It didn’t take long for the trash talking to start up when defensive tackle Gerald McCoy began a Wednesday interview session in the locker room at One Buccaneer Place.
Fellow defensive linemen Kourtnei Brown and Da’Quan Bowers, two of Tampa Bay’s three Clemson products, reminded McCoy repeatedly of tomorrow afternoon’s College Football Playoff semifinal between the top-ranked Tigers and No. 4 Oklahoma.
“I’ve already thanked all my Clemson teammates for giving us this warmup game before the national championship,” said McCoy, an Oklahoma graduate. “They’re very nice and I appreciate it.”
Of the four schools vying for the national championship, Clemson leads in terms of players on the current Tampa Bay roster, practice squad included. Rookie wideout Adam Humphries joins Brown and Bowers. McCoy is the lone Sooner, Michigan State has defensive lineman William Gholston and Alabama isn’t represented.
Similar to how McCoy was forced to don University of Texas burnt orange after Oklahoma lost the Red River Shootout in October, losers will have to do that same this time around. “Yeah, I’ll have to wear Clemson clothes and post it [on social media] and all that,” McCoy said.
After moving on to this week’s preparation for Tampa Bay’s final game of the season, McCoy concluded the interview how he began it as Brown joined him in front of the cameras.
“What I am concerned about is how bad my teammates are going to feel when we beat Clemson,” McCoy said. “We’re hugging right now and we are going to hug tomorrow evening because I’m going to comfort him after the beating we put on them.”
“What about last year,” Brown asked in reference to Clemson’s 40-6 stomping of Oklahoma in Orlando at the Russell Athletic Bowl in 2014.
“ast season – everybody lives in the past. You have to stop living in the past. You really have got to stop doing that. It’s about now. And tomorrow, we will see. Boomer Sooner, I love you guys. Have a good day.”