Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held his Sunday teleconference with the media to review the win over Auburn and to begin looking ahead to next week’s game at Louisville. A transcript of the teleconference follows:
“I am just coming ou of meetings here. I had a chance to sit down with the staff and review everything. It was a lot of fun watching the tape. It was a heck of a ball game. It was hard fought by both teams. I am just really proud of our guys for the effort and the toughness to finish. It was a gritty game and one that we can really grow out team from. We are getting ready for conference play. To get that type of exprience and get battle tested like that early is something that I think will hopefully pay off for us.
Defensively it was just tremendous. It was dominant really on all three levels. It starts with the unbelievable effort and consistency with how we work up front. On the back end, out linebackers and up front we tackled well. There ability to not be able to effectively run the ball was critical.
Offensively we have a lot that we can improve on but the toughness to finish, the play of Kelly Bryant, the big plays from Deon and Ray Ray and Renfrow were all positives. The biggest disappointment was the two fumbles obviously, field position, momentum. We had a couple of sacks and we really missed a couple of opportunities.
But all in all a lot of positives from the game and a hard fought game. And again something that we can improve upon.
I am pleased with the special teams. We did miss that kick. That could have been a critical moment for us to make that kick. Other than that very solid in our special teams. I am just proud of our team for getting to 2-0 and now we are trying to get ready for division play. We have another tough challenge this week going up to Louisville, GameDay and all of that stuff. They changed the time so it should be a great experience.”
“Health wise we are in good shape. Marcus was the main one. We will know more on him tomorrow and see where he is at. The x-rays were good.”
Players of the Game
Austin Bryant – Defense
Hunter Renfrow – Offense
Will Spiers – Special Teams
Question: Was that the breakout performance you were hoping to see from Austin Bryant?
“Yeah a lot of those guys that hadn’t gotten that type of experience yet. Trey Lamar, Muse, Trayvon getting big time experience. It certainly will help him from a confidence standpoint. He had four sacks and he really had two others that he probably had an opportunity to get as well. I am proud of him. His relentless effort was awesome to watch. He made some second effort plays hustling to the ball and definitely one of those games that will help his confidence.”
Question: How concerned are you right now with right tackle?
“Well we didn’t play well. That is for sure. That was a disappointment last night. We did not play well at right tackle. We are much better than how we played. Give them some credit. They are really good. But we have played better and we practice against good players every day. We just did not play to the standard. We did some good things but when you make a couple of mistakes that is what stands out. ”
Question: How big was the defensive stop on the first drive holding them to a field goal?
“That was huge. It was almost like getting a turnover. You spot the ball inside the 15 yard line and you hold them to three points with a little bit of a goalline stand there. That is huge. It was big momentum for us and you feel like you won it.
I am really proud of what we have done there. We haven’t given up a touchdown these first two weeks. We wanted to be better in the redzone and so far we are off to a great start.”
Question – What is the latest on Van Smith’s injury?
“He is getting better. He improved a lot last week. We just weren’t quite confident he could do what we needed him to do. I saw him this morning and he was taking treatment. He is getting better.”
Question: What do you have to do to stop Lamar Jackson?
“Well you have to tackle him when you get a chance. He is just hard to tackle. You have to be very disciplined with your rush lanes. Everybody has to play their gaps properly. You have to have your eyes on the right things. You have to mix your coverages. When he gets to running around he is a handful. We saw that last year up close. He is going to make his plays. That is going to happen. You just have to minimize them and do a great job of taking good angles.”