Monday Musings: Riley, Goodwin, Klubnik Recap ‘Pissed Off’ Clemson’s Win Over Notre Dame

Cade Klubnik, Garrett Riley, Wes Goodwin, Kylon Griffin and Phillip Lorenzo all met with the media on Monday to recap Clemson’s upset win over Notre Dame on Saturday.

What We Heard

Cade Klubnik

  • “The relationship that I have with coach Riley is really special. Just thankful for him. This was a bigtime win. I kind of been getting up here saying every week that I know what we are capable of and we finally got to show it.
  • “I don’t have to be a superhero out there. Just be who I am and trust (Riley.) Off the field we have connected since I got here. We get along very well. Easy to talk to. Easy to talk about ball with. It doesn’t feel forced. And I don’t think it is super common to have a super elite, elite coordinator and have a guy you can talk to like that every day.”
  • On the running game: “It was incredible. Our OL, in all of my years of footall, that was the best I have seen from a starting five. They just wanted it. The running lanes, the protections, when it was there we had all day. To have two of your starters out and to play like that, so proud of them and the effort that they gave.”
  • On the performance of the patchwork OL: “I would not really say surprised. Just excited. To see them play pissed off in a way.”
  • The way we played in the second half against NC State, I wanted to play like that against Notre Dame. That is the mentality we need to play with. There is no settling.”
  • On the zone blocking: “At the end of the day, whether you are running certain schemes, it is about who wants it more. I think we could have ran anything.”
  • On Phil Mafah: “I never saw him tired for one second.
  • Called Dominique Thomas’ runs one of the best he has ever seen.
  • On sign stealing: “We have a process that coach Riley has taught us and that kind of limits it. We make it efficient. We make it short and quick. If they end up knowing our play, they still got to stop it. We don’t really think about it a whole lot. We are just trying to be as quick and efficient as we can.”
  • On keeping the same edge: “You have to look back on that and how can we replicate that in a way. But that is the way we should play every game. I think we finally got to see it as players. Not sure why it took us so long but sometimes you go to go through stuff to see it. I have full confidence they will be able to do the same thing this week.”
  • Klubnik jokingly called his punt his proudest moment of the game.
  • On his foot injury, Klubnik said he feels great and 100%.

Wes Goodwin

  • On Jeremiah Trotter: “Every week he has gotten better and better. I think getting over the injury early in camp… he is seeing things really well and quarterbacking that defense.” Goodwin said the injury definitely nagged Trotter early in the year.
  • On Trotter’s speech to the locker room two weeks ago: “When he speaks, people listen.”
  • On last year’s loss fueling the defense: “I think some. I think we are at a completely different spot now as a defense. Guys are playing at an elite level. Just a whole different mindset up front. Technique has greatly improved from last year.”
  • On monitoring social media and proving himself: “Honestly I have pretty much eliminated all social media. I am pretty oblivious to the outside noise and focused on the task at hand. People can say whatever they want about me but I show up every day with a mindset of getting better.”
  • On the freshman DBs: “It is really cool to see the young guys take advantage of their opportunities. I think it just speaks to the type of young men we have recruited the past two or three years. Really cool to see Kylon (Griffin) take advantage of the opportunity. Really played well all day. Graded high.
  • On the injuries in the secondary: “I mean you are more concerned from a depth standpoint but I see every day what those (young) guys do on the practice field. They are made of the right stuff and understand what we are doing defensively.”
  • On Aveion Terrell: “He is really intelligent. Has a high football IQ. Knows the system in and out and knowledge is power. It allows you to play faster. Love the attitude. He shows up every day.”
  • On the improved pass defense: “Just all the experience. And some of the guys we brought in have helped. That was the challenge coming into the season. Most importantly we just want to win games and the stats will take care of themselves.”
  • On the defense answering any doubts: “I think we have been playing well enough. Putting guys into position to win. I think our guys have been playing with great effort. Just trying to get more detailed. Improve our tackling. Hopefully we put a complete game together down the stretch.”
  • On Georgia Tech: “Tough (QB), a coach’s son. He will be one of the fastest guys out there. A real problem when he runs. Tough, hard-nosed they are going to scratch and claw and give you everything they have for 60 minutes.”

Garrett Riley

  • “Yeah, it was a good feeling. Big win. Hopefully it will create some momentum.”
  • “On the running game: “Anytime you can run the ball it is going to help out your quarterback. Obviously, that was a huge part of our success.”
  • On the zone blocking: “I thought we had a good game plan. The OL, TE and the WR core, I thought we had good strain all day. Super proud. We have been challenging those guys.”
  • On Phil Mafah and Wiil Shipley: “You got to do a good job of charting the touches they have. As coaches you try and package things during the week based on your game plan.
  • On Mafah: “They have been getting challenged pretty good, We needed some key guys like Phil to play big and obviously he did.
  • Going under center: “Hindsight is always 20/20. Something that defenses don’t see all the time. With where the running game has been I think it has helped us for sure.”
  • On how trying the season has been: “It has had some heartbreaking losses, but just really proud of where we are right now. Just gutting one out. A big thing for us was that drive after that pick six. Would have been easy to hang our heads right there.”
  • On the offense: “They have no quit. Even with some of the things that have happened, there is no panic. I think they are a resilient group and gaining good experience.”
  • Riley said Will Putnam’s shoe “blew up” while running to the sidelines and that is why he was out for a couple of plays. “I hope someone got a picture of that.”
  • “We are certainly learning what our guys can and can’t do and trying to put them in the best position.”
  • On no penalties: “That was amazing. If I have been a part of one of those I can’t remember.”
  • On Harris Sewell: “He played well. A true freshman and starting against Notre Dame. He is a fighter. No question he will gain a lot of confidence from that game.”
  • On using the zone blocking going forward: “Whoever we play and what they do front wise. All year long we felt like we have been a pretty good zone team but that also depends on what you are facing.”

Kylon Griffin

  • Griffin said he found out on Thursday he was going to get an opportunity. Sherrod Covil Jr. going down with an injury played into Griffin getting his shot.
  • “It was really a good lesson I took out of it and try and spread that around to all the young people out there.”
  • Griffin recalled getting a call from Mickey Conn and Dabo Swinney with an offer from Clemson. Said he dropped his phone in the crease of the arm rest of the car and his sister retrieved it for him. Said the phone was in the crease for about 20 seconds. He always knew Clemson was where he wanted to be.
  • On his first career interception: “A slow motion play. I just had a feeling that whole game. I see the ball, as soon as he throws it, I see it is going to be high. I caught it and I see Xavier Thomas‘ hands go up and then I see Barret Carter telling me to go down.
  • Griffin said he liked the celebration after the pick more than he did the interception itself. “I really liked that moment.”

Phillip Lorenzo

  • On being hard to block: “I got into long snapping late in my career. My whole life I was playing LB, DE, so I have an understanding of the game. On every punt I go out there for a I am probably the most unathletic guy on the field so I have to figure out a way.”
  • On playing lacrosse: “That was actually my main sport. It translates a lot. It has helped me with my movement. That returner is probably way more athletic than me and I have to figure out a way to make him go where I want him to go and lacrosse has helped me with that.”
  • Says he is blessed to have the kind of competition that Holden Caspersen provides at long snapper.
  • On his fumble recovery: “For me to make that impact play (my family) was just so happy. And I just love that for them because they worked so hard for me to be here.”
  • “I am the long snapper so nobody really knows my name. So it was cool to get a little recognition for once. But I give all the credit to Aidan Swanson.”
  • This is an amazing experience playing football for Clemson. It would be a major disservice to not enjoy every part of this.”

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