaud (Breeland) was able to make a great hit and pop the ball out and I was able to pick it up and get a couple extra yards.”

Roderick McDowell

On what it means to rush for over 200 yards and to win the game: “It means a lot. We lost last week and we decided to come here and establish a hard-nose running game. Our mind set is, if we can run the ball on you, you will have a long night.”

On his performance: “No matter what the coaches tell me to do, I go out there and do it. But I can’t praise myself. I have to give glory to God and my offensive linemen. They went out there and established a new line of scrimmage for me to run hard and make yards.”

On Clemson’s defense and how they played: “When you have a defense that play the way we play, that go out with a mean streak and not to not make mistakes, my hat goes off to them. They bailed us out big time and allowed us to capitalize on their turnovers. Our defense has been playing great ball.”

Tajh Boyd

On playing physical: “We pride ourselves on being a physical and tough team. We come back and respond from adversity, that’s what we do. You’ve seen that in the past, and I think you’re starting to see it now. We didn’t convert as many touchdowns as we wanted to early in the game”.

On the running game: “Our running game is probably the most impressive part about us. It’s something we’ve been looking forward to this whole season and to see it explode today was pretty awesome.”

On running back Roderick McDowell: “I think for me, I need to have more passion, more fun when we score touchdowns. But it was a joy to watch him score. He gets very excited and celebrates. But it’s just awesome because sometimes you take getting in the in zone for granted. It’s just something that we’re accustomed to.”

Maryland Players

QB Caleb Rowe

On the game: “Clemson is a very good football team all the way through, offense, defense and special teams. We had a lot of opportunities that we didn’t account for. We also made a lot of big plays, a lot of good plays. When the time is needed, we need to make those plays and we didn’t.”

On Clemson defensively: “They started to man us up more and bring more pressure. We won sometimes and sometimes we didn’t and that kind of hurt us. The receivers played well, offensive line played well, we just didn’t execute when we needed to.”

On the settling for two field goals after the two fumble recoveries: “It’s frustrating because we had those kinds of opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of them. It hurt us, but we also came back and had some good plays after that so I think it slowed us down a little bit but we still made plays.”

DB Sean Davis

On the turnovers: “It was good because we haven’t had a turnover in three games and we had three turnovers today. That was big; it shows we are capable of making stuff happen. Unfortunately, things didn’t go our way but we’re going to look at the film and keep it going. We’ve got the bye week and Syracuse in two weeks so we should be well prepared for them.”

On the crowd: “The crowd is the 12th man, when we get the crowd going it rattles up the opponents. It was a great experience; I just love looking out on third down and see them pumped up. I love having the crowd out there and the defense really played hard, we had a lot of three and outs; I guess we just need to come out and make more.”

On the game: “I never thought we were going to lose that game, even when we were down at halftime. The whole team thought that, it just sucks and it hurts right now. We never thought that we were going to lose and we always thought we were going to beat them up, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.”

RB Albert Reid

On the game: “It was a tough game, we fought back throughout the whole game, and we didn’t just give up. At the beginning of the game, we came out strong but mistakes happen; we had a couple of penalties that came back to haunt us, turnovers. All I know is that our team came out to play today; we came out and played our hearts out. The next game we play we’re going to attack that game the same way we attacked this game.”

On playing as the main running back: “It is a good feeling having the ball in your hands. It’s a tough loss, I’m not just about myself, I’m all about the team so when the team loses, I lose too. I’m not happy with the outcome of the game, but I’m happy with the effort we gave today.”

On seeing the defense getting stops: “It amps me up, the defense goes out every play and tries to make stops for our offense to get on the field and make plays and get on the board. Our defense made some big stops today so it kind of helped our offense out.”

WR Levern Jacobs

On the opening touchdown: “It put us ahead and gave us the momentum. I thought it helped out a lot, we could have done a lot of other things but that play definitely helped us.”

On gaining confidence with wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long out: “Going into this past week we prepared for it really well. We weren’t really worried about the people we lost we were just worried about making the plays that we needed to make and the people that we needed to step up. We weren’t really surprised about anything.”

On being an every down wide receiver: “I feel like all season I work to be a starter, and it is unfortunate about what happened, but I’m getting my chance now, and I just have to keep proving myself. Having this big game is showing people that I’m able to play and now I just have to keep doing this week in and week out.”

LB Abner Logan

On the Terps' red-zone defense: “I know that they usually run power, some type of power, either the QB power or do a lot of things in the back to make eyes go to the wrong place. But I just read my keys and they pretty much took me to the ball every time.”

On the Clemson touchdown before halftime: “It was obviously disappointing because you never want to give up a touchdown, but the game was never really out of reach for us. Everyone was staying positive and staying together because we could have beaten them. They are a great team but we just had to execute better. Coach says that with a team of that caliber, with talent that good, the margin of error has to be very little, so the touchdown before the half wasn’t anything too major.”

On having linebackers Matt Robinson and Alex Twine back: “It was good; they’re leaders on and off the field. They’re also really good motivators; this is only my second start so they are always talking to me making sure I’m cool and calm. In the big games, especially homecoming, I kind of get riled up but they just keep talking to me to make sure we’re communicating. So it’s good to have veterans on the field.”

LB Matt Robinson

On how he felt physically: “My shoulder didn’t give me any problems, just a couple scratches and bruises. I missed a lot of games in my career so whenever I get the opportunity to get back out there I really just relish it.”

On the vibe of the team heading into the game: “We saw that they were humanized when they got beat by Florida State so we didn’t see them as any bigger challenge as any other team. We approached it the same way, guys were still fighting to get more wins, and everybody is just hungry for more.”

On the number of injuries over the past two seasons: “As a player you definitely ask why is it happening to us, but we’ve definitely developed a next man up mentality because we’ve gone through this before. We would love to have the guys back and not have injuries, but we know it’s a part of the game. I think everyone’s mind is in the right place and we’re not dwelling on it too bad.”

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