Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held his Sunday teleconference to review the win over Texas A&M and look ahead to Syracuse. A transcript of Swinney’s teleconference follows:
“I am really proud of our team. It was a tough game, a physical game and you know Texas A&M is going to be a really good team. They are going to win a bunch of games this year. There is no question about that. So I am just really proud of our guys for how we controlled the game. So we have two big wins under our belt right now, two Power 5 opponents. There are a lot of positives that we can really be excited about but still a ton of room for improvement.
It is just really good to play the type of competition that we have been able to play in these first couple of weeks. I really do think that is going to help us moving forward especially with this young group. I am just really proud of these guys and how they bought into the plan in what they needed to do to get ready. We have good momentum coming out of it but still a lot of room for improvement.
Offensively it was good to see us throw the ball like we did. We were 24-35 and we had three drops. We got our running backs involved in the passing game and I just thought he was outstanding. We had a bunch of big plays. We had three touchdowns drives of over 80 yards, 82, 89 and 83. It was kind of a slow start and we were not on the field very much in the first quarter. We really responded well with the two-minute drive we had before the half. So a lot of good things but again so much that we can do better.
Defensively I just thought the accepted the challenge. That bunch put 500 plus on us last year and threw the ball for 400 and thirty something. This year they had 289 total and 236 passing. They only averaged two yards a carry so we did a great job up front. We were very physical and controlled the line of scrimmage. We affected the quarterback and hurried some throws. We created turnovers and had a bunch of negative yards. Again lots of positives but a bunch of stuff that we can teach from.
We just have to be more detailed and make some of the plays that are just there. Really on both sides of the ball. I feel like we missed a lot of opportunities on both sides.
Special teams for us that is back to back weeks where Will Spiers has been outstanding for us. It is really good to see because that is what we have seen in practice. BT continues to kick the ball well so a lot of good things. We did have one penalty. I think a block in the back.
Overall a really good win. It was a great day in the Valley. It has been two good home games. So now we are excited about heading out on the road and see if we can find a way to win in a really tough place next week.”
“Injury wise we are in good shape. We came through it pretty good.”
Question: With Amari being back what can he bring to the offense and when do you see him regaining his starting role at receiver and punt returner?
Swinney: “We are just going to work him back in. He is still working his way back into football day to day shape. Obviously that is the first time he has played football since he got hurt from a live scrimmage situation. I am excited about getting him back. He is a great player. Like I said yesterday he is just very dynamic, he is tough. He is a leader. He can do a lot of things with the ball after he has it. That certainly gives us a guy that we trust as a returner as well. But right now we are going to stick with DK. He has done a good job. We will definitely be working Amari back in the rotation. Once we feel like he is back where he needs to be he will see his opportunities go up. He did a good job. He got in there and had a couple of catches and got banged around so that is good for him and good for his confidence moving forward.”
Question: Is he a little different than the other guys like Justyn and Tee and can he do some different things when he has the ball in his hands?
Swinney: “I would say he’s, even though he is not as tall, he is more similar because he plays big. He is physical and he breaks tackles. He plays long. He does a good job of high-pointing balls. He has long arms. He uses his ability to use his body when he is making plays. And can do things with the ball after the catch like those guys. I think the biggest thing is it’s not just the height. He can do anything. There is nothing that Amari can’t do.
Question: What is it like pregame when you are at the top of the Hill about ready to run down?
Swinney: “It is indescribable. It is really unbelievable. To have the privilege to be able to experience something like that. It is amazing. It is something that I never take for granted. I am always amazed at the passion that comes with that moment. And then I try to lock in and get down that Hill without falling.”
Question: I believe Lyn-J carried the ball more in the second half yesterday than Travis. Is that just a matter of him seeming to find the holes yesterday and Travis didn’t have a normal game or was it like lets give Lyn-J a shot in the arm?
Swinney: “No, he has to play. That is just the way it is going to be all year. He is our second guy. Travis can’t play every snap. Travis had 20 touches and was very productive and led us again in all-purpose yards. He led us again in the passing game. He had four catches for 50 something yards. He didn’t have quite as many long runs. Yesterday that was just a function of how it is going to be. Again it is a hot day. Travis played 45 snaps. Lyn-J played 21. You will see more and more of that. They are going to have to tag off of each other.”
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