Beamer previews Clemson

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Frank Beamer previews the ACC Championship Game versus Clemson.

Opening comments...
Beamer: I can tell you we're extremely happy to be back in this championship game. It hasn't been easy. I told several people, this has been a grind this year, going through some injuries and a new quarterback that really has come along well, has come along very fast. But we've had to work a little bit this year.

But we understand the talent that we're playing against. We understand that I mean, they are a well-coached football team. We've already seen that, and have great respect for Clemson, how they do things. I think it's the making of a fantastic football game.

The stadium is going to be sold out. That's the way it should be for the championship football game, and I hope both of us can do the game justice and do it right.

In the first game, you guys gave up four sacks. In the last seven games you've only given up six. Can you just talk about the improvement of the offensive line, or is part of that improvement also Logan knowing to get rid of it?
Beamer: Yeah, and I think the situation, too. You don't want to get in 3rd and long. A couple of sacks came at the end of the ballgame, and they're laying their ears back and you don't want to get in that situation against these guys.

But our offensive line, I do think we've got a lot of experience in there and they played very well. It's a good group of kids, and they want to be good and want to protect the quarterback. I think they've improved, and I think Logan has improved. I think he's learned from situations. He gets rid of the ball. All that helps that situation, too. So I think it's a combination of our offensive line and Logan and protection.

You guys have been here before, you've won here before. Do you think that experience will pay off tomorrow?
Beamer: You know, I think experience always matters, but I think what it is, you've got a very talented football team that you're going against, a team that struggled a little bit down at the end here, but I know this, that when you've got talent like they have, they're just a play or two away from getting that momentum back, and you understand that.

It's one game, and I think what's on the field probably means more than who's got experience and who doesn't.

What are the ways that you would describe your team as being a different team from the first time you played Clemson?
Beamer: Well, I hope we'll perform better offensively. I think we're a better offensive team, and then you can't turn the ball over, which we did a couple times in that first Clemson game. I really believe that offensively we're better, and basically I think our quarterback has more experience and kept getting better with experience. I think that's big.

And then I would hope that we can kick the ball better. You know, our punting in that first ballgame, we really gave up some field position in that part of it, and so I think that's a key part in this whole thing, too, is the field position, and that goes back to your kicking game. So I would hope it would be better there.

Can you talk about the last month that Clemson has had and what differences you've seen in them from when you played them first? I know you've touched on it a bit but they've been struggling. And then just following that, can you talk about the game being here in Charlotte? Would you like to stay here and from your experiences last year, also?
Beamer: Yeah, I'll take that one first. I don't think there's any question this is a great place for it. I think it's the place for it. I think it's central to the ACC as far as location of teams. The sellouts I think are important. Our championship game needs to be sold out. So to me it's a great stadium.

I know between Clemson and Virginia Tech, they're both going to bring a lot of people, but I think you've got to have some other people supporting your game like they do here in Charlotte. I think they've done a great job of getting support from this community. I think that I think this is the place for it.

Clemson, there's a thin line, such a thin line between momentum and getting over a hump and not. I think they just got on the other side of that thin line, and sometimes it's hard once you get rolling the other way, it's hard to get it back. But like I said earlier, I think when you've got talent on your football team like they do, offensively and defensively and punter wise and kicking wise, when they've got talent, you get into a game, and all of a sudden things get rolling. We've experienced it firsthand. David Teel wrote an article, we came here for the first game, our first game against Florida State, and that was the year Florida State, they struggled down the stretch and so forth, but when they got out on the field against us that night, we had a bunch of penalties and they got us pretty good.

We've got firsthand I think what's happened in the past is in the past, and you'd better get ready to play this one ballgame with everything you've got because they're putting a lot into it, and we need to do the same thing.

I think you need better reading material first. But is there any question that Danny [Coale] is going to punt tomorrow night?
Beamer: Well, that's a pregame decision. Last week we decided to punt Danny in pregame, but he's punted well this week. But our other kid has, too; Branthover has punted well this week, too, so we'll see there in pregame.

Sammy Watkins was largely held under control in the first game. Is that something specific you guys were targeting him on defensively?
Beamer: It's hard. You know, it's hard because against so many other guys, and you get one stopped and here goes another one. But he's an explosive guy. Every play he touches the ball, and if he's not touching the ball you've got to regard that, too. But every time he's got the ball in his hands, he's a threat to go and go the distance. You know, really a and he's in an offense with a lot of other guys that really makes it difficult, makes it very difficult. Top Stories