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December 2, 2019

Tanner Muse

Charlotte, North Carolina

KEVIN BEST: We are joined by safety Tanner Muse. We will start with questions.

Q. I wanted to ask you about your relationship with K' Von Wallace. What kind of a teammate is he and what is your relationship like?
TANNER MUSE: He's a really good friend of mine. Been here with him for four years. I look at him as a brother to me. He's always been there supporting me, helping me, whatever I needed on and off the field.

He's always been a light for us in the back seven. He always had a chip on his shoulder. He's a super aggressive guy on the field.

I can't thank him enough for just being a part of my life.

Q. He came from a rough part of the city. Has he talked to you about his background, where he's from?
TANNER MUSE: Yeah, I know he played with two guys in the ACC as well, (indiscernible), a tackle, and Greg Dortch. He had a good relationship with them.

He talked about his times, especially when Cle, Clelin Ferrell, was still here. They always talked about how hard it was in the city. Just how much fun they still had with all the brothers they grew up with. I knew a little bit about it. I know he's from a rough area. But I think he just blossomed here at Clemson and made this team so much better.

Q. Your impressions of Virginia's quarterback, Bryce Perkins?
TANNER MUSE: Yeah, I think he's a fantastic player, dual-threat guy, can really make stuff happen with his legs and also his arm, just being able to bring that dynamic to the game.

Really tough for any defense. Just seeing him play, it was Friday against Virginia Tech, it was really special to watch just because he's such a dynamic player. He did a great job executing their plan.

It will be really tough to stop him, but we're going to give it our best shot. Look forward to it Saturday.

Q. What are the challenges when you have a guy that can run 40 yards?
TANNER MUSE: It's very hard. Whether you play zone, man, blitz, whatever it may be, there's always a different thing to worry about within that defense. We're really going to have to be on our plan because he's going to probably cook up something nice for us Saturday.

We're really looking forward to it. As a defense, you always look for these kind of challenges, a dual-threat, air raid, running defense. I think we've seen it all through the regular season. We're really looking forward to it, the new dynamic. We haven't really played anybody like him. We're really excited about it.

Q. Coach Swinney has been pretty vocal lately about a perceived lack of respect for you guys. How much is that driving you in the post-season here?
TANNER MUSE: Yeah, it's definitely something he relates to us. He's like our voice. As a team, we're always told to keep your head down, eyes forward, stay humble. There comes a point in time where when things aren't the way they need to be, where you have somebody like Coach Swinney that needs to be vocal about it.

What he's doing is kind of like the voice for the team. Him being the head coach, whatever he says, we back it up always. It's always good to have a voice as a head coach, just being able to support your team. Having him say what he is saying, it's a big support for us because we know he's got our back.

Q. Have you as players perceived a lack of respect?
TANNER MUSE: Yeah, to a certain degree. There's a lot of great teams out there. We're really getting beat up about our conference. I think our conference has 10 teams that are going bowling, which is the most I think out of any Power 5 or any conference.

It's kind of baffling that they want to make this narrative that the ACC is weak or the ACC isn't as strong as these other conferences when we have just as many or more teams going bowling this year.

We don't really see where the narrative comes from. Just kind of want to exploit that. The ACC is really strong.

Q. Talk about you playing over the last four, five years at Bank of America Stadium. What is it like playing there, wearing the orange sweaters?
TANNER MUSE: It's great. I'm originally from Belmont, North Carolina. It's, like, 15 minutes really from the stadium. It's really good having all my family there. The only problem I have with it is not getting enough tickets for all of them, it being so close.

It's really good. I get to go back to the city, see the city. It's just been a great experience for us, playing there in Charlotte. It's been a blessing being so close.

Unfortunately haven't been there every year. But I really look forward to it, right down the road, seeing our fans come out and chill out.

Q. Talk about the Virginia wide receiver corps. Are they pretty good on paper? What do they look like in your schedule throughout the year?
TANNER MUSE: Yeah, like most receiving corps in the ACC, they do such a great job getting up there for him. Extends plays all the time, just being able to use legs, the quarterback. Them getting open, always having kind of like a safety valve. Whenever he gets in trouble, they always seem to be open. They do a great job of that. We're really going to have to be real tight-knit in our coverages this week.

Q. How strange is it to be toward the back end of your career and never have seen this team on the field? How much do you really know about them or did you know about them till now?
TANNER MUSE: You don't know too much not being able to play them prior. You don't see the growth of the team as much. More outside looking in. If you're in the same division, you play them every week, see them grow, see the players coming and things like that.

I think they're doing a great job just building that program. The quarterback is a big part of that, being able to just change the narrative for that school. They've done a great job over there.

I really look forward to playing these guys because I haven't before in my career. I think this is the only team in the ACC I haven't played yet. Really looking forward to it.

It's kind of like North Carolina this year, it was my first time playing them as well. You don't really know that much about them, especially when they have a freshman quarterback early on.

I'm looking forward to this challenge, being able to complete my run at the ACC, playing all these teams.

KEVIN BEST: Tanner, thank you for joining us today. We'll see you in Charlotte.

TANNER MUSE: Yes, sir. Thank you so much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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