Q&A with Mo Fountain

"I knew about the rivalry before I even started thinking about playing college football. I remember watching Duce Staley and even Brandon Bennett and then Raymond Priester and all of those guys growing up," said Clemson defensive end Mo Fountain.


Mo, you are a guy that grew up just a few miles down the road from Columbia in Camden. Does this rivalry mean that much more to you because it hits so close to home?
Fountain: Yes sir, it does. It means a lot to me. I knew about the rivalry before I even started thinking about playing college football. I remember watching Duce Staley and even Brandon Bennett and then Raymond Priester and all of those guys growing up. It's a pretty important rivalry to me, no doubt.

Who did you root for as a kid growing up?
Fountain: (laughing) Actually, I used to root for Carolina. But that was before I even started playing college football. Of course, after I decided to come to Clemson that changed everything.

Coming into this game, South Carolina is really known for trying to establish the run with some of their talented running backs. Is there anything that you see from their offense that concerns you?
Fountain: We know they have a tremendous running game, so obviously we are going to try stuff the run. That's a priority anytime you play those guys.

You guys seem to be peaking here at the end of the year. Does winning the last two games help give you some extra momentum coming into this game?
Fountain: Yes sir, momentum is a great factor in this game of college football, and I believe we definitely have momentum on our side right now. We'll just take that into Saturday and see where it takes us.

What kind of atmosphere are you expecting down in Columbia on Saturday?
Fountain: A lot of noise, and a lot of electricity. You know it's going to be a hostile environment coming in. All you can do with that is try to use it to your advantage. I kind of feed off that kind of thing. I know a lot of guys on the team do too. It's a motivating force with us I'd say.

Even though you guys have dominated the last two football games, the defense seemed to struggle during the middle part of the season with stopping the run and with misdirection. Has that been something the coaches have focused in on this week in preparing for South Carolina?
Fountain: Yes sir. Basically, the problems we had earlier in season were all mental. It was nothing physical at all. We just had to polish up on where we needed to be in certain situations, and we've done that. We should be able to contain those kinds of plays now without any problems. It was something that was mostly a mental thing with us before.

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