Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said the Tigers had one of their better practices of the season on Wednesday behind the Allen Reeves Football Complex in Clemson.
“I was just telling the team, it was just a really good practice. There was just a lot of good focus,” he said. “I thought the guys had really good energy and we were locked in. I would say a few guys probably had their best practice.
“It was just good. It was fun to see them locked in and dialed in, getting excited to play, getting the plan down. It was a really good day.”
The Tigers (5-0, 2-0 ACC) hope the good times continue on Saturday as they head to Winston-Salem, N.C., to take on Wake Forest for a 3:30 p.m., kick. After that they get a couple of days off and the following weekend as part of its open date on the schedule.
“I think the open date comes at a good time for us,” Swinney said. “I think they always look forward to the open date whether it is early, later or whatever. It actually worked out good for us this year because we went like two and a half weeks straight in fall camp. It was like nineteen days in a row or something like that then we gave them that one weekend off, which was big. Then we have been going for eight or nine weeks straight. These guys have been grinding. So, I think it sets up really good for us.”
Swinney says the biggest thing as they head into the off week this year, compared to last year, is how healthy overall the team is. He said last year the team was not hundred percent healthy at this time.
“We are in a better place mentally and physically,” the Clemson coach said. “Hopefully, we will be able to play well. That is what I want to see us do.
“We are going to have to play well. We have a big challenge with (Wake Forest), especially up there at their place. They are all excited about playing and that is really what they are focused on. We will come back, and they will have their normal open date type week that we do.”
Swinney says the players will get Sunday off like they normally do. However, the staff will get Sunday off as well, which they normally do not get to do. He said they will get back to work on Monday and will practice Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Tuesday will be their community service day and then they will have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off.
“It is a much deserved opportunity for them to get a break and a lot of them get a chance to go home, then we come back and have a good second half of the season.”
Swinney explains why Fields was suspended. Swinney said he could have played cornerback Mark Fields last week in the Syracuse game, but he had to send the senior a message.
“It was just team discipline for the game,” the Clemson coach said. “He is back and has had a good week of practice. I think he has responded well. I did not have to sit him or anything, but sometimes that is the only way you can get some of these guys attention.
“I could run him forever, and he would run all day. But, I think he responded well. I think he has had a good week.”
Powell situation still not resolved. Swinney says the junior receiver will not play this week at Wake Forest, due to academic reasons.
“It is kind of day to day, I guess,” he said. “If something changes there, I will let you know.”
Injury update. Swinney said quarterback Trevor Lawrence once again had a good practice and said the freshman was one of those guys that had his best practice on Wednesday.
Cornerback Trayvon Mullen (ankle) had his best day of the week, according to Swinney. The Clemson coach feels better about him being able to play on Saturday.
Offensive linemen Tremayne Anchrum (ankle) and Sean Pollard (foot injury) are also expected to play against Wake Forest.