CLEMSON- Jeremiah Trotter Jr. led a determined Clemson defense that harassed Sam Hartman all afternoon and limited Notre Dame to just 56 rushing yards in the second half as the Tigers upset the No. 15 Fighting Irish 31-23 in front of a packed house at Death Valley on Saturday.
Trotter had a game-high 11 tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception that he returned 28 yards that put Clemson up 24-6 early in the second quarter.
“We definitely got challenged by coach Swinney,” Trotter said after the win. “Just a message about finishing. A one game season. Playing to a standard and not to a record. Going out there and fighting not only for yourself, but also your brothers.”
What We Heard
– On the pick six: “Coach Wes (Goodwin) has us in a great call.”
– “I feel like we were in the zone, flying around just trying to make plays. Trying to get to the ball with bad intentions.”
– Trotter said he felt like the team went out and “finished.”
– “Cade ripping off his helmet, that was definitely the feeling. We needed that win.”
– On an early lead: “I feel like it was really good that we started out fast and got that momentum. Playing really good, complimentary football.”
– “Last year (Notre Dame) definitely executed. Remembering that game, we wanted to go out there and dominate. We came out with the right mindset.”
– “I feel like this is a win that can really propel us.”
– On Aidan Swanson: “He was pinning them back deep and being able to do that at the end of the game was really big.”
– Trotter credited the defensive linemen with making his job easier. Said the guy’s up front were “creating havoc.”
– On the freshman DBs: “That just shows the type of work they put in. It shows they come out day in and day out and put in the work.”
– “Anytime you win it is always a great feeling. Winning these games and coming into the locker room and celebrating. I can’t even describe that feeling.”
– Trotter also credited the fans for “bringing the energy.”
– “We can’t change what happened in the past but we can change what is coming up.”
– On third down mindset: “To wreak havoc.”
– On Goodwin chest bumping players: “Wes is one of those guys that’s really passionate about the game. He loves his players, he loves his job, he loves what he does and that really shows. Some may not think that he shows a whole lot of energy but I’ll tell you what, you make plays and you’re balling – you’re gonna get loved up by Coach Wes. You got a glimpse of that today.”
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