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December 2, 2019

John Simpson

Charlotte, North Carolina

KEVIN BEST: We're joined by offensive guard John Simpson. We'll take questions for John.

Q. Virginia came into this season very focused on improving their run defense. What has made you guys so successful running the ball? Have you looked at Virginia, and what do you see in terms of what they do in run defense?
JOHN SIMPSON: Yeah, I would say just blocking up front. We're doing a really good job blocking guys, getting movement. I think that has a lot to do with us running the ball.

Q. Have you had a chance to look at Virginia at all?
JOHN SIMPSON: Not yet. I did a lot of studying over this weekend, so haven't really had a chance to break them down that much. I will be doing that today.

Q. You haven't had a chance to look at Virginia much, but they bring a lot of pressure with linebackers, get to the quarterback mostly with their linebackers as opposed to defensive line. What are the challenges of playing a team that tends to blitz linebackers and bring pressure from the second level?
JOHN SIMPSON: I would say just we go out there and know our assignments, know exactly what to do, I think we'll be fine. The main thing with that is being technically sound. You have to know your techniques, how to stop those kind of things before it happens. Just kind of seeing it before it happens, reacting.

Q. How much do you think the fact that you guys have been here before will help you on Saturday?
JOHN SIMPSON: I think it will help a lot. At the same time we have a young team. A lot of the guys that are on this team hasn't been here. I personally feel like just implementing to them it's a very important stage, this is just another step to where we want to go, that will play a lot into it.

Q. Dabo was saying yesterday that he thought this season's pass protection was among the best if not the best that he's had at Clemson. Given that you all had a couple other starters returning this season, is this pretty much what you expected?
JOHN SIMPSON: Absolutely. I did expect it to be one of the best seasons for the offensive line here. I personally feel like as a lot of guys that came back, four seniors, one sophomore, I feel like we did everything that they could ask of us, we're doing everything they could ask of us.

There's a little bit of things we could do a little bit better. We're working one step at a time focusing on the next goal.

Q. Trevor was talking about the mental and physical toll of a 15-game grind. You've been through it. What is that like? How do you all manage your way through that?
JOHN SIMPSON: It's a grind. It's definitely a grind mentally and physically, like you said. Just trying to stay on top of everything as far as, like, rehab, making sure we're good, prehab, making sure nothing does go wrong with our bodies and stuff like that. Staying on top of film. Like I said before, being prepared for anything that could possibly come our way, being ready.

KEVIN BEST: Thank you, John, for joining us today. We'll see you Saturday in Charlotte.

JOHN SIMPSON: Sounds good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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