Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held his weekly Tuesday press conference as the third-ranked Tigers prepare to hit the road for their matchup at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
Here is what we heard from Tuesday:
Boston College is yet again ranked No. 1 in total defense. Swinney said the Eagles always provide a difficult time in Chestnut Hill.
“We are excited about going to Boston. It is another big challenge for us. They always play tough. Every time we go up there it is always a battle,” Swinney said. “It’s a big challenge matching their physicality and mentality. You have to make a lot of adjustments. We have to do a better job of playing better discipline on the back end.”
Swinney discussed how humbled he was that Boston College chose the Clemson game to honor The Man in the Red Bandana who saved many lives in the September 11th attacks in 2001. He also mentioned how incredible it was to see the photo of the young Clemson fan who got out of his wheelchair to cheer on the Tigers. Swinney said that is the reason he tells his players to play hard on every down.
“It’s the joy you bring to other people,” Swinney said. “I think it is a great reminder for all of us. We should be so thankful for our health and for the opportunities to do things we get to do. For those players to be able to go out there and play a game and to use the talents they have been blessed with in the right way.”
Swinney also shared a unique experience he had as he was driving back to the team hotel after appearing on ESPN College GameDay.
“These old boys were sitting out and had their chairs kicked backed, doors were open and they had a big screen TV. They are just sitting there and it’s like right at 9:45 or 10 o’clock in the morning and the trooper car pulls up and you know, they were all like drinking beer and I roll the window down and I was like, ‘Hey boys! Ya’ll ready to go?’ They looked at me like, ‘Coach Swinney!,’” he said. “It was unbelievable. There was no telling how early those people were there setting up and all of that stuff. It was amazing just to be a part of it.”
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables expressed on Tuesday he was incredibly proud of how well his defense held up against Louisville and Lamar Jackson through nearly 100 plays.
“We are real proud of our guys. It was a great challenge. Our guys played all the way to that very last play, to that final whistle, played with incredible effort,” Venables said. “Going back and watching after the game, just how hard we competed, is what you are proud of as much as anything.”
Safety Jadar Johnson said that performance gave the defense a confidence boost heading into the BC game.
“We have definitely gained a lot of confidence from the Louisville game just because we had a lot doubters before this game. We always knew that we could do it and we went out there and did it,” the senior said. “Just us proving that we could do it, that definitely gives us a lot of confidence going into the rest of the season.”
Offensively, Clemson had a solid performance, showing the unit that they are capable of performing well and executing on a big stage.
Tight end Jordan Leggett’s game-winning touchdown actually broke the record for touchdowns scored by a tight end at Clemson.
“It was pretty awesome. Coach presented me with the game ball the other day after practice. It is definitely special. A moment I won’t forget,” Leggett said.