By Trey McCurry.
Clemson had its next-to-last practice Wednesday afternoon before the Auburn game. For the second straight day, much of the practice was used to try to get the team used to the noise and overall atmosphere of Auburn’s stadium.
“We had some noise yesterday, but more today. We are just trying to prepare for everything we are going to get and work on communicating and the snap count and things like that when it is loud,” said head coach Dabo Swinney. “With us being at home, it hasn’t been that loud but we need to do a good job of handling the noise so we worked on focus, concentration, and operation today.”
Swinney spoke after practice about the importance of Kyle Parker needing to have a good game for the (Clemson) Tigers to be successful and he looked back on the first time he ever saw Parker on the football field.
“I actually went down to Bartram Trail to recruit a senior lineman and as I’m trying to watch him, I keep seeing this little quarterback and somebody tells me he is a tenth grader. Here’s this tenth grader running all over the field, throwing darts, and making players. He was just one of them guys, and you could even see it then.”
“He came to camp that summer and as I started talking to him and getting to know his personality, you can tell he’s just a winner and a peak performer. He’s a peak performer that works hard at it. When he came in here as a basically a high school senior and did what he did in baseball, I knew he was capable of being something pretty special.”
Swinney also discussed some offensive line injuries. “Phillip Price practiced Wednesday and should be able to play Saturday. Meanwhile, Kalon Davis had an epidural on his back and is going to have to redshirt this season.”
Swinney closed talking about Cam Newton and the challenge he presents, not just to Clemson but also to all of Auburn’s opponents this season. Clemson has used Victor Beasley, a 6-4, 225-pound tight end, in trying to come close to Newton’s size. “We used him a bit, we really used everybody we could, as far as running the ball. It’s hard to simulate 250 pounds. He’s big, strong, and can break tackles. He can also stick his foot in the ground, redirect, and change directions like a wideout. Most guys his size can’t do that so he’s just tough to handle.”
Clemson will have one more practice Thursday afternoon before leaving for Auburn on Friday.