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Riley’s offense ‘hungry’ and confident ahead of FSU game

Katie Bradham
Clemson offensive coordinator Garrett Riley walks across the field of Wallace Wade Stadium before the Tigers’ Sept. 4 matchup against Duke.

As the Clemson Tigers gear up for a showdown against No. 4 Florida State, offensive coordinator Garrett Riley spoke to the media on the confidence that has developed over Clemson’s past two wins.

After a disappointing season opener resulted in a 28-7 loss to Duke, many questioned the offensive abilities of the Tigers. Riley, however, sees things differently after watching his unit perform well against Florida Atlantic and Charleston Southern.

“Felt like we got a feel of our team, in terms of going through some adversity and getting behind the eight ball on some things, and what we found out is that we have a team and guys that don’t flinch,” Riley said on Monday.

The biggest obstacle for the offense in the opener was finishing drives. Ultimately, Duke had 374 total yards, whereas the Tigers had 422 yards. In the second half, Clemson had five consecutive drives end with a blocked field goal, two fumbles within the seven-yard line, an interception and a turnover on downs. Meanwhile, Duke scored three touchdowns in the second half.

The Tigers were disappointed after giving the ball away three times against Duke. But following their dominant win over the Owls last weekend, the locker room attitude has shifted.

“A ton of confidence. A ton of confidence in our guys in what we’re doing and their ability to produce and create plays,” Riley said. “I really feel like they are going to be in a great position moving forward, and I think they are a hungry and confident group. I really do.”

Last week’s game against FAU was the first that Clemson’s offense didn’t turn the ball over to the opposing team. Riley understands the concept of learning from your mistakes and sees these mishaps as building blocks for future success.

“We’ve had a couple of critical errors in that Duke game that obviously sets you back, but these guys’ confidence isn’t broken at all,” he said. “You just gotta learn from those critical mistakes; that’s the whole deal.”

As the team continues to improve, Clemson will look to continue its seven-year win streak against the Seminoles on Saturday, and Riley is more than enthusiastic about the challenge.

“I’m pumped, I can’t wait. For a big game like this, it will be electric.”

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About the Contributors
Anne Marie Lessig
Anne Marie Lessig, Multimedia Personality
Katie Bradham
Katie Bradham, Senior Videographer
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