Swinney on his team's adversity this season

by - Assoc. Editor -
Swinney is 73-26 in his Clemson head coaching career

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was on the ACC teleconference on Sunday and answered a question about what adversity his team had to overcome during its 12-0 record in the regular season.

"Well, there's always different things within the course of a season that happen on your team that you have to kind of manage throughout the year, whether it's discipline on your team or whatever, just tough," Swinney said. "I mean, the biggest thing is this is going to be our 10th game without a break, 10 in a row. I don't know how many teams out there have played 10 in a row, so managing that has probably been the biggest challenge."

Swinney knows that they lost a lot of talent and experience when star receiver Mike Williams went down with a neck injury in the first game of the season against Wofford.

"And then for us, you lose Mike Williams right out of the gate who's probably the best receiver in this league and certainly one of the top two or three in the country and all of a sudden he's gone first quarter, first game," Swinney said.

The future is bright with so many different freshmen performing prominent roles for the #1 Tigers.

"You've got a lot of freshmen -- we're the third-youngest team in the country," Swinney said. "We've played 28 freshmen. We're 12-0, but I think when you really peel the onion back, and you look at our team, and you say, okay, we had 10 guys off of last year's defense go to the NFL, we've got a new punter, new kicker, new snapper, we lose Mike Williams, every offensive lineman is a new starter, including a true freshman at left tackle, so there's been all kind of, I guess, challenges, as you might say."

Swinney knows that his team has been moderately healthy this season.

"But the biggest thing is we've been fortunate because we've been able to stay healthy for the most part, which was critical to developing some depth, and guys have stepped up and played well for us," Swinney said. "This team has gotten better. They've grown closer. They fight until the end. They like to play. They like to practice. They've embraced the moment, and you know, that's just -- but as far as I guess maybe the biggest challenge, it's probably just playing 10 in a row and having to manage that."

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