It seems some players are able to lock down their focus sooner, home or away, while others have to grow into it.
“It’s important to be mentally tough,” said offensive tackle Michael Via. “Being able to play in front of anybody, anywhere, and that translates into good hard practice, focusing on what you have to do like nothing else matters and that’s what we’ve been doing.”
Maturity, focus and practice are great pillars with which to build a winning road record, but the mortar holding it all together comes in the form of motivation. The players seem to agree on two primary sources of energy when it comes to getting them pumped up.
“Defensively, I would say Bruce Taylor,” Davis said. “The middle linebacker is basically the quarterback of the defense and he’s the one who is bringing the most energy out of everybody whether they’re on the field or off the field. We make a play and it’s like he’s on offense and made the play with us, celebrating and getting us up.”
Davis pointed to the man who tossed him two touchdown passes this past Saturday as the motivational generator on offense.
“He’s not the most vocal guy but at the same time when he starts being vocal, you tune in, and when he gets fired up, it just sends energy rushing through the whole offense,” Davis said.
Thomas and Taylor will have to be extra loud this Saturday in front of a fired up Clemson crowd at Memorial Stadium. The Tigers are 22-3 in Memorial Stadium under head coach Dabo Swinney and bring a 10-game home winning streak to the field this Saturday, hoping to make the Hokies victim number 11.
“We know it’s going to be loud,” Davis said. “We know it’s going to be hectic, but at the same time we got to go out and do what we got to do. We got to tune that out, we can’t worry about where we’re playing, what time we’re playing, we just got to go play football.”