Quick Hits with Maurice Nelson

CLEMSON - Redshirt junior linebacker Maurice Nelson has stepped into the starting SAM linebacker spot after the Tigers lost senior linebackers Anthony Waters and Tramaine Billie to injury.

Nelson is currently fifth on the team in total tackles with 25, including two tackles for loss and one sack.

CUTigers.com sat down with Nelson earlier this week to get his thoughts on his new role with the Clemson defense as well as Saturday's game against Wake Forest, in another edition of Quick Hits.

Maurice you've seen Wake Forest now a couple of times in your career. What do you need against this team Saturday differently this time around to make sure you guys get the win?
Nelson: You know we know they are a very talented team. We know what they've done in the past against us. But for us, we just have to play well. We are 0-2 against these guys the last two times we've been up there and now they are 5-0 this year so it's not going to be any easier. But if you want to know the key, the key is playing assignment football. We have to prove we can defend those guys and play assignment football.

Assignment football seems to be the key phrase when playing Wake Forest. How come you guys haven't been able to do that in the past?
Nelson: Well there offense is just really complex. But I feel right now we are on the same page getting it. We've been watching extra film trying to learn their system as much as possible. There's more dedication with this team when it comes to that.

Okay, so you are a linebacker trying to defend their misdirection attack. What do you have to do to make sure you actually do that?
Nelson: From my position, it's about reading keys every single time. You can't get your eyes in the backfield trying to read the quarterback. That's where you get messed up. You have to stay on your key and stay on your assignment at all times or else you get gashed.

I know you guys have struggled up there but what's it like for you in a road game to see half the stands filled with Clemson fans?
Nelson: I'm proud of our fans. I mean, they travel everywhere. That gets us up for Saturdays because we know they are going to be there. It makes us want to play extra hard. It really does. You walk out on the field and see all those fans there for a road game. It's impressive and we really love it.

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