On the right track

CLEMSON - The first few months of the calendar year didn't go according to plan for Germone Hopper, at least not the plan that Dabo Swinney and Chad Morris had in mind.

So they turned up the heat to see if Hopper had the goods to survive in the hurry-up, no-huddle kitchen.

"We've been on him pretty hard," Morris said. "We've really beared down on him."

Hopper answered the call.

"Coach told me from the spring that I had to step up, and that's exactly what I did," Hopper said.

And it showed during Saturdays' 52-13 win over S.C. State.

Hopper caught a game-high six passes. He also logged 66 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions.

"It was a confidence builder, this game. Coach told me that, he said he wanted to see what I could do in this game," Hopper said. "He said it would show if I would be able to step up in other games."

Swinney isn't completely sold on Hopper, but the arrow is certainly pointing in the right direction.

"He's going to be one of those guys that's going to catch your eye early, he's going to flash at you," Swinney said. "We still don't quite trust him to be an every down player, but it was good to just kind of cut it loose today and let him go."

Slow start on offense

"When we're out there, we need to execute, according to plan. We did some good things. I feel like we like we left some things out there with the first group. We've just got to continue to keep working." - Tajh Boyd

"Overall, I was definitely pleased with our performance. I wasn't real happy with our start. …That was a wake-up call for some of them." - Morris

"I don't really worry about style points. That's one of the things I told the guys at the half. I could give a rip about stats. I just want them to perform, be a great team and just care about each other." - Swinney

The pick-6 dudes

"Honestly, I was thinking catch. Me, I think once I catch it, I have the confidence in myself to get it to the touchdown. As long as I catch it, I was just trying to focus on the catch. I saw it coming…I got some very key blocks from some of my teammates that really helped. I cut around, avoided some people and I ended up in the end zone." - Martin Jenkins

"It's definitely a great feeling, especially sharing it with someone like Martin. [We] have a really, really close relationship. Just to be able to do something like that in front of Clemson fans and apart of a great program, it was definitely a great feeling." - Darius Robinson

"[Jenkins] has worked really hard. I couldn't be happier for a guy. It was a great run, a great run. I'm really happy for Martin. Hopefully, we can continue to have him on the field. He just jumps out at you. You see his explosiveness when he's on the field. He's a very, very tough competitor." - Swinney

Not bad in relief

"He's cool. He's confident. He has such great composure. Any of y'all that have really paid attention to Cole Stoudt, he's been that way since he's been here. ..That's really his personality. You get to know Cole, he's just like that. He never really changes. He's a very competitive guy and takes a lot of pride in his preparation. He's just always ready and he's always has been since the day he's been here." - Swinney

"A really great performance, I was excited to go out there and watch him play. Like I said before on the show with Roy Philpott, he asked me about Cole [Stoudt], asked me about the guys in the room, like I said before, I won't retract my statement. Cole could be a starter at any place in the ACC. He went out there and proved that today. He went out there and had a stellar performance." - Tajh Boyd

"Cole's a guy, he comes to work everyday. He punches the time clock. He's not going to beat you with his feet. He sees the field. He's got calmness about himself. He plays with great confidence -- 19 for 20 and he overthrew the 20-ball, literally. That was his fault." - Morris

"He's got some really good tape. He's one of those guys that's got a chance to play on the next level, just because he's had a chance to put some really good film together. And he's 6-4, or whatever, runs better than you think and can throw the ball all over the field. It's a great luxury having that guy ready to go." - Swinney

"Cole did a very good job today. Being that we're second-team, we go a lot in practice. He's my quarterback in practice. The second-team, it was basically chemistry between us two. Cole did a very good job today in reading his reads and going out there and throwing that ball." - Hopper

According to Brent Venables

"I was very pleased. I thought we had, consistently, strong gap integrity. ¬¬We were square and I thought we were physical in our front seven with our stacked safety. They did a very good job."

"It was a good day to get some guys to play. It was good to give them kind of a mix of run and pass. We'll need all of them when it's all said and done."

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