Spiller Looks Ahead

CLEMSON - One of the bright spots from Saturday's game talks about his role in the offense.

Let's be honest. There really wasn't much to feel good about in Clemson's 34-10 loss to Alabama Saturday night at the Georgia Dome.

The offense never established a rhythm and the defense was pushed around the same way a bully pushes around a small kid on a playground.

However, there were a few bright spots- including special teams, where C.J. Spiller provided the lone spark of the evening with a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open up the second half.

CUTigers.com spoke with one of Clemson's star running backs this week to get his thoughts on where the Tigers go from here:

C.J. take me through your big play Saturday night against Alabama. I know that had to be a special moment for you in your career here at Clemson.
Spiller: Really, I should have had two of them. The one before the guy just tripped me up by my shoestrings. I knew if they kicked it to me again we would have that same return coming up. My guys did a great job getting them up front and I just hit. I learned that in the bowl game. That's just what I did. Once I got by all the trash in there I used my speed to get me through.

You touched the ball less than five times on offense Saturday night and obviously some of that was dictated by the fact Alabama got out ahead so early. Is that something you'll talk with Coach Spence about this week?
Spiller: You can do that as a player but I'm not going. I'm not the offensive coordinator of this team. Of course a player would like to touch it more than five times but you can only go what they give you to go with. I'm pretty sure Coach Spence sees what everybody else sees. We've got so many playmakers on the offense it's hard to keep everybody happy. Alabama just did a great job of keeping us off the field. I would have done the same thing if I was them.

What did you make of the play calling on Saturday?
Spiller: Coach Spence does a great job calling plays. I know he takes a lot of talk sometimes about how bad of a coach he is but he's a wonderful coach. I'll like to see what anybody else would do when it's 3rd-and-16 and 3rd-and-22. What can you call on that? That's a tough position to be in. So we have to do a better job of putting Coach Spence in a better position to call successful plays. We are going to do that. We have a young offensive line but those guys are going to come around and hopefully they'll do it in a game like this.

Tommy Bowden said today the team needs more energy and enthusiasm the rest of the season. As a player, how do you go about doing that?
Spiller: You just try to be a leader and try to have more intensity at practice and keep spirits high. We have to move past this lost. We still have the taste in our mouth but we can get help get it out by beating The Citadel and that's our goal.

Is that harder to do this week (getting motivated and excited) considering the opponent? The Citadel is a good team in the FCS, but honestly this is team you guys should beat.
Spiller: We are going to get fired up about these guys because we know they can steal a win from us and really damage our season. I don't think intensity will be a problem in this game because we are playing in front of our home crowd. We are expecting them to be physical but we'll be ready.

Obviously the offensive line has to be a concern after the first game because they didn't play all that well. What have you told those guys or what do you plan on telling those guys this week?
Spiller: Oh yes. I tell them that I still believe in them. I don't care what everybody else is saying about my offensive linemen. Nobody else has to run behind them but me and James. That's the main thing. We've got to keep those guys' spirit up and make sure that they have confidence in them. As long as we believe in them, that's all that matters. Those guys are going to come around. It may take a couple of games to get going but once they do they are going to be great for us.

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