Tigers must pressure both FSU quarterbacks

CLEMSON - Senior defensive tackle Grady Jarrett doesn't need reminding about what happened last year against Florida State.


He remembers it like it was yesterday.

"I remember it well," he tells CUTigers. "They really came out and got after us and we didn't handle the adversity early on and we let the game get away. I think that's the thing we all took away from that game - handling adversity. It's something we've addressed even in practice if we don't finish a play, we have to handle adversity better."

One of the big keys in FSU's 51-14 win last season, of course, was Jameis Winston.

At the time, no one knew he was as good as he's turned out to be - a National Champion and the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner.

Jarrett actually had some success against the then redshirt freshman- forcing him into a first-half interception.

The senior tackle says getting more consistent pressure will be key Saturday night.

"We have to," he said. "We know how good their offensive line is because we've played those guys for the last three years and they are all pretty much back. We know them. But we can't let him get comfortable and get into a rhythm and that's our mindset going in."

With Wednesday's news Winston will be suspended for the first half of Saturday's night game, it really doesn't alter much of the defense's game plan as backup Sean McGuire will get the start.

Originally a three-star quarterback from New Jersey, the 6-3 redshirt sophomore has good arm strength, and is perhaps more of a pocket passer than a dual threat signal caller.

Dabo Swinney confirmed as much to reporters after Wednesday's practice, suggesting that one man doesn't make FSU's team and that the game plan really won't change that much.

And even with Winston out for the first half, Clemson remains a 17-point underdog according to oddsmakers.

Jarrett says it's not a big topic of conversation in the locker room, but the team is well aware of what people are saying.

"We know about it but we don't worry about it all because we can't control any of it," he said. "Every game we play we feel like we can win. That's our mindset. I'm sure no one outside of Clemson thinks we can win but it's what we believe. And that's all that matters.
"We know it's a big game and there's a lot of ACC implications. The team that wins this game usually goes on to win the ACC. Going down there is going to be a task for us. We're looking forward to it."

CUTigers.com Top Stories