Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held a teleconference Monday to discuss the Auburn game and the upcoming Miami game.
I had a chance to bring the team in last night and watch the tape. It is good to be able to put that one to bed. We are finishing up a few things tonight, but we are turning page to Miami. I am looking forward to getting back on the field and moving on to the next one.
Certainly there was a big disappointment Saturday night with the outcome. It is not what we want, but there were a lot of positives. It is like I tell the team. It is all about us. The guys have bought in and when they see the film it reinforces that with them. There are so many things that we control that can be the difference in winning and losing. That is what we are trying to focus on.
I do think we have a chance to be a good football team. We are trying to build this program with a foundation of effort and toughness, physical play and a strong belief in team and no quit. That is what I want the foundation of the team to be. You work hard and think you are doing the right things, but I saw all of those things Saturday night. For that I am encouraged. If we can continue to focus on our formula and continue to coach them a little better then we have as good a chance as any team out there.
The open date came at a good time for us right now. I didn’t like it at the beginning of the season, but I do now. We have a couple of guys that we need to get well this week to get ready for another tough game with Miami.
I am proud of the team as far as their resiliency. I think they responded very positively last night. It was our first big test on the road. We didn’t win the game but we have a lot to build on. We will continue to work hard. We will work hard to make sure we can finish with that killer instinct that it takes on the road. If we are going to win a championship, we have to be able to go on the road and finish in those tough environments.
All of our goals are still there. We are getting ready to get into conference play now and we look forward to getting into that.
Was there consideration to not put Kyle back out there after the injury?
No, I mean we were considering it at one point because we didn’t know if he would be okay. Kyle is a competitor and he was wanting to stay in there. We were going to go with him. He gave us a chance to win the game. He is a leader. We certainly wouldn’t have hesitated at all with Tajh but he felt like he could play and we were going to give him a chance to win the game.
How physical was it out there Saturday night?
There was some big hitting going on for both sides. I thought we were the more physical team. That was a good thing for me to see as I watched the film. It was very encouraging because I just don’t think we can have the kind of program that we won’t if we can’t physically lineup and battle the way we did. I thought our guys, especially in the trenches got after them. The way our backs ran the ball. They ran with a physical presence. On defense some of the hits that were thrown out there were hard. Auburn is a physical football team and they had some hits out there also. It was a battle all night long.
Will there be any position changes with David Smith out? Possibly move Brandon Thomas inside?
We will probably move Brandon in there. He worked a little bit at guard in camp. If David doesn’t play against Miami and most likely he won’t be able to play. We are very, very encouraged about the news we got that he will be back. Most likely we will move Brandon in there and train him up and get him ready to be another guard for us.
What will Kyle’s practice schedule be this week?
He will be limited tonight for sure. He will get a better. He is just real sore. Thankfully he didn’t have any crack in his rib or anything like that. He got cracked in the back. He is really, really sore. He will be limited tonight. Hopefully by Wednesday or Thursday he will be able to do a few things.
What happened to the defense in the third quarter?
It was just big plays. They max protected us and double moved us. We bit on a double move. That was a big, big play. Then they literally just threw one up on a route and defender was there and he just lost the ball. Those two plays were big plays. Then they had the touchdown right on the pylon that was a very close call. But the big play was the double move. Again we were getting pressure on them and they started max protecting and kept everyone in. We did not do a good job of being disciplined. We didn’t do a good job with our eyes. We bit on the route and they made a great play.
Did Kyle’s injury impact play calling any?
Not really. We had a couple of things that could be QB runs that we stayed away from. Other than that we just went with it. He was performing fine. I know he missed a couple of throws. The one throw that he missed to Dwayne he had to throw it early because he was under pressure. We gave up a little pressure inside and he had to get rid of it quicker than he wanted. If we had done a better job with protection he could have set his feet and delivered a very catchable ball.
Any thought on whether the play Kyle got hurt on should have been a penalty?
If they had thrown a flag I don’t think anyone would have thrown their hands up. I don’t think that would have been one where everybody would have said I can’t believe they threw that. It was a bang, bang play and that is the way it goes.