Dabo Swinney ACC teleconference transcript


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COACH SWINNEY: Hope you guys are
having a good day. Good to be with you.
We're trying to get ready for a hot team
this week, NC State. They're playing very well.
They're 6-2. Playing well on both sides of the ball.
They've got a quarterback that is I think probably
playing as good or better than anybody in this
conference from an individual standpoint.
Tough task for us. But we're excited to be
able to line back up and get an opportunity to play
again, especially coming off a disappointing loss
like we had last week. It's Military Appreciation
Day here at Clemson. That's always a special day.
Look forward to getting back out there Saturday.


Q. Could you talk about Dwayne Allen,
his progression this year?



COACH SWINNEY: He's still a young
player. He's done some really good things.
Probably biggest thing I'm pleased with Dwayne is
just his maturity. He's really grown up a lot, has
become a really good practice player. The thing
that is good to see is he has really taken to the
physical side of the position from a blocking
standpoint. He's done a nice job. He's taken a lot
of pride in that.

Pretty easy to see his athleticism, the fact
he can run and catch and all that. He's taken a lot
of pride in blocking, trying to be a complete tight
end. He's playing good for us, proud of him. I
think he's going to continue to get better. He's still
a young player.


Q. Coach, I'm doing a story on depth at
this point in this the season. Could you tell me
a little bit about the depth you have at
runningback. Tough to lose an Andre
Ellington, but I guess it's a good thing you
have somebody like Harper ready to go.


COACH SWINNEY: Yes, it is. That's a
big loss for us there with Andre. He's been a big
play-maker for us this season. But Jamie Harper is
a very good player. This is going to give him an
opportunity to show that he can be the guy. Look
forward to seeing him hopefully elevate his game
to another level.


We have a redshirt freshman named
Roderick McDowell. This will be his opportunity to
show that he can play. He's actually a very similar
type player as Andre Ellington as far as his skill
level and running style and all that. He's not quite
as mature right now as Andre was as a redshirt
freshman, the whole picture, overall scheme,
practice habits, that kind of stuff. We've
challenged Rod. He's excited about it. I expect
him to play well this week. He'll get his
opportunity.


Then we have a senior walk-on named
Daniel Barnes that's our third-team guy going into
this ballgame.


Q. Dabo, how difficult has the way this
season has gone been on Kyle Parker?


COACH SWINNEY: Well, I mean, it's on
all of us, coaches, fans, players, Kyle, everybody is
disappointed with where we are right now because
it's not where we wanted to be. That's
disappointing, but it's where we are.


Our losses have been very difficult losses.
It's not like somebody's just lined up and we just
haven't been good enough to play or been blown
out or something like that. We've been in position
to win every game. When you lose right there at
the end, it's tough. Three of them on the road.
We've not played well on the road at all this year.
That's something that is going to have to change.
But it's where we are. Certainly everybody
wanted to have a better season than what we've
had. But it's not over. We're focused on NC State.
We have the whole month of November to play
football. These guys like to play. If we were 8-0
right now, 7-1, 6-2, we'd all be wanting to win this
game. It's no different at 4-4. You want to line up
and win the game. That's really what we're
focused on, just trying to have the best week of
practice we can, put it all together once again, try
to get a win.


Q. Kyle indicated this is going to be his
last year of football. Do you think he's having
any regrets or second thoughts about coming
back?


COACH SWINNEY: No, no, I don't. I
knew this was going to be his last year of football
all year. That's no news there. It's his last year of
football at Clemson, but I'm not so sure it will be
his last year of football for the rest of his life. We'll
see how that all plays out.


No, I don't think he has any regrets at all.


Kyle is not one of those kind of guys. He makes
decisions and he goes forward. He's been 100%
committed to helping us win. He played a bad
game up there at BC. He did not play well. Not
going to let one bad game change how I feel about
Kyle Parker. I expect him to play better this week.
I'll be very disappointed if he doesn't.


Q. Coach, just wondering what your
impressions were of BC's Montel Harris and
what makes him such an effective runner.


COACH SWINNEY: Well, Montel is a
tough runner. He gets the tough yard. He just
kind of grinds it out. He has a humongous
offensive line. I think they average 6'6", 300
something, do a good job up front. That's what
they do, they try to run the ball. I think he had 30
something carries against us.


We really did a good job in the second
half. Didn't do a good job of tackling in the first
half. That's one of the things about Montel, he
breaks a lot of tackles. He's a guy that you really
have to get down there low and wrap him up
because if you don't, he gets those legs moving
and the next thing you know it's seven yards.
That's the one thing I would say about him, he gets
the tough yards and he's hard to tackle.


Q. How do you feel about your pass
defense heading into the game?


COACH SWINNEY: Defensively in
general, we really have the last four ballgames
started to play the way I envisioned us to play all
season. We're playing much better defense.
We're getting after the quarterback well. We've
had some scores on defense.


But it's a big challenge. NC State is
scoring 35 points a game. They're number one in
total offense. They're throwing for almost 300
yards a game. It all starts with their quarterback.
He's playing just extremely well. We've got to do a
great job of minimizing his explosiveness.


One of the ways you do that is you have to
take the run away from them. You have to stop the
run. They ran the ball effectively against Florida
State. We can't allow them to do that, so that they
have to play one-dimensional football against us.

We have to make plays. We have to match up
with their receivers, make some plays. That starts
with being very disciplined with the way you rush
Wilson because he obviously makes a lot of big
plays for them as far as keeping the chains moving
off of scrambles. We'll have to do a good job with
how we rush him.


Q. Dabo, did Andre meet with a foot specialist yesterday?

COACH SWINNEY: He's actually going to
go tomorrow. The doctor is going to be in
Greenville. He's out of Charlotte. He's going to be
down in Greenville. That worked out better as
opposed to Andre going all the way up there. He
probably won't make it back in time for the start of
practice tomorrow. But we'll know a little bit more
detail after he meets with him as far as the course
of rehab and things that we need to do to get him
back as quick as we possibly can.


Q. So no update?

COACH SWINNEY: No. He'll meet with
him tomorrow.

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