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Jones discusses Tigers’ defense, matchup with Syracuse

Katie Bradham, Photo Editor

Clemson cornerback Sheridan Jones (6) heads toward the Tigers’ sideline against Georgia Tech in Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sept. 5, 2022. 

Fourth-year cornerback Sheridan Jones discussed his return from injury, the progression of the Clemson defense and this Saturday’s upcoming noon kickoff against No. 14 Syracuse in his press interview on Monday.
Battling a stinger injury, Jones returned to the field against Florida State last Saturday for the first time since the Tigers’ Week 3 matchup with Louisiana Tech.
“(I) just had to be smart and take it day by day,” Jones said. “I wanted to make sure everything was good before I came back.”
Against Florida State, Jones recorded a season-high four tackles. Clemson’s training staff was part of the recovery process that allowed him to return and play.
“We have a great training staff. They make sure everything is well,” Jones said.  “They make sure my body’s feeling well, getting treatment every day, so I can be able to make plays on Saturday.”
The defense as a whole didn’t play its best against Florida State, giving up 14 points in the fourth quarter and a season-high 206 rushing yards. 
“I feel like we just need to finish strong,” Jones said. “We were up 20, and we just have to finish the game.”
Jones added that the veterans emphasized that the Tigers won the game and they just need to keep the energy up, despite the poor finish. They will be taking this energy into the Tigers’ next game against ACC-rival Syracuse.
Clemson has won eight of 10 matchups against Syracuse. Last year marked the first time Clemson entered the matchup unranked. This year, however, will mark the first time Syracuse enters this game ranked.
The Orange are coming in with a talented quarterback in junior Garrett Shrader, as well as sophomore running back Sean Tucker and a pair of explosive receivers in Oronde Gadsden II and Devaughn Cooper. 
Having to face off against Gadsden on Saturday, Jones isn’t taking the task lightly. 
“We have just to play our game plan; let the plays come to us,” Jones said.  “They definitely move him around; he had a pretty good game versus NC State.  (He’s a) big guy, strong. We just have to go out there and just play our technique and allow the plays to come to us. That’s how we’ll win this game.”
Gadsden currently has the second-most receiving yards out of all of the receivers in the ACC. 
Clemson’s defense currently ranks No. 95 in passing yards allowed, so the Tigers are in for a challenge.

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