Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has said in the past, “It’s not about W-H-O, who we play, it’s about H-O-W, how we play.” That is the mindset No. 2 Clemson relies on every time it takes the field.
Not only will the Tigers be taking on No. 14 Boston College during winter conditions in Chestnut Hill, Mass., this Saturday, but they will also do it with a College GameDay atmosphere in town.
Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott knows if Clemson wants to leave Massachusetts undefeated, and with an Atlantic Division Championship in hand, it will have to focus on HOW the team plays above anything else.
“I think the mindset of our guys is they get excited about all of those things that you’ve talked about,” Scott said on Monday. “I think one of the things Coach Swinney has done a great job of instilling into our team and in our culture is the mindset.
“It doesn’t matter who we play, it doesn’t matter where we play, it doesn’t matter what time we play, it doesn’t matter what the weather is. At the end of the day it comes down to how we play. That’s really the only thing that matters.”
As the Tigers enter the “Championship Phase” of the season, they are used to the lights being a little brighter along with the stage being a little bigger. Elements are the last thing on Clemson’s mind going into Saturday.
“I think our guys get excited when you have some different elements than what you’re used to,” Scott said. “We play ACC Championship games in Charlotte at night. It’s always cold that time of year. So really when we start getting into those colder weather games, for us, it just brings back memories of playing for championship games.
“I think there’s a big difference, sometimes you may have a team that has a mindset of, ‘Oh my gosh, how cold is it going to be?’ I’ve been a part of those in years passed, you know where everybody is staring at their phone trying to figure out what percentage of rain there is a chance for.”
Rain, sleet, wind, or snow, nothing will phase Clemson as it has endured all types of weather conditions over the years. One of Scott’s favorite memories is the 2015 home game against Notre Dame that was played in the middle of Hurricane Joaquin.
“A few years ago we are getting ready to play Notre Dame,” he said, “and our guys had never been more excited to play a game than any other game I’ve been a part of because it’s supposed to be a monsoon and the governor is wanting to cancel everybody going to games and all those types of things.
“Jim Cantore (of The Weather Channel) is standing up there on the bridge in Greenville, looks like the Chattooga River coming behind him there right through Greenville. Our guys, they had this mindset of whenever I was a kid, the most fun was going out and playing in the rain and jumping out there and sliding in the mud. Just embracing that and accepting the challenge.”
So no matter what challenge Boston College throws Clemson’s way on Saturday, they will be ready, and the weather will not be an issue.