Our complete Clemson-Georgia preview and breakdown/pick is up, but there’s still some fun quotes and notes left…
Clemson-S.C. State Notes
* FCS opponents went an unprecedented 8-22 over the opening weekend against the FBS. S.C. State was blown out by 56 points per game against FBS opponents last season, but in winning years the previous three seasons, the margin in the step up in weight class was more like three TDs (21.2 PPG).
* Clemson and S.C. State have met just once, a 54-0 Tigers win in 2008. That was Tommy Bowden’s last win in Death Valley.
* Tajh Boyd is six TDs from 100, and per Seldom Used Reserve, 477 yards from throwing for five miles in his career.
* It’s been 82 pass attempts since Boyd has thrown an interception. In that span, he has averaged 7.6 yards per attempt – completing 67 percent of them with five touchdowns. It’s been 182 Clemson offensive plays since Boyd has accounted for any turnover.
* Stanton Seckinger has only six career receptions, but two are touchdowns.
S.C. State scouting report: South Carolina State is a veteran team. They have seven guys back on offense and nine guys back on defense.They are very well coached. I have a lot of respect for Coach Buddy Pugh and his staff. They do an excellent job coordinating offensively and defensively and they have some good athletes. We have another group of Bulldogs rolling in here this weekend. It’s the year of the Bulldog, I guess.
Offensively, it all starts with their quarterback. He’s an athletic guy and can really run. Defensively, they present some problems and are very multiple in how you have to identify their fronts. They can create some challenges for you there. From a communication standpoint, you have to do a great job. They also love to play with tempo offensively. We only have one game on them from this year, but they ran the ball 58 times against Coastal Carolina, so they really want to establish the run.
Changing the culture: You change the culture through recruiting and graduation. Everybody in this program came here with the message, this is the vision, this is the plan, this is the way we do it, this is why we do it and if you want to be a part of it come on. If not, then go somewhere else, but if you come here, this is the way that it’s going to be.
We reinforce the message constantly in every area of our program and have everyone on the same page. It doesn’t mean that we are perfect. It doesn’t mean we won’t ever lose a game. Consistency is what you want and we have been incredibly consistent.
The other thing is that guys have grown up. We have an experienced football team. We have guys that expect to win. They are paying the price. They work hard, they practice the right way and they’re coachable.
When you a bunch of veterans who have been through some battles, they get it. Those guys are all older now and they set the standard. The young guys come in and the older guys coach those guys. There is just a certain attitude that we have in place now that I really like but you don’t get that overnight. It takes some time.
Working on increasing the Tigers’ tempo: One of the things I pride myself on is being teachable. Whatever it takes to do better and get better and faster with the tempo I’m going to do. It makes it a little harder when you’ve got guys like Rod (McDowell) making moves in the backfield. I’m spectating at that point. It was unbelievable. Those guys played well, but that was only the opener and I’m glad we came out with a victory but we have to keep our foot on the gas.
Being in the driver’s seat: I think you put yourself in a situation where you have certain capabilities. We don’t really have any restraints right now. If you lose that game, it doesn’t take things away, but it clouds things. We just got to be where we focus each week and we continue to strive to be the best we can. If we do that, we’ll have a great chance to reach every opportunity we want to reach this season.
Martavis Bryant's confidence: I’m not worried about it all. I think everybody knows what capabilities he has. And that’s just one of things – it’s just one of those days. My biggest thing was to make sure his confidence wasn’t diminished or anything of that nature…I don’t expect anything less from Tay. He’s a vital part of this offense. He just needs to understand it wasn’t his greatest game, but I don’t think everyone performed to the standard that we’re possibly capable of. We just have to continue to lead him and push him and he’s going to be a great player for us this year.
Mental prep: It’s the next game. We don’t control who gets put on schedule. We’re going to prepare like we did for Georgia. Can’t take any weeks off…They do a great job of making sure we don’t take any weeks off. They do a great job of emphasizing how important each week is. This week won’t matter if we lose next week.
‘D’ discipline: We’re becoming extremely disciplined. We continue to recruit guys who are committed and we continue to bring guys along who follow along with the leadership of this team the coaches will continue to work with them.
Definitely farther along: The game is always won before you play. It’s on how much you watch film and time you put into that. I feel like we did a good job the first week.
I’ve got a lot more experience under my belt and being able to deal with the crowd I feel like I’m definitely further along than before.
On last week’s TD catch: Everything was going in slow motion. A long as a I caught the ball. The environment crazy: That was alright, right? It was just the atmosphere was awesome and I just watched the ball in the air and it was crazy. You know like in the movies when there’s slow motion – that ball was coming so slow. I was like I better not drop this ball. As long as I caught the ball – Tajh threw an awesome pass and I caught the ball and I just tried to get in the endzone as quick as possible before anything crazy happened.
Receiving skills: I was a receiver in high school and I’ve always wanted to be that receiver type and worked with my hands a lot catching the football. When practice comes perfect and practice showed up at the right time in the game the other day.
Starting RB role: What’s starting? Playing the first play of the game? That’s all that is to us. It’s playing is where it’s boiling down to. You play or you don’t play. If you play more, you’re needed more. If I play more, I’m needed more. It’s playing. As long as we get the playing time and split that up the way it’s supposed to be, everything will work out the way it’s supposed to be.
Seckinger performs against childhood favorite
Confidence developed from opener: The offseason helped a lot as far as confidence goes and as far as overall knowledge of the offense goes. And overall maturity as a player. I was able to develop my body into more of a tight end, which brought a lot of confidence.
Didn’t want there to be a dropoff: When I walk out on to the field, I want to know 100 percent of what my job is and what I need to be doing so I don’t want to let my teammates down. So it’s not necessarily this is my chance and time – I don’t want there to be a dropoff and Tajh (Boyd) dropping back and not able to trust (me). I want everyone on the field to be confident in me and confident in my abilities. Really when it was my time to step up, I didn’t want there to be a dropoff and wanted everyone to be confident in me when I step on the field.
My objective is to perform to the best of my ability every time out there. In my opinion, everything will fall into place. All of the playing time is the coaches’ decision in the end and I really can’t answer too many questions about that.
Why did Seckinger pick Clemson?: Any athlete has the opportunity to go to multiple places and you have to be interested in the different places and check them out, regardless of if you grow up as a fan one place or a fan of another place. I definitely looked around at different places and I liked a lot of different places, but there’s really no place like Clemson. I talked to coach Swinney three years ago and he’s telling me, ‘Listen, I think we’ll have a scholarship open for this year instead of having to wait until January (for a greyshirt).’ I think we’ll be able to bring you in. When he told me that, I trusted him. He’s a great guy of character and I trusted the words coming out of his mouth. I said, ‘Alright, this is where I’m going to go and I trust you.’ It played out where I was able to come in the summer-time and redshirt.