Wednesday night news and notes


by - Senior Writer -
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Swinney said he hopes LB Tony Steward
will see plenty of action Saturday

CLEMSON – The main topic of conversation at Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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’s Wednesday night press conference with the media was the ACC’s addition of Notre Dame, but Swinney covered some of Clemson’s injury news and personnel topics first.

We will dive right in. First off, he said that running back D.J. HowardD.J. Howard
RS So. Running Back
#22 5-11, 195
Lincoln, AL

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[shoulder] and right tackle Giff Timothy [knee] would be ready to go Saturday, and Swinney said he wants to see Timothy get significant snaps. Linebacker Tig Wilard {shoulder] and left guard David BeasleyDavid Beasley
RS So. Offensive Guard
#68 6-4, 315
Columbus, GA

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should be “available” but will be game-time decisions.

“Giff and D.J., I definitely want them to play and see them playing,” he said. “David wants to play. I’ll probably just make a decision Saturday whether I’ll let him play or not. I think he’s going to be pretty close to 100 percent. I just don’t want him to have a set-back. Tig Willard, I think he’ll be available as well. He looked good today. He’s another one of those guys I’ll make a decision on this Saturday.”

Swinney also said that linebacker Tony StewardTony Steward
So. Linebacker
#7 6-1, 235
Hastings, FL

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, who tweaked his hamstring last week, should get plenty of work this week. Swinney said he had hoped to see Steward get a lot of snaps this past Saturday against Ball St., but the injury prevented that.

He also said that linebacker Lateek TownsendLateek Townsend
So. Linebacker
#20 6-2, 215
Bennettsville, SC

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, who he called a “violent” player, just needs to be trusted from a schematic standpoint by defensive coordinator Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
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in order to see more time.

Now, on to the Notre Dame stuff.

Swinney said that he knew that the Irish were in talks with the ACC back in July.

“I knew they were in conversations when we had our meetings back in late July,” he said. “I had no idea that was happening today, until after the fact. I got a call from the conference this morning. I think it’s a real positive. I don’t really see a negative.”

He said that adding a program with Notre Dame’s pedigree was something the conference couldn’t pass up.

“When you have a program like that which chooses to join your conference, that’s nothing but a positive thing,” he said. “Where it goes, who knows? To play five games, that’s outstanding for our conference. We’ll see what happens down the road. But I think it’s a win-win for everybody. It’s great for our other sports. It kind of stabilizes the league even more than it already was, in my opinion.”

I asked Swinney if the addition of Notre Dame could act as the impetus to the conference repealing the nine-game conference schedule, and he said that was something he would love to see.

“I would love that. If we can get that worked out, that’d be great,” Swinney said.

He then added that none of the ACC’s coaches were for the nine-game schedule, and that Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips was against the move as well.

“No coaches were for the nine. That was pretty unanimous in our room, but that wasn’t something we got a vote on,” he said. “But we don’t make those decisions. We just coach our teams. I know Terry Don Phillips was against it. I personally think that gives us more flexibility within our league and allows us to keep some of these games.”


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