Dabo's Corner

Dabo's Corner


Dabo's Corner


By Heath Bradley.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held his weekly press conference Tuesday to preview the game with Boston College.





Opening statement:

“Speaking of Boston College, it’s a big challenge for us, especially coming off of a disappointing loss. Everybody knows we’ve only won up there one time. This is a team that’s had an open date. I don’t have any doubt we’ll get the best they’ve got. A lot of people thought we might have a letdown the next week, but we came out and started fast against Ball State. This is kind of the opposite of that. If you follow Boston College over the past few years, you’ll notice this is not your typical Boston College. They have really changed and are doing a great job. Their quarterback is efficient. They just do a really good job. They run lead draw and zone to keep you off balance. Their running backs are a couple of pounders. They’ve got a receiver, 83, he’s a baller. They get the ball to him in a lot of different ways. They’ve got a guy on the other side of him who’s about 6’4” or 6’5”. The other thing about them is that they’re a tempo team. That’s very different from the way Boston College has been in the past. Defensively, not much has changed. It’s typical BC. They’re a true base 4-3. They line up and do what they do. They do a great job of recognition. I think one of their ends is 6’8”. They get their hands on a lot of balls. Boston College usually has somebody leading the league in tackles. All three of their backers are 1, 2, and 4 in the league in tackles. They’re number one in field goals and number three in punting. They’ve had an open date. This is a big challenge. This is as big a week as we’ll have all year. Also, today is Tajh’s birthday. So, a shoutout to Tajh on his birthday.”

On Tajh Boyd’s Players Only Meeting:

“I think it’s great. Tajh isn’t just the quarterback, he’s a leader. I was kind of anxious to see yesterday, honestly, how these guys would respond. I liked the look in their eyes. They weren’t happy. We watched the tape yesterday afternoon. We’re the same team that had a really team on the road down by 14 and didn’t finish it. Those guys are still here. We know we’re capable of being a good football team. We have so much in front of us. We have so much opportunity to go have a good season. Hopefully, when all this is said and done in November, we’ll look back and see a lot of growth on our team. I like the way they responded yesterday. Nobody hurts more than the players. They’re completely invested. They’re the ones putting in all the work and the time. It’s all a part of the process of learning and maturing and trying to be a better team. It’s a long season. The Packers have to respond. It’s that simple. It’s disappointing, but you have to move on.”

On Tackling Issues:

“Mostly, it’s not wrapping up. We had one in particular where Brewer absolutely unloaded on a guy. It was textbook. But he didn’t wrap him up. You’re not just going to knock good backs down. You have to wrap guys up and get their legs. We tackled really well in the Auburn game. There was a lot of speed on the field and athleticism. You don’t want to take anything away from Florida State.”

On How the Defense Has Played in Practice:

“We really have practiced well. It’s hard to simulate that game speed until you get there. Sometimes, it’s like a rash. It can spread quick, and before you look up, you’ve got ten missed tackles. But you have to give the other team credit too. Sometimes, it’s hard to simulate what you see with the scout team every week.”

On Pace of Offense Hurting Defense:

“That question’s been asked before. I don’t know what the answer is. We haven’t played too many snaps defensively, at all. I just don’t think there’s enough to warrant an answer to that. We want to control the ball, and I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that this year. When you go up by a touchdown, you have all the momentum. I think it’s a problem when you’re three and out, three and out, three and out. That’s something we studied last year. When we got a first down, we scored 62 percent of the time. There’s no pointing fingers. Everybody had a chance to finish the game in the fourth quarter. We had opportunities. The offense comes right back and gives us a field goal and puts us up ten. So special teams had an opportunity to really close the door and create field position. You give up a touchdown there, but now we’re still up three. We just didn’t make the play, so you punt the ball. That’s where it’s a problem. If you have a tempo offense that’s three and out, three and out, then you can have some issues. The other night, we had that lull. We go back out and we have that drop on third and four. We go back out there and we had a holding call on a screen. Now it’s first and 35, and you’re uphill. It was a tough little run there on offense, defense, and special teams. I like what we’re doing. I like where we are. We’re heading in the right direction. We’ll see where we are down the road. We’re 3-1 right now. I think we have a decent football team, not a great team.”

On Holding Call that Called Back Long Screen Pass:

“It’s one of those calls that probably doesn’t impact the play, but he definitely grabs his jersey. I had no problem with the call.”


On Offense Feeling They Must Play Perfectly:

“That’s football. Sometimes the defense feels like they have to play perfectly. It was a very frustrating game. The defense played their butts off, and we lose the game. That’s what football is. It’s a team game. That’s what good teams do. They complement each other at different times. Those suckers were down, they had a lot of pressure on them down 14 at their place. They took advantage of their opportunities.”

Depth Issues:

“No I’m not. I think we’ve got some guys that probably aren’t quite ready to be the guys yet, but they are and that’s okay. They’re going to get better. We’ve got some maturing to do. There’s nothing better than experience. It’s just kind of a new group that’s transitioning.”

On Martin Jenkins:

“Martin hurts us. We’re really missing Martin. I said at times that he was a key guy for us last year. He’s powerful, he’s really fast and can really challenge guys. We don’t have a lot of trustworthy depth right there. We’re going to get there, but right now, we’re very thin.”

On Offensive Play Calling:

“I think he’s talking about a particular play. They can be very, very aggressive because they have people behind them. Looking back, maybe we could have been a little more patience. But we had the plays. They were there. We had the perfect matchup for Sammy against #7, and we punt the ball. That’s football. He did a good job on his release. The ball was a little bit behind him, but we’ve got to make that play. Then you come back and you throw the pick. That was probably the worst decision Tajh has made all year. But that pick sets up another opportunity for a touchdown. The playcalling was excellent. We went in there to win. We called the game aggressively. I think the offensive line is growing immensely before our eyes. I think we’re going to have an exceptional group at Clemson in the trenches.”

On the Run Game:

“I think we can run between the tackles. We ran between the tackles, at times, effectively against them. You’re not just going to make a living lining up and running the ball between the tackles.”

On Kicking Game:

“I didn’t think he was tired at all. He just didn’t hit the ball good. Listen, the ball’s hitting on the goal line. You have to cover the kick. But you still have to cover the kick. That’s not the most disappointing thing. What’s disappointing is that we gave up a 90-yard kick return.”

On Safety Rotation:

“I think you’ll continue to see a combination of all three of those guys. Meeks has been our most consistent player. They’ve all had good moments, but they’ve all had bad moments as well.”

On Travis Blanks:

“He’s working at safety as well. He’s been doing that. I’m really pleased with Travis. He plays hard, he plays physical.”

On Confidence in Offensive Line:

“Yeah I do. I really do. I feel good about the guys we have. I think the game the other night is a great confidence booster for Giff Timothy. That’s as good a guy as he’ll go against. I think we’re in pretty good shape. Our confidence in that will be reflected in our signing class this year.”



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