By Will Vandervort
It’s a good thing eighth-ranked Clemson was not playing No. 5 Georgia Thursday.
“We would have gotten beaten 65-0 today,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said following practice.
The Tigers’ head coach was not in a good mood after the team’s two-and-a-half hour practice, saying it was the worse practice the team had since camp opened on Aug. 2.
“I thought it stunk,” he said. “I thought it was very average. It was very mentally sluggish. That’s the best way I would have summed practice up today. I was really disappointed. There just was not a lot of attention to detail.
“We did not practice with a lot of purpose today.”
Thursday was Clemson’s first day back to practice after closing camp on Tuesday. Swinney gave the team Wednesday off so they could get adjusted to their class schedules, which started that day.
“It was probably the worst practice we have had maybe all of camp, which is pretty disappointing,” Swinney said. “I know they are just starting school back and all of that, but you have to be mentally tough and push through that stuff.
“It is what it is. We wasted a day today so we have a lot of work to do tomorrow.”
Swinney says guys were not mentally tough because they were either feeling sorry for themselves or not concentrating because they were thinking about class. Either way, he says, the Tigers cannot have days like this if they expect to compete and beat No. 5 Georgia on Aug. 31 in Death Valley.
“We still have a lot of preparation to do,” Swinney said. “Maybe for the fans it seems like the game is tomorrow, but we have a lot of work to do and a lot of preparing to do with this team. We are really getting heavy into the game planning right now. We have a big situational deal tomorrow night, kind of a mock game. That’s a huge, huge deal.
“We will throw a lot at these guys tomorrow night and see how they respond the first time together on the sideline. We will really work that situation. They will be under the lights and that will be the first time we have done that.”
Clemson will have meetings on Saturday and will have an off day on Sunday before getting the team accustomed to a normal game week beginning on Monday.
“We have a long way to go and a lot of preparation to get the team ready to play. We are not ready to play right now,” Swinney said. “Again, I know there is a lot happening on campus and everybody is just getting back and there is some energy around here, but we still have a lot of work to do with this football team.”