Ready For Primetime

"It's a lot more exciting because we are playing at home," said Justin Miller in reference to the first Thursday night home game this year. "We've been playing well at home this year and now everybody in the nation will have the opportunity to see what Clemson football is all about."

True freshman cornerback Justin Miller has already made his mark on the Clemson football program in a big way this season. Miller, who now claims one of the starting cornerback slots, is now starting to earn recognition around the conference as one of the top rookies in the country. Here's what the Owensboro, Kentucky native had to say about this week's game against rival N.C. State.

Talk about going up against Philip Rivers.
Miller: He's a big quarterback, I can tell you that. We just have to go out there and play well against him. It's exciting because in a way, it tests you and tests your defense. It prepares you on what to expect in a big game against a great quarterback. Our defense just has to ready at all times. We have to be sound and be ready for the pass and the run. He's a great quarterback that can manipulate the defense at any time, we just need to be ready to play.

You won't get taken in by his unorthodox throwing motion will you?
Miller: No, not really. I've seen him a couple times, and everybody has a different style but I think he's been pretty successful at what he's done so far in his career.

Rivers doesn't really seem to concentrate on any one receiver, how do you prepare for that?
Miller: You can't really concentrate on any one person while you are on the field. You just have to play your coverage and play your responsibility and keep everybody on the same page.

Do you feel better about playing a team that puts the ball in the air a little more than Wake Forest does?
Miller: Yeah I think so. Wake Forest used a lot of misdirection and trickery, but against North Carolina State they like to pass and spread out and we can use our athleticism a little more. I think we'll be able to just get out and play this week.

Do you place any extra pressure on yourself in this game because you and T.A. McClendon are the top two freshmen in the conference right now?
Miller: No, not really. I just go out there and just play my hardest. If he does well then he does well, if I do well then I do well. I'm just trying to play and trying to contribute to my team right now.

Thoughts on playing games on Thursday night?
Miller: It's a lot more exciting because we are playing at home. We've been playing well at home this year. Thursday night at home on ESPN will allow vverybody in the nation to have the opportunity to see what Clemson football is all about. We haven't lost at home this year, and we're playing well so that can only be a positive thing for us right now.

How disruptive is it to have a Thursday night game? Are you able to focus any on school work?
Miller: It's kind of hard to concentrate on school work because you have to prepare the football game, but that's part of it. You have to learn to balance schoolwork and football. It doesn't really bother me or anything.

Do you think the defense will be able to rattle Philip Rivers at all this week?
Miller: I think we can rattle him, that's the really the goal when you face any quarterback. We need to get to him, get him hit and get him shaken up, and try to get him rattled.

How is starting different from coming off the bench?
Miller: It's not really that much different, because I was usually the first one in the game. The first couple of plays are always exciting, and then things kind of die back to down to normal. Everybody wants to get out there and make a play when you first get out there, but you still have to concentrate on what's going on, otherwise you can give up the big play.

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