Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney spoke to the media at his weekly press conference on Tuesday as the fourth-ranked Tigers get set to travel to Wake Forest on Saturday for 3:30 p.m., kickoff.
Swinney announced Trevor Lawrence, who was banged up in the Syracuse game and missed the second half due to concussion protocol, will play on Saturday.
Swinney on the Trevor Lawrence injury
“He got the crap knocked out of him. It was head and neck. He had some pain. They have protocol on all that stuff. You get put in concussion protocol for anything that can create a symptom. It’s not something that you mess with. He wanted to come back and play the second half. They did not feel comfortable, especially with the pain in his neck. He really responded well after the game. They put him in the protocol. They have all their metrics. He worked out Monday and looked good last night.”
Swinney on Trevor Lawrence making the offense more explosive
“After five games, we are an all-time career high for yards per play. We are averaging over 7 yards a play, which will be an all-time high in the history of Clemson Football. We have been unbelievably explosive. Even Trevor, he’s played four and a half games, and he’s top 10 in the country. He’s done a nice job. He’s one of the reasons for that explosiveness, and the way our backs are playing.”
Swinney on Lawrence protecting himself moving forward
“He’s a young player and that wasn’t very smart. He was out of control. I love his effort, but there’s a time for that and a time to let’s live for another play. He can run. Trevor can move. He can navigate the pocket really well. As we continue to watch him grow, that’s one of his best attributes. The one on the scramble, they went two-man (coverage) on us on first down. He recognized it. He let the pass lane set. He noticed they have no one for him and made a nice little 8-yard gain.”
Swinney on what needs work
“We just have got to clean up some stuff. Stupid penalties, stupid turnovers, costly critical errors, some technique things that we fundamentally have to do a better job. We’ve got to do a better job, especially on some of the twists up front. Recognition on a few things. We’re are right there, I think, from being special on offense. We haven’t even scraped the service of what I think we can be. Really on either side of the ball, but we’re 5-0. We’re a working progress. We’re getting better.”
Swinney on the importance of leadership
“Chemistry and leadership and morale are very undervalued aspects that a lot of people don’t think about. That really truly determines the type of season you’re going to have. You can’t just be talented. There are a lot of talented teams out there that have under achieving seasons because of those reasons. The chemistry is not very good, a very selfless team. Their commitment is not what it needs to be. They’re distracted. They’re looking at this and looking at that. Whatever it may be. Maybe they don’t like each other very well. Leadership is not very good. Best players on your team aren’t committed like they need to be. I’ve been a part of all the above throughout my career that’s for sure. This team is a special group. I knew that and nothing I have seen has made me think any different.”