10 questions with C.J. Spiller

CLEMSON - C.J. Spiller discusses everything from his health to facing Jonathan Dwyer in this Q&A.

Are you 100 percent physically for Thursday's game after your toe injury on Saturday?
Spiller: I'm definitely 100 percent. I've been going through all the drills, all the team stuff, and then on the side I've continued to do some more stuff in order to loosen up. It was just my toe. It's one of those injuries that just happens out there. It's nothing serious, nothing that's going to hold me out and keep me from performing at the highest level on Thursday.

This match-up against Georgia Tech has been highlighted as the two top running backs in the country going head-to-head. What are your thoughts on going against Jonathan Dwyer?
Spiller: It's going to be a great game. The main thing that I know of is that I have other teammates who are going to help us be successful as well. Dwyer is a great player, he was named ACC player of the year so we know what it takes to try and slow that guy down. He's phenomenal. He can make plays, he can pound it. He's fast so he's able to run away from defense, he showed that this past Saturday on the first play. I have tremendous respect for him as a champion. It's going to be interesting, we have two great teams matched up Thursday night. You can't ask for anything better.

Last week you harped on Parker's mobility, which was evident on the field Saturday. Do you think we will see more of a run game from him on Thursday against Georgia Tech?
Spiller: I think the main thing is going to be trying to take what they give us. They play well, they're tremendous athletes on the defensive side of the ball. So the main thing Thursday is going to be trying to take what they give us and not trying to force anything. Hopefully, we can take the crowd out of the game as quick as we can because their team feeds off that. We're going to a hostile environment so it's going to be big for us to take the crowd out of the game.

Are you excited? This is a huge game early on in the season when other teams are still facing smaller teams, you will be taking on a huge conference rival. Are you ready for it?
Spiller: Oh yeah, I'm very excited. This is what you work for all pre-season long. I had a chance to watch an interesting game last night between Florida State and Miami as well. Our whole team is excited about going down there; the atmosphere is going to be great. I think out of the 10 of our last 13 games, 10 of them have been decided by 5 points so I think this will be another close game. These are the kind of games I came back for to be apart of so I'm very excited about going down there.

"These are just the type of games you want to be involved with. Sure you want to be involved in blowouts, you love to get games like that. But when you have a close game, that's when you see your great athletes step up and make plays for their teams."
Was Georgia Tech on your mind last week even before the MTSU game?
Spiller: No, we've known what we are going to be facing. They're not one of those teams that is going to spread you out, they're going to line up (close). That's what they do and we've got to stop it. Our main focus was on MTSU because that was a very capable team that was capable of coming out with a win.

How far has this team come through new coaching and growth from its game against Georgia Tech last season?
Spiller:We are way past that. We know we can't go back and change what has happened in the past so I haven't even been thinking about that. My mind has just been on facing Georgia Tech now. I think we've got a lot of good leadership from the seniors feeding down to the younger guys so we're ahead of where we were at when Coach Swinney first took over.

It must have been pretty rewarding to return with a touchdown on the first kick of your senior season. Can you tell us a little about that?
Spiller: I'll be honest with you, I was surprised that they kicked it deep down there because we haven't really practiced with that much. But my teammates did a great job, we saw how it was going to come down, so once my teammates made the blocks I just tried to create the correct reason to make a play.

What's your impression of how Brandon Clear has performed as a WR in practice? Do you think he could make a debut appearance this Thursday?
Spiller: Oh yeah, he's a young guy who's got tremendous ball skills. It's going to be interesting though to go on the road and to be going into a hostile environment and see if he can show up. But that's when leadership comes in, I think that we've got great leadership. But we're going to need all our receivers to make plays Thursday because we know what they [Georgia Tech] can do defensively. We're going to really try and pack the box in. We're really going to have to spread those guys out and loosen them up little bit.

Do you think this is a pretty important game to prove yourselves to national standards, being on ESPN and going up against a rival like Georgia Tech?
Spiller: I mean all of our games are important. This game right here isn't going to make us or break us. It is very important to our program, but we still lose games at times. We still have to get ready to play Boston College next week as well. It's a fun game, it's on a nationally televised network, everyone in the country is going to be watching. People will be watching to see what we're about and to see if Georgia Tech is for real. It's going to be interesting and you can't ask for a better atmosphere going down to Atlanta.

Georgia Tech's national ranking obviously makes this an important game, but aside from that this isn't really a huge rivalry? What is your explanation for the hype that's always created when you guys face this team every year?
Spiller: These are just the type of games you want to be involved with. Sure you want to be involved in blowouts, you love to get games like that. But when you have a close game, that's when you see your great athletes step up and make plays for their teams. That's the thing about going down to Tech, we know these guys aren't quitters. They're going to fight into the last minutes of the game. Kind of like last night, two great teams playing and two great defensives. They were going back and forth and guys were just making plays underneath [Florida State vs. Miami]. That's the kind of game you want to see.

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