Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney met with the ACC media on Wednesday.
Well, we got our biggest challenge yet this week with Florida State. This is a really good football team. It didn’t take us long to get over the last one when we turned the film on and watched these guys. They are a very, very talented and capable of I think being a Top-10 team.
So we are going to have to play our best game this week to have a chance to win it. But we are off to a good start. We’ll practice and look forward to hosting these guys in Death Valley this weekend.
Q. Wanted to get your take on the expansion of the ACC, your opinion on it, and if the conference did go to 16 teams are there any other teams that you would like to see the conference submit an invite to?
Well, to be honest with you, I’ve said several times I’m really just focused on the here and now. There’s so much going on right now. Who knows what’s what and were it’s ever going to end or when it’s all going to happen. I mean, there’s just too many unknowns for me to really spend a lot of brainpower worrying about it to be honest with you.
I’ve got all I can handle on this season and this team and this conference the way it is today. I’ll worry about the rest later.
Q. Before the season I asked about who was possibly the biggest surprise you had seen to this point and you said Sammy Watkins. Is he even better than you might have anticipated at this point?
Well, he’s really just doing what he’s done in practice since the day he got here. And that’s kind of why I said he was the biggest surprise and that’s because, you know, I knew he was talented, but it’s rare that you see a freshman that has the knowledge. He’s polished, he’s tough, the work ethic, the maturity. He’s got all of those things, and that’s why it was such a surprise to me that he was tht far along. He looks like he’s been playing three or four years.
Q. How would you describe him as a receiver?
Well, he really doesn’t have any weaknesses as far as the skill set of the position. You know, Jacoby Ford ws here, the guy was a great player and is a starter in the NFL, but a weakness for him is he’s not a physically big guy.
There’s always something that you can usually point out with different people. This guy, he’s got great size. He’s a 6-1 plus guy, 207 pounds. He can fly. He’s got great hands. He’s tough. You know, he’s got a great work ethic. He’s explosive, in and out of touch. I think he really has everything — when God made this on he was in a great mood that day.
Q. Have you figured out who is mad at you at the ACC offica or your own athletic office with this stretch of Auburn, Florida State and Virginia Tech?
(Laughing) Oh, man, well, I don’t know, you just take it as it comes. And one thing I’ve learned is nothing is easy, and there’s no shortcuts. You know, if you want to be the best, you’ve got to go beat the best, and we certainly have a schedule that gives us that opportunity. And that’s really how we have looked at it.
When it came out this spring, that’s what I told the team. We have a schedule of champions, and let’s embrace it and let’s look at it as an opportunity as opposed to an insurmountable challenge.
It’s a tough road for sure, but you know, we are just taking it one day at a time, one game at a time and just trying to play each play the very best we can and you know, when it’s all said and done, look up and see what the results are.
Q. Where do yo think you made the most improvement from the first two weeks of the season to last week and beating Auburn?
Well, we still had a few things that are hurting us, like som big plays where we are, you know, really kind of some uncontested big plays were we have to do a better job than that.
But I think offensively, we played our most physical game, and that was probably the biggest improvement. We knew that we are going to have to get better. We did a great job with our protection. We didn’t do a good job last week. And so, you know and then again, we are continuing to be a dominant second half team.