Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held his Sunday teleconference where he discussed the win over Boston College and the injury to Tajh Boyd.
It was a really good football game watching it on film. It is as actually as close as we have played to our potential all year. I am real pleased with what we did in all phases. Special teams were solid. Obviously making the field goals was critical when we needed them.
Defensively 11 possessions, 5 punts, two touchdowns two fourth down stops, five three-and outs, three sacks, ten pressures and 258 yards. It doesn’t get much better than that. The disappointing thing was we had a couple of times where we didn’t sit properly and then we missed a couple of tackles and they got touchdowns off those missed tackles. We really, really played well up front. Our defensive tackles and defensive ends were outstanding. Malliciah Goodman was just tremendous. They were doing some chippin with the back on Branch’s side and Malliciah really took advantage of his opportunities. It was good to see him play as well as he did. We played a lot of guys at linebacker first of all. Tig Willard just continues, it was about the third week in a row where he is getting all over the field. He just quietly does his job. The secondary played very solid.
Coty Sensabaugh, Brewer, Rashard, Meeks, Carlton Lewis came in and played well. Darius and Breeland and we are getting a little bit more out of Jenkins each week. We really like what we are seeing out of him. He is starting to play with a little bit more confidence. Overall just a good solid day. Rennie and Brandon Thompson continue to play well inside and are difficult to handle.
Offensively 500 yards. We lost 42 yards because we had a couple of sacks and we had a big loss on one of the runs. We were very close to putting it all together on the offensive side. It was good to see us be able to run the ball against those guys. We have not been able to do that. We did a great job of that. We had three touchdowns and should have had two more. We dropped one touchdown and should have had another one right before the half. We just didn’t execute properly. Our offensive line played outstanding. I mean really, really well. We had a bunch of guys step up and make some plays. We spread the ball around. We had 15 big plays.
Sammy was the player of the game on that side of the ball. He just continues to be special. Jaron again came up clutch for us a couple of times. It was good to see Andre Ellington play like he played. He had his best game. He probably felt the best he has after the game. We are excited to be able to get him to practice all week like we need him to get him ready for the second half of the season.
Tajh was on his way to a great, great day. It was good to see Cole come in and play like he did. He settled down and made some good decisions.
Tajh is doing very well today. I am sure that is what everybody is wanting to find out. He actually to be honest with you was a little more sore in his right thigh. He just has a bruise there in his hip. We are fortunate that it looks like he will be fine. He is definitely probably for this weekend. He met with the trainers this morning. It looks like he will be full speed and ready to go to practice. We might limit him tomorrow and cut him loose on Tuesday.
Dabo can you provide any medical prospective from how it looked like it was the knee but is not the hip?
No, he didn’t hit the knee at all. He got hit. To be honest I am kind of mad at him because he the way he fell people probably thought it was his knee because of the way he bent. Actually because his knee was bent it helped him and protected him. He didn’t have any hip pad on. I am kind of frustrated about that. The guy had his helmet and really drove his helmet down and that was the issue. It might have still hurt but if he had the hip pad in it might have protected him a little better.
Why didn’t he have a hip pad? Is that player preference?
No, that is not player preference. I forgot to go inspect everybody before the game (laughing).
If it had been more serious how confident are you in Cole?
Well I am confident that he can go in and execute this offense because he has been prepared to. I thought he went in there yesterday and did a great job. Like I said the first play he is on the two or three yard line. He settled in and made some good decisions. We are confident in Cole. I am glad I don’t have to worry about that. I am glad it is not as serious as everybody thought it was going to be.
Any other injuries?
No, actually this is actually the shortest Sunday I have had with injuries. Stephone Anthony should be back and hopefully rolling full speed. He is the only other guy that didn’t play Saturday.
As an assistant you have been part of some championship teams. How is this team different with their focus every week?
Well we have great players. We have a great staff. The coaches do a great job. We have great leadership. Our guys have just made a decision that they are going to come back and be focused every week. That is why we have been successful but we have a long way to go. We have to continue to do that. We have a lot of ball yet to play and we have to continue to stay focused. But to this point I am really proud of how they have handled their business.
Discuss how the defense has progressed the last several weeks. They are back in the top 25 in scoring and seem to be progressing really well.
The last three weeks they have taken some steps forward and that is the challenge this week. We have to continue to do that. We just need to continue to get better. We have a lot of guys that are playing. A lot of guys that are starting to put it together but there are still a lot of things that we can improve upon but I am very, very encouraged by what I have seen the last three weeks.