Swinney lays out play-calling plans with Elliott out for the Sugar Bowl

Swinney lays out play-calling plans with Elliott out for the Sugar Bowl

Football

Swinney lays out play-calling plans with Elliott out for the Sugar Bowl

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Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney confirmed to ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi that offensive coordinator Tony Elliott has tested positive for COVID-19.

Clemson announced before the Tigers took off for New Orleans that Elliott would not be available to coach in the game due to COVID-19 protocols.

“The good news is he is doing great,” Swinney said after he got off the plane in New Orleans. “He does not have any symptoms or anything like that, so we wish he was with us, but he will be with us in spirit. He will be Zooming in with us until we get on the bus and go play.”

Swinney said passing coordinator Brandon Streeter will move from the sideline to the press box to call plays when the second-ranked Tigers take on No. 3 Ohio State in Friday’s Sugar Bowl as part of the College Football Playoff.

“Tony has always been up and I have been down, so we have always kind of done it together and we will put (Streeter) up and that will be the biggest difference, it will be Street and I.”

Swinney also indicated former Clemson running back C.J. Spiller, who is a graduate assistant on his staff, will be coaching the running backs. Spiller was the ACC Player of the Year in 2009, when he led the Tigers to their first ACC Championship Game appearance. He went on to be the No. 9 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and played eight seasons in the NFL.

Spiller joined Swinney’s staff this past summer.

“Spiller will handle the running backs on the field. That is really it,” Swinney said.

Swinney was asked by Rinaldi how the news on Elliott not coaching in the game will affect the team and how will they adapt to his absence.

“This is 2020,” the Clemson coach said. “Listen, we got no excuses. This is football. I mean, players play. It is not about plays, it is about players. We got a good group of players that are well prepared. Tony has done an amazing job in helping pull this plan together, so it is now up to us to go and execute it.”

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