Beat writer Q&A: Orange and White’s Marcel Louis-Jacques discusses Clemson

first_imgSyracuse (4-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) will match up with Clemson (4-0, 1-0), a team it upset last season when the Tigers were the No. 2 team in the country. Last week, the Orange dominated UConn, 51-21, and the Orange enters the fifth week of the season undefeated for the first time since 1991.To get some insight on the Tigers, The Daily Orange spoke to Orange and White’s Marcel Louis-Jacques.The Daily Orange: What’s the vibe of the team been like after Trevor Lawrence being announced the starter, and now with Kelly Bryant announcing his transfer?Marcel Louis-Jacques: We haven’t gotten any chance to speak the team since he announced he’s transferring but, I think we broke the news to a couple of them on Monday. And there was a little sense of just a “Oh OK,” kind of surprise. But then was quickly you know right back to business. I think Tee Higgins (Clemson wide receiver) even said something along the lines of, “It’s my job to go out there and catch the ball.” So I don’t think that publicly we’re going to get much reaction from anybody on the team. But within the program, Kelly is really well liked and really well respected. So you know with an emotional game like this coming up, I know it’s Week 4 and it had to happen or it’s Week 4 and it had to happen right now, but you know it really couldn’t be worse timing.The D.O.: What have you seen from Lawrence through four games? Was he the clear-cut starter?AdvertisementThis is placeholder textM.L-J: He’s lived up to the hype for the most part. (Texas) A&M, I feel like people remember his first pass of the game that 64-yard touchdown but his drives pretty much stalled out the rest of the way from there. So if you had to point to a concern with this kid, it’s OK in Clemson’s toughest game of the year, on the road, he kind of faltered out a little bit. But, I mean, after the Georgia Tech it was just clear that he deserved the first opportunity in the following week. And Dabo (Swinney) previously told us that if there were going to be a change, that would all see. It would be obvious. And I think Trevor really made it obvious in Week 4.The D.O.: Are the four defensive linemen (Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins, Austin Bryant and Dexter Lawrence) as good as advertised?M.L-J: Yeah they are. I mean you look at the game film, especially against Georgia Tech. Yeah, the Jackets couldn’t get any sort of leverage. And part of that is, I think, these are guys who have been here two, three, four years, they’re used to that cut blocking scheme. So after that initial push, it was really a whole lot of nothing for Georgia Tech. They were living in the backfield against Texas A&M as well, I mean there were some missed holding calls. I’ll give fans some credit there. I’ve seen the pictures, I’ve seen the film, there were some blown calls. The reason why they were lit up threw the air was not because there was no pressure on Kellen Mond, it was the coverage. It was the defensive backfield. They’ve got to feed off each other to be successful and so far the front has held their hand of the bargain and we’ve kind of yet to see if that secondary can leave up to its.The D.O.: Who’s a player on Clemson SU fans might not know but will after Saturday?M.L-J: Well it depends on how many Clemson highlights you watch but … on offense it’s gotta be Justyn Ross. The kids got six catches and three of them are for touchdowns. He’s 6’4, 210 true freshman and when he gets on the field with Tee Higgins it’s really hard to put all your attention on just one of them. They’re similar builds and they’re both guys that go get the ball. But Ross just seems to get open. His touchdowns, most of them are just wide open. It’s like how do you lose this guy that’s 6-foot-4.The D.O.: Who wins and why?M.L-J: I’ve got Clemson winning. I know the emotion is high, and obviously Syracuse is coming in very confident but ultimately there is too much talent on both sides of the ball back. Syracuse is essentially playing the same exact Clemson thing as last year, minus the three guys or maybe four or five guys. That and I really believe after watching four games that Trevor Lawrence is the real deal. You can’t fake that feeling. Playing at home with these emotions riding high, that it’s just not going to be that close. I think I had Clemson 42-21. I like Syracuse. I just don’t think it’s happening. And I don’t think it’s happening for most teams that play Clemson this season. Comments Published on September 27, 2018 at 8:44 pm Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more