Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held his weekly teleconference Sunday where he reviewed the win over Furman and looked ahead to Texas A&M. A transcript follows:
“I was really pleased after watching the tape. It was kind of what I thought I would be see but it was good to kind of verify what I thought during the game.
Defensively I thought we played really well the entire time. We played a lot of people. I think we ended up playing 80 something people overall. I was just very encouraged how early we played people and the consistency that they played with. It was good to see a lot of new people show up and take advantage of some opportunities. Guys that have been in the program working hard and then certainly the freshmen. I thought they all flashed. It is really a strong freshmen group that we brought in this year.
Offensively I thought that we really got it rolling. We had a few mistakes early. We fumbled the ball when it was kind of hit by the running back there. We missed a couple of plays. We had a couple of MA’s. But we really kind of settled in and did what we needed to do. We had some explosive plays downfield. We had some good runs. The biggest thing is no turnover and no sacks given up by the offensive line. Just a lot of balance and only one penalty is very encouraging especially since we played a lot of people on offense. We played three quarterbacks. That speaks to the focus that our guys showed up with.
We played very complementary football when you throw in what we were able to do on special teams.
I was just really pleased with the overall performance in a first game. I know it was a game in that they were kind of outmatched in but you still have to play well and I thought our guys played well and got better as the game went. We came through it pretty healthy.”
“Injury wise we came through it pretty good. The only guy that got really dinged up and is kind of questionable is Jordan Williams. Nothing serious or long term.”
Question: For this week against Texas A&M is the plan again to play both quarterbacks. If so what are you looking for from Trevor Lawrence to see how he handles such a hostile atmosphere?
Swinney: “We definitely will play both quarterbacks. There is no doubt about that. Nothing happened Saturday to warrant not playing both quarterbacks. So what needs to happen from Trevor’s standpoint is to just continue to do what he has done and that is to stay focused on what he controls and play within the system and just have his eyes on the right things. This will be another animal here now going on the road for the first time. So you know play well. That is what I tell these guys all the time. If you are to continue to have the opportunity to play you have to play well. Just go and stay focused to the things that matter when it comes to executing the system. That just starts with getting the signal, processing the play, making sure if it’s a run play your eyes are on the right thing. If it’s a pass play it starts with getting the protection right, eyes on the right things and then just execute and play within the system. Don’t try to do too much. I don’t expect him to be anything different than he has been but it will certainly be a new experience for him.”
Question: This will be the ninth consecutive year that you will face a Jimbo Fisher team. Why are you and Jimbo so linked and is that a good thing?
Swinney: “I don’t know. I can’t seem to shake him. I will probably tell him that when I see him Saturday night. He has been a tough competitor. We have a long history. Every time we play they are real battles and I don’t expect this one to be any different.”
Question: With Trevor’s arm strength is there anything that he brings to the offense that you guys haven’t had in the past?
Swinney: “Well I just think he is a great talent. A true freshman coming in here he is just very skilled. It’s easy to fall in love with his arm. To me that’s great but that’s not what makes him special. What makes him special is his ability to process things. He has a great football IQ. He is a really good preparer. For a young guy he is a very focused guy when it comes to his preparation. Those are things that have given him a chance to compete at this point. It is exciting to have a really talented guy like that. It is also exciting to have a guy like Kelly that is going to be a good example for him as they have spent the past six months or so together.”
Question: What has impressed you about Lyn-J Dixon?
Swinney: “He is a, I don’t know what the word is, but he’s a relentless runner. He has a great desire to not be tackled. He breaks tackles. He did that all of fall camp. Just like ET last year he broke a lot of long runs in our camp. He is just kind of a desparate runner and I just am excited about his potential and what he brings to this team. Another outstanding freshman in this class and I wasn’t surprised at all to see him break one. Like I said I think he was just a little overwhelmed. He was just getting in the game for the first time or he would have finished that. I haven’t seen anybody catch him all camp.”