On the Record: Mike Hamlin

CLEMSON - A two-year starter, safety Mike Hamlin knows a thing or two about playing on the road in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

He's seen the Tigers pull out incredible wins, like last year's 27-17 come-from-behind win over eventual ACC Champion Wake Forest and the 2005 21-point win over N.C. State at Carter-Finley Stadium.

Through three games this season, Hamlin is first on the team in total number of plays with 198 and fifth on the team in tackles with 17.

CUTigers.com talked with Hamlin one-on-one earlier this week to get his thoughts on Saturday's game against N.C. State, in another edition of On the Record:

Mike how does the mindset and attitude of this team change in now going on the road for the first time and also going back into conference play?
Hamlin: Well first off the attitude is real positive. We are going into conference play now. It's going to be a 12-round fight where you have to go until the end. That's the mindset we have to take in a game like this. We know the level of play hasn't really been the same (the last two weeks). We have to give it all we got. We know the last two weeks we haven't seen equal talent. We have to be focused for a game like this and just leave everything on the field.

What have you seen out of N.C. State on film? What kind of problems can they present for you Saturday?
Hamlin: I've watched a lot of their passing routes. They kind of run the same thing Boston College the last few years. A lot of clears and unders. We have to go out and do what the game plan coach has for us and we'll be alright.

Through three games this season, Hamlin is first on the team in total number of plays with 198 and fifth on the team in tackles with 17.
Can you talk about the differences between playing at home and on the road?
Hamlin: It's exciting. There is extra energy out there just because we have fans out there talking trash to us. That's a big motivational thing for us so I'm looking forward to playing.

Assess the defense up to this point in the season. You guys held Furman to 10 points last week but you also gave up chunks of yardage at times.
Hamlin: Well we can do better. But I'm going to tell you we are starting to get a swagger back. We are trying to make a name for ourselves. The speed and the excitement we bring to the field will speak for itself.

The ACC truly looks like it's there for the taking this year and that you guys could be in a pretty good position.
Hamlin: There's a little buzz about it. But we are just trying to take it one game at a time. We aren't trying to look to the future. We are just trying to focus on N.C. State and then the next week Georgia Tech.

Coach Bowden mentioned earlier this week that his big focus for you guys this year has been about 'getting better' in everything you do. Is that something you've noticed at practice and before games?
Hamlin: Yes. He's big on that. Every speech he gives us before and after practice is always about getting better. That's his main focus this year is trying to get better week by week, regardless of the opponent.

What do you remember about last year's game against N.C. State?
Hamlin: Well their running back had a big game against us. I think we had a lot of missed assignments and the day just felt real sluggish for us. Just going up there gives us the opportunity to kind of redeem ourselves and play like we are supposed to.

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