Q&A with Clemson beat writer Aaron Ransdell of The Tiger

first_imgSyracuse opens up its Atlantic Coast Conference tenure with the premier team in the league. No. 3 Clemson visits the Carrier Dome on Saturday hoping to avoid falling victim to another Orange upset in the Dome. The Daily Orange spoke with Aaron Ransdell, the sports editor at The Tiger News, about this weekend’s game.The Daily Orange: What about Tajh Boyd makes him so great?Aaron Ransdell: His determination since he’s gotten here. He came in pretty heavy, he lost a lot of weight, has really made himself a lot quicker. I think that he just has like a team mentality. Probably the best quality he has is that he’s a leader for the team. That’s what sells him for Clemson coaches, Clemson fans, that’s just what Tajh embodies is leadership.The D.O.: Other than Boyd and Sammy Watkins, who are the most dangerous weapons on the Tigers’ offense?A.R.: Running backs and tight ends, which have been kind of by committee so far this year. They’ve been rotating out Roderick McDowell, D.J. Howard, Zac Brooks at running back and they’ve all done a really good job and they all could start anywhere in the ACC at the moment.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnd then at tight end, at Clemson for the past couple years, the coaches have done a really good job at developing tight ends. You’ve seen Dwayne Allen and you’ve seen Brandon Ford last year. This year they’ve got Stanton Seckinger and they also have Sam Cooper who’s also done an excellent job.The D.O.: How does the Tigers’ defense stack up with their offense? Is it good enough to win a national championship?A.R.: Defense is kind of the weaker side of the ball, but I think the defense has a lot of room to grow. They don’t have many seniors on the defensive line, which means that they’ll have them for another year, but as far as this year goes I think the defensive line has looked really well, I think the linebackers have looked really well, but my main concern is the secondary. They seem to give up the big plays over the top and if I was going to say that one thing is holding them back it is poor tackling and poor coverage by the secondary.The D.O.: What do people down in Clemson, S.C. know about SU?A.R.: It’s actually kind of a new experience for all coaches, fans. It’s kind of refreshing to see a new team — obviously, Syracuse is kind of off the radar as far as the Southeast goes, so I would say that Syracuse is kind of going to be one of those teams that we learn about as the game goes and learn a little bit about that football culture up there as the game goes on.The D.O.: What seems to be the expectation for this game down in Clemson? Is there any concern about an Orange upset?A.R.: Coming into the season there was actually a lot of talk about this Syracuse team because it’s at Syracuse. Playing in the Carrier Dome hasn’t been easy for opponents recently and Syracuse is on top of its game, so Clemson fans expect Syracuse to come out strong and this is not necessarily a trap game, but definitely a game to keep your eyes on and see if Clemson can go up there and handle their business like they are expected to. Comments Published on October 4, 2013 at 2:51 am Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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