Dabo's Corner

Dabo's Corner


Dabo's Corner


By Heath Bradley.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held his weekly press conference Tuesday where he previewed the Homecoming game against Maryland.




Opening statement:

“It’s good to get back home. We’re looking forward to getting back in the Valley this week. I’m proud of our team, particularly how we played on the road. The mentality is exactly the same, and that’s that it’s the biggest game all year. Offensively, obviously, they’ve suffered a lot of injuries. I’ll tell you what, I was very impressed with what they did last week in just a few days putting it all together and taking a new guy and inserting him at quarterback. They’ll do some things that can cause problems. We’ll have to play a smart, physical football game. Their offensive line is very solid. 4 has been a very good player for them. They’re going to try to get him the ball in many different ways. Overall, he’s a very good player. They’ve got a tight end that’s hurt us every year, 89. Defensively, they’re probably as good as we’ve played. They’ve got a new coordinator. They’re very good up front,as good as we’ve played. Vellano, I can’t believe he’s still there. He’s got a high, high motor and plays the game like you would want it to be played. They’re mostly a three-down type of defense, but there are usually four on the line. They’ll stand one of them up. Special teams has been a big part of this game. When you look back at just last year,special teams was a big factor. The thing for us is just to try and continue to improve, to continue to learn to be consistent performers. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’ve got an opportunity this week to set the home winning record. Over this run that we’ve had here in Death Valley, I’ll tell you, the life has come back to this stadium. I really hope we have another great crowd this week. I look forward to hopefully get out and visit all the students making the floats. We’ll try to play our best game to this point.”

On Maryland QB Play:

“We’re going to have to be smart and really do a good job in understanding how we apply our system. All we can base it on is what we saw last week against Georgia Tech. The quarterback did a good job of running the ball. You could tell he was kind of feeling his way along from a passing standpoint, but he’s capable. I was personally very impressed with the coordination of it. They had a lot of motion and timing and snap counts. I think they’ll be better this week with another week to get him ready to perform. They’ve got plenty of guys that are capable of hurting you if you’re not sound. We’re not going to see anything we haven’t seen somewhere along the way unless they just totally change everything.”

On Andre Ellington:

“He is on pace to return. I expect him to do a little more today. We’re not going to force him into action. If he’s ready to play, he’ll play. Certainly, if he’s good to go, he’ll go, and I expect that he would be.”

On Team’s Playing Press Coverage:

“I guess they’re just trying to force the action a little bit. To be honest with you, our ability to run the football has helped us in that regard. Ultimately, it just comes down to winning matchups. We felt like going into the game last week, there were going to be some opportunities presented, and if we could hit on them, we could have some opportunities. A couple of times, they had pretty good position, but we won the matchup. That’s what they’ve done all year, regardless of who they played. It’s not like they just did that against Clemson.”

On Lack Of Parody in ACC Atlantic:

“I know Florida State has recruited well. I know we’ve recruited well. I’m just focused on Clemson. I’m trying to make it the best that it can be. The league has kind of beat each other up. For whatever reason, there has been a lot of back and forth in this league. It’s crazy. You can’t explain that other than, it’s college football. I’m proud of our guys. They’ve learned how to win. It starts with a mentality, a belief, preparation.”

On Team’s Mindset Watching FSU – VT:

“We don’t control that. We really have not gotten emotional about things we don’t control. What we’ve tried to preach to these guys is to focus on things that you can control. Don’t focus on external distractions. That’s what our guys are focused on. If Florida State beats Virginia Tech on Thursday night, nothing changes for Clemson. We’ve got a game to win. We’re trying to be the best that we can be. That’s not going to change, regardless of what’s happening Thursday night. If it does, then you’re never going to be consistent like you need to be. Obviously, everybody will be watching because it could impact your standing in this conference.”

On Potential “Style Points”:

“Well, I just think that you want to play the best that you possibly can. I think what he’s talking about is that it’s November. You want to play great football in the month of November. You’ve played nine games. That was the disappointment for us last year. We were 8-1, just like we are now, and then we went 1-2. This year, we have improved along the way, and we want to keep that trend going. I don’t know about style points. We just want to play good football. We want to put a good product on the field. That’s really our focus—making Clemson the best it can be.”

On Boyd’s Interceptions Versus Duke:

“On paper, it looks the same, but it ain’t the same. It’s not like he just threw it to a guy. Those picks, one was a hailmary. We’re trying to take a shot right before the half. The other two were actually very good reads, great plays by them. Not bad throws, just good plays by them. The one down the sideline to Cooper, that DB was covering the post. We can’t let the guy outcompete us for the ball there. So that was a great play. The one over on our sideline, he just didn’t put enough air under the ball. It’s a whole different deal from where we were last year, as far as his decision-making.”

On Coaches Being On ESPN Commercials:

“I think that it’s good exposure for them. Definitely ESPN is the mothership. Anytime that you have an opportunity to have national exposure for a team, you try to do that. I think the best exposure for winning is Saturday.”

On Spencer Shuey:

“He’s done a great job of lining everybody up. He’s brought a lot of energy and a lot of toughness. I’ve been really, really pleased with his performance.”

On Potentially Moving Stephone Anthony:  

“Well, that would be something we’ll think about. That’s all spring stuff. When we get to spring, it’s all about who’s the best 11. There are no lifetime contracts out there. You have to perform, period. The end. Everybody has to compete and perform. In the spring, you just get the best 11. A lot of times, you cross-train guys. Where we are right now, we’ve got them right where we need to be.”

On Nuk Hopkins: 

“If you go back and track Nuk Hopkins’ career from Central Rec to Edwards Middle to Daniel High, it’s the same story. He’s made that adjustment here, mentally, physically. He’s always had the talent and skill, but to me, he’s such a great competitor. He’s a team guy, very unselfish. He doesn’t say a whole lot, but he just has a ton of confidence. All the records and awards and all of that stuff is well-deserved because he’s worked his tail off.”


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