As Clemson continues what Dabo Swinney calls its “Championship Phase,” the third-ranked Tigers appear to be getting healthier.
Clemson welcomed back defensive tackle Tyler Davis and linebacker James Skalski and Mike Jones during Saturday’s 52-17 victory over Pittsburgh. On Sunday, Swinney says he expects to have cornerback Sheridan Jones and safety Jalyn Phillips back for this week’s Virginia Tech game.
The Tigers’ head coach also said defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro is close to being back as well from an injury that has kept him out for much of the year. Orhorhoro was dressed on Saturday and went through pre-game warmups, but he did not play.
As for safety Landon Zanders, Swinney says he is still day-to-day, while linebacker Jake Venables rolled his ankle while preparing for Pitt and is day-to-day as well.
On the offensive side, Swinney said they are hopeful wide receiver Frank Ladson will be able to return soon.
“There are lot of good things trending right now, just knock on wood,” Swinney said.
Swinney says the injuries have been a blessing in disguise because they were able to work a lot more people, including freshmen Malcom Greene, linebacker Trenton Simpson and wide receiver E.J. Williams.
“One of the silver linings is we have been able to get a lot of guys some experience, a lot of guys have grown in their confidence,” he said. “We have been forced to have to be creative and guys have stepped up and have done a nice job. They really have.”
In the first quarter, Simpson got a sack, Greene intercepted a pass and Williams caught his first career touchdown pass.
“That was pretty cool to see the game start that way,” Swinney said. “But that was game nine and these guys are at that point in the season where it should be slowing down for them a little bit.”
Besides his interception, Greene also knocked down another pass, which was close to being intercepted as well. He also had three tackles in his first career start.
Simpson finished the afternoon with two tackles, including his sack, while Williams caught three passes for 38 yards to with his touchdown.
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