DALLAS – This week is not second-ranked Clemson’s typical game week.
Though the Tigers play on Saturday like they have all year, they already have everything completed as they get set to play No. 3 Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Still, Clemson got back to work Monday with its first practice in Arlington.
“It’s not a typical Mental Monday just because, obviously, we’ve had a lot more time to get ready,” head coach Dabo Swinney said after practice in a statement provided by the Cotton Bowl. “The plan is in. Normally you’re coming out here on Monday and we’re just kind of in the infant stages of getting the plan, but the plan is in. We’ve gotten all of our game planning done back in Clemson.”
The Tigers (13-0) conducted its workout in shorts and shells, focusing in on the mental aspects of preparation for their College Football Playoff Semifinal matchup with the Irish. Clemson practiced for almost two hours on the field at AT&T Stadium.
“We had a couple periods longer than a normal Monday, but still the same objective – let’s get our mind right, it’s our first day here, everybody stares at the jumbotron and all of that stuff. But it was good, good energy and good focus out here,” Swinney said. “We’ll ramp it up as we go from here.”
After practice, the Tigers took in a show back at its hotel in Dallas, enjoying a comedy show. Though it is Christmas, they will get back on the practice field again this afternoon (Tuesday) as they continue game prep for the CFP Semifinal game.
The Cotton Bowl will kickoff at 4:10 p.m. EST and will be televised by ESPN.