The biggest disappointment for Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney from last week’s win at Auburn had nothing to do with the scoreboard or what happened between the lines. Instead, it had everything to do with him.
Swinney admitted there were several players that deserved to play in last week’s win at Auburn that did not get into the game because he did a poor job of managing the personnel.
“Again, it was the first game, very difficult place, and I am going to do a better job of that,” he said. “In fact, I apologized to some of the guys. It is frustrating to me to have some guys that deserve to play that don’t get the opportunity to get in there.”
Swinney announced earlier this week he planned to play a lot of the true and redshirt freshmen that did not see or get much action in last week’s game. But those freshmen who did not play were expected in a game of the magnitude such as the Auburn game.
However, Swinney’s disappointment was directed at his failure to get in some of the veteran reserve players, who he felt deserved to play in a game like Auburn, guys like offensive lineman Justin Falcinelli, offensive lineman Maverick Morris, tight end D.J. Greenlee, defensive tackle Albert Huggins and defensive tackle Jabril Robinson.
“A guy like Maverick Morris, a guy like Justin Falcinelli, they deserve to play,” Swinney said. “Again, there is no entitlement to play and sometimes you have guys that are pretty close, kind of like what we have at D-tackle right now, and you just play them. Then you have situations like a Tre’ Lamar, he is a young guy. Kendall Joseph has been here for three years, he is coming on, but those eight plays Lamar got were critical.
“I did a poor job. Albert Huggins was another guy that should have played that didn’t get in there.”
Like the freshmen, those veteran players will get their opportunities on Saturday when No. 2 Clemson host Troy in its home opener in Death Valley. The game is scheduled to kick off at 12:30 p.m., and will be televised on the ACC Network.
“You will see that is an area that we have to do a better job of and that’s all me so I have to do a better job managing that a whole lot better,” Swinney said.