Allen says Tigers like the Cowboys

CLEMSON - Dwayne Allen talks about red zone troubles, a disappointing season and how team has remained close through it all in this interview.

Want a good indication of what is going on in Clemson's locker room after the game?

Talk to Dwayne Allen.

Now a redshirt sophomore, Allen has emerged as one of the more vocal players on this year's team, and he's not afraid to speak his mind.

Case in point: his meeting with the media Tuesday afternoon.

CUTigers publisher Roy Philpott asked Dwayne a variety of questions involving the mood of the team after Saturday's loss at Florida State, and several of responses were quite revealing:

After enduring a tough loss last week, what's the mood in the locker room like right now?
Allen: The same that it was last week before the game. We just want to finish out and finish strong. A lot of questions come in like "what do you have to play for now?" because we did let our last opportunity slip through our hands, but we have pride. This is Clemson football. We have a lot to play for, we don't just lay down for anyone.

Do you have an issue of guys pointing fingers right now?
Allen: Nah, we're a team. We play as a team, like I've said all along. There's no finger pointing or anything like that. The biggest thing is that guys are just frustrated because they see and know the type of team that we are. We're just coming up short.

How do you improve on offense from where you're at right now?
Allen: That's what I'm saying, it's always 15, 12, 13…even an 18 play drive. And we have to finish. That needs to be our mentality when we get down there to the red zone: finish, punch it in, and don't count on anything else.


Dwayne Allen has 30 receptions for 350 yards and a touchdown this season. (Roy Philpott)
Does it play into your mental game when you get down there and get penalties?
Allen: No, not really. It's finding ways to overcome those penalties, that's the way it goes in my head. It's not a defeated "dang, this again." What is going through my head is "let's get it in." I just want to finish the job.

Do you think the ball not coming your way a lot in the red zone has been play calling or just good coverage by the defense?
Allen: I must just not be open. There's nothing wrong with the play calling. I just need to do a better job of getting open and being visible.

Do you feel like the team has gotten closer, as Dabo claims, despite all of these losses?
Oh yeah. Usually in this type of situation, that happens. We joke, but in a serious way, that we're the Dallas Cowboys of college football right now, as far as the talent on this team. It's true. We haven't amounted to what we should and it's frustrating, but we haven't blamed or pointed at each other. We're sticking together.

Do you see your potential as something not visible on the scoreboard?
Allen: Yes. Progress is good, but wins are better. That's what we haven't been seeing on a consistent basis and especially not on the road so the biggest thing going into this weekend is just getting a road win and moving forward.

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