Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held his weekly Sunday teleconference to review the win over Syracuse, update injuries and look ahead to Wake Forest. A transcript of some of the teleconference follows:
“It was just what I thought I would see on tape. It was just an unbelievable will to win by our ball team with a ton of adversity. I am just really proud of our team.
It was definitely one for the ages. I have been a part of a lot of games and that was one I will never forget.
It was a very tough, physical game. It took a tremendous amount of mental toughness and courage by our team to hang in there. We were down ten points in the fourth quarter. A lot of teams fold up the tent. We had our third string quarterback in the game with lots of guys out. And those guys just found a way. It was awesome to see the team come together.
We have to improve for sure. We have to be way more precise in certain things and just our attention to detail. Turnovers and critical penalties. There are always things that we can improve on. At the end of the day we found a way.
I thought we wore them down. It was one of the best drives I’ve been a part of at the end of the game. To be able to run the football the way we did and to see the heart of our team.
Defensively I thought, especially in the second half we really just kind of settled in. I think they had eight possessions for maybe about 90 yards. Obviously they got the one score off the dropped punt. But we really played well in the second half. It’s the same thing. There are a lot of things we can clean up. That is the first team where we have seen a lots of throws so we will grow a lot from that game and especially some of the guys that haven’t played a whole lot against teams like that like Isaiah and Kyler. I thought AJ did a good job. Lots of good things. They couldn’t run the ball and that is really what makes them dangerous. They had 61 yards and they only had 67 plays and they are a team that snaps it 90 plays or more but that is a credit to our team on third down. I thought another one of he critical factors in the game was holding them to a couple of critical field goals in the redzone which gave us a chance in the fourth. It was a good interception by AJ. We almost had another one by Muse. But I just love he no quit attitude of our defense. It can be frustrating especially when you offense is struggling a little it or turning the ball over or whatever. I just thought the leadership of those guys was tremendous and I’m really proud of them.
Offensively again being able to run the ball. The moxie of Chase. The savy of Chase down the stretch there with some huge plays. The running backs just running. I mean to see our backs running like they are right now is just awesome. I think it just fuels that fire in that offensive line.
Special teams, six touchbacks and a couple of field goals. We missed one. We missed a 47 yarder just a little right. We punted the ball well. No return yards and there guy was dangerous.
Lots of good things in the game. Lots of room for improvement. But I am just really proud of our team for stepping up and finding a way to get it done.
It was a very physical game. We have a few guys banded up but I think most of these guys that we have today on the report will…I think it’s very optimistic that we will get them all back.
Question: What have you heard about Trevor and do you have a timeline for him?
Swinney: That’s all. All of that stuff is with Danny and the doctors and stuff. But he as I said was trying to come back in the game yesterday. Any time you get anything with the head and neck area there is just no room for error there so they shut him down.
He was actually very good this morning. He felt great and I think they were very encouraged by what they saw. He’s going to workout and they will continue to reevaluate him. Hopefully we will see, but we will go with what we got. Hopefully they will put him back in practice and based on what they said that is what I expect but that is all up to those guys. But it was very encouraging what they said this evening.
Question: With the running backs having he productivity they are right now how much more dynamic does that make the offense?
Swinney: “That goes back forever and ever and ever. When you can run the football and have a quarterback and people on the outside that you can throw and catch with and you have the chance to create some kind of balance that is the ultimate goal for any offensive philosophy. Our ability to run the ball creates everything in the play action game. It dictates the type of coverage we want to create big play potential. It helps us take advantage of our skill outside. If forces defenses to have to give you matchups to get extra hats in the box to stop the run so it’s big.
Question: Looking back at the tape was there anything different that Trevor could have done different on the injury play?
Swinney: “Well I would like for him to throw the ball away. He was kind of out of balance. The biggest thing was we had a nice clean pocket but I believe it was John that kind of got on the side of his guy. He was just trying to escape but he had a point there where he could have thrown it away. And don’t be out of control diving forward.
The biggest issue was his neck. It was kind of a real neck strain. How he go hit in his neck. We definitely felt like he could have gotten rid of he ball. He will learn from it as he continues to play.”
Question: I know you said you wanted to move on but yesterday Holly Rowe quoted you as saying you would welcome Kelly back to the team. Have you received any indication that he might be interested in doing that?
Swinney: “No and you said it. I’m no entertaining any questions on guys that aren’t here.”
Question: Where do Mark Field and Cornell Powell stand and will the be back this week?
Swinney: Mark should be back and rolling tomorrow as long as he does what he needs to do. Cornell it is kind of out of my hands. I am waiting to see. He has a situation that has be be resolved. Hopefully it gets resolved this week and if so he will be back rolling. If no I will let you know.