Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held his Sunday teleconference with the local media Sunday evening where he discussed the win over Louisville, updated injuries, Andrew Booth’s punishments and much more.
The transcript follows:
“I am really proud of our guys. It was just an awesome job. I thought our guys were incredibly focused and ready. They really played hard. I just loved the effort and the mindset that the guys came into the game with and really all across the board.
I thought our OL and our offense with Travis Etienne really settled us in. We handled the adversity early and didn’t let it effect us. Trevor obviously didn’t have a good first quarter but wow just a tremendous finish finishing 20-29, three touchdowns, almost 70 percent completions with a really bad first quarter there. Just some missed opportunities and a couple of bad decisions. I am really pleased with our offense. That is back to back 500 plus yard games. We rushed the ball for 8.1 a carry and almost 300 yards there. We came back and did a good job on third down, especially in the second half. We finished right at 45 percent which is our goal. We spread the ball around. A bunch of guys touched it. Six guys scored touchdowns.
Travis Etienne just another huge game. 15 touches and didn’t play in the fourth quarter there but averaged 14 yards per carry and did a nice job in the pass game with four catches and finished with 227 yards all purpose. Probably the biggest thing back to back weeks is the amount of yards after contact. He had 118 yards after contact so I am just really proud of Travis.
The same thing with Trevor. He average almost five yards per carry. He really ran the ball effectively. We didn’t have any drops. Our offensive line was physical. We had 17 knockdowns.
So a lot of good things in the game. The two minute drive. It was good to see our executions. But still a lot of things we can do better. We came out of the game winning 45-10 and on the outside it may look good but to use we still have a lot of details and precision that we can improve on. We have some individuals that we have to get better. We had a couple of penalties. We missed a couple of plays. We didn’t execute at wide out very well in the screen game. We mishandled our clock situation right before the half. We should not have had any subbing going on there. But all in all just a great job.
Again Trevor his leadership, his toughness and his response to adversity just really good things there. Those are critical intangibles to a quarterback. I am really proud of how he responded there.
Defensively great effort, just tremendous effort. I thought there were going to be a big challenge coming into the game. They were averaging a bunch of yards and to hold them to 263. That is seven in a row now that we have held to under 300 yards. That is the first time that has happened since 1956. That kind of shocked me when I saw that just because we have been pretty dog gone good on defense around here. So that just goes to show you what this bunch has been able to do.
We did have six sacks and created three turnover, two interceptions and a fumble recover. The 4th and 1 stop was huge. We did a good job on third down. I think the stat of the game was 8 for 22 on passing for 36 percent. If you do that you are going to win a lot of games there. The first and ten on the ten and to hold them to a field goal was another big momentum thing for us. We had several pass breakups. I thought we played the stretch well on the backside.
Several guys played their best game. I thought Nyles Pinckney probably played his best game.
The same thing on defense. We had the offsides. We had pass interference. We missed probably the most tackles that we have missed in a long time. We missed a bunch of tackles, 20 something tackles. Our alignment and our fundamentals, some of those things that are showing up. We are fast and we are athletic and we overcome some of it and it may all look good on the scoreboard but we have to improve on our discipline. That same thing offensively. Just some precision in what we are doing. We let the quarterback outside a few times. We had guys in the wrong spot. Too many mental errors. Just getting everybody on the same page and doing their job.
Question: I know you had several guys leave yesterday with injuries during the course of the game. Are there any of those that you are worried about missing this week?
Swinney: “Not today. It is just too early. All of those guys have been in today. We will access them again tomorrow. And then obviously we didn’t have Xavier with us so we will see where he is as well. But we had just some little things here and there. I think for the most part we are in pretty good shape.”
Question: Can you share where Xavier is with his progress and also did you get any clarity on if Booth will be suspended?
Swinney: “No comment on Xavier other than just that he is going through the protocol. We will just kind of wait and see what the doctors say but that is where we are there. And then Booth will be out for sure for the first half of the game per the rules of the league.
Question: What is the key to how the offensive line is doing and how important is the communication with that group?
Swinney: “Well I mean it is a really experienced group. We should be playing well because they are talented and they have just played a lot of football. They care and it is important to them. That is the No. 1 thing. It matters. I have been around talented players before that maybe didn’t care as much but this bunch really cares. Robbie does an awesome job with them. They like playing physical and they take pride in protecting our quarterback. They are a smart group. You can’t survive on our practice field without being smart because we get challenged every day with good players on the other side and also with schematic things. So our OL has really done a good job of leading us. I think we are pretty much right on track as far as where we were last year. I think we are one of the few teams out there that is top ten and one of the best teams in pass and rush. So I am really proud of what they have been able to do and it really starts with that group up front.”
Question: Have you mapped out what Booth’s consequences would look like?
Swinney: “Well it started with making him ride the bus home last night. The team flew back and he rode the bus back on our manager bus. That is where it started. The rest of it we will handle in house here. He has been great. He has been incredibly responsive and very remorseful. He has responded the way you would hope a good young person would respond. He is very disappointed in himself, embarassed. He has apologized to our team, our AD. He is really disappointed in himself for sure. And that is way out of character for who he is. He will learn from it. He has to own it and learn from it. But I have been pleased with how he has taken ownership and been accountable. But he had a long bus ride home last night.”