Dabo Swinney ACC teleconference transcript
THE MODERATOR: We now welcome Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney. We'll bring on coach, ask for a brief opening statement, then go to questions.
COACH SWINNEY: Thanks, good to be with you guys.
Heading into week two here, getting ready for Presbyterian. Good to get a win in our first ballgame. Those opening games are awful critical as far as the first time you played somebody else other than yourself and being able to get a true evaluation of where you are, what you got to work on, keep improving.
Hopefully we can learn from some of our mistakes we made, build on some of the positives, keep moving in a positive direction this weekend.
Presbyterian is a local school here that is kind of transitioning into the Division I level from DII. Coach Nichols has done a good job. I think they're improved from last year, playing a lot of young guys in particular on defense. Got a bunch of freshmen, as many as five freshmen, playing at any given time.
We're familiar with some of their coaches on their staff. Both sides of the ball, well-coached. We look forward to having those guys in here this weekend.
Again, hopefully we can fix some of the mistakes we made last Saturday and take another step forward.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Swinney.
Q. Coach, last week PC pulled off the whacky double pass with the intentionally thrown-into-the-ground first half, and it worked. As a coach, do you see that pretty much empties out anybody's bag of tricks or does it make you think they're going to do something else whacky this week?
COACH SWINNEY: I just think it shows you how deep their bag of tricks really is. But, you know, for PC, coming in here, we have to expect the unexpected because I don't think there's just going to sit there. I think defensively they're going to do a lot of blitzing and moving around, things like that. Offensively obviously I think they'll take some chances, high-risk, high-reward type of plays.
We'll have to do a good job of expecting the unexpected. Same thing in the kicking game. It's an on-side kick, it's a reverse on the kickoff return, it's a fake punt. Those are things you got to make sure that you have your antenna up on all the time.
Q. Did you watch the Wake Forest/PC game last Thursday on the computer?
COACH SWINNEY: I didn't watch it on the computer. We get the actual game film. I watch it on our cut-ups. But, yeah, that was a great play in the game. Very well-executed.
Q. Can you explain how this game came about, and if you anticipate playing PC in the future, what if any benefits there were as a result of playing it?
COACH SWINNEY: I don't know when this game was scheduled. It was scheduled when I got this job. Since I've been at Clemson, we've always played one AA school a year. It's always been somebody from our state.
This is an opportunity to keep the money, so to speak, at home. So we play Furman, we play Coastal, South Carolina State, the Citadel. We've played all of them. But PC, like I said, just made that transition up. So we're playing them this year. But I certainly think we could play them again somewhere down the road. But for the most part we play one of these type games a year, try to keep somebody from our state. I think that's a great benefit to the program in this state.
Q. Coach, statistical anomaly. You were out-possessed by a two-to-one margin, yet that really didn't matter. Same was true of Maryland against Navy. How often, in your opinion, is time of possession a really telling statistic?
COACH SWINNEY: It can certainly be misleading because you can get the ball on offense and score really quick. In the defense, maybe a situation where the other team makes some long drives but they don't get points. That can be a little misleading at times.
I will say that I don't know of many games I've ever been a part of where one team had it 42 minutes and the other one had it 18, and the team with 18 won. That is a rarity and probably will not happen very, very often. But that was a little out of whack.
Again, similar to what I just said. They had some sustained drives, but we were great in the red zone. They weren't able to score many points. They only had 10 points.
The flipside of that, offensively we had a lot of big plays, a couple of series where we scored in just a couple of plays. One series we scored in one play, another we scored in three plays. That affects that, too.
But it's certainly a factor, there's no question time of possession is important.