Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney hosted his weekly teleconference on Sunday evening to close the book on Saturday’s 27-7 win over No.17 Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Second-ranked Clemson (10-0, 7-0 ACC) remained unbeaten and clinched the Atlantic Division of the ACC for the fourth straight season.
He covered a variety of topics from officiating to the upcoming senior night matchup with Duke. Below we have included a transcript of some highlights from the teleconference.
Swinney’s opening statement: “It was a fun tape to grade and watch that will make us better. I am really proud of our team’s tremendous effort in preparation and it was a great job by our staff. We knew it was going to be a challenging game and to go up there and beat a good team at their place the way we did speaks to the focus of our guys and the leadership we have in place here.”
“It was a special moment, we are all so busy but I try to challenge our staff and our players to really enjoy the journey. It’s really special be able to achieve something like we did last night and win our fourth division in a row and it’s really special for our seniors.”
“It is our seventh division in 10 years and I know that we get so caught up in bigger things and playoffs, but I remember our first division win and I want to make sure we take time to enjoy that. It is not easy to do, takes a tremendous amount of dedication and effort for these guys to go and be undefeated to this point and achieve something that hasn’t been done speaks to their heart and love for this school and program. I cannot overstate that enough.”
“It was a fun game and it gives us the opportunity to get back to Charlotte in a few weeks and play for our overall championship again. That is something we look forward to but for us it’s back at it and getting ready for another week.”
“It’s a special week with senior day and military appreciation day and I’m really excited about that. Today is Veteran’s Day and it’s a great time for us to kickoff military appreciation week.”
“As far as the game I thought on defense we were just dominant and pitched a shutout. We knew going in if they could establish a run game it would create problems and we were able to control the line of scrimmage with four sacks and 10 TFL, they were 3-of-16 on third down.”
“We still have a lot to improve on, we had a few busts and a lot of assignment problems. We have to clean up some things we put on tape that I wish wasn’t there because some teams could use it later on. They were a challenging team to get ready for and we hadn’t played many teams that presented what they did.”
“Same thing offensively, we were a few plays away and we really just needed a few plays to get over 500. We ended up with 4.3 yards per rush and Travis had seven yards per carry, all of those yards were tough.”
“We had a lot of big plays and I thought we protected well. We gave up one sack which was kind of disappointing because it would’ve been back-to-back-to-back games we had not allowed a sack. Offensively there is a lot that we can learn at every position.”
“On special teams it was good to see us answer on the punt return and we had two good field goals. The biggest play of the game was the punt return for them and we have to do a better job of coaching up our coverage we had two guys there, one went behind, and they thought he wasn’t going to field the ball then he got it and took off running. I liked how our guys responded to the adversity and we went on to keep them from scoring.”
“We are looking forward to having these last two ball games at home and for senior night this week.”
Question: Is this defense better than the 2014 group or is that something that can only be answered after the season?
Swinney: “I think it is still early to tell but it is a really good group and we have made a ton of improvement. We still have some things we need to do better, like being really disciplined with our job and sometimes we try to do too much.”
“We have to clean up some of the bad stuff we have put on tape that we haven’t really had to pay the price for. We have to correct those things because we know somebody is going to come back and test us.”
“They’re a special group for sure but at the end of the day, we still have more that we can do. After a few more games we will have a better measuring stick.”
Question: With the game against Duke being senior night, are there any juniors who will be running down the hill for the last time?
Swinney: “We don’t run juniors down the hill, you have to be a senior. There may be some years we have a junior in eligibility who is a senior in school. Deshaun Watson, Mike Williams and those guys all graduated in December. We do that based on academics not eligibility but if anybody who wants to do that they can.”
“Kyle Kote and Ty Thomason are two guys that are technically juniors in eligibility but are both graduates, Kyle is actually in his masters program right now. Those are two guys that are going to be seniors.”
“Clelin is a guy we have honored as a senior all year that graduates in December even though he technically has another year of eligibility. Last year we honored Christian Wilkins because he wasn’t sure what he was going to do but was graduating in December, so we honored him as a senior because he was but decided to come back. He might be my first guy that has been honored twice but that’s classic Christian, a two-time curtain call for Christian Wilkins.”
Question:Did it look like interference to you on the muffed punt by Amari Rodgers?
Swinney: “Yes. I think they just missed a call and it happens, but I thought it was pretty clear.”
Question: What did you see from Jackson Carman, stepping up for Mitch Hyatt, when you watched the tape?
Swinney: “I was really proud of Jackson, he stepped in played several snaps for us and did a really nice job. He is a guy that has a really bright future and is still maturing but if he stays committed to this totality of his development, he certainly has a really high ceiling. He can be special, and it was great experience for him to go in, in that situation and he performed well.”