NEW ORLEANS — Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney opened his final press conference Sunday in wake of Monday’s night Sugar Bowl matchup with No. 4 Alabama by telling the media he did not know what they were going to talk about, but “I’m here.”
As usual Swinney was his jovial self as his top-ranked Tigers get set to play the Tide at 8:45 p.m., Monday at the Superdome here in New Orleans.
“We have had a really good week and a great experience here in New Orleans,” he said. “These guys have been on point around here. I’m very appreciative of just making this just a smooth operation around here.”
Swinney described Clemson’s week in New Orleans as a fast week. He said he is really excited about game day getting here and he is sure Alabama is as well because its been a long time since they last played, and the last three weeks has been a long time to prepare for a game.
“I’m sure both teams at this point are just ready to go play and let’s see what is going to happen,” Swinney said.
The Tigers (12-1) have practiced this week in New Orleans at Tulane University, while Alabama practiced in the Superdome. Swinney had the option to practice in the Superdome, but he instead wanted to practice at Tulane.
“The dome is huge, first of all,” he said. “Just like yesterday, you’re down there and you kind of spend all of your time kind of looking around. I just wanted a little smaller environment. To be honest with you, that is where we practiced in 1992 as well, we practiced at Tulane. That is what I had in my mind so it was great.”
Swinney said Tulane has been a good practice setup for them. He said the first day practicing was a little cold, but it was a very productive practice.
“It might have been the best day of practice we have had all year,” Swinney said. “Those guys just loved it and embraced it. It has been beautiful the rest of the time. It was just a smaller setting. I felt like it would help us stay maybe a little more focused.”
Swinney said he sent his kickers, punters and punt returners over to the Superdome on Thursday. Clemson plans to go to the Superdome and work out Sunday as well.
“They have some experience in there, but I just felt from a practice standpoint, I wanted to keep it as much like home as I could, and have a really good focused setting,” Swinney said.