Ask the Coach


by - Senior Writer -
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TigerNet reader have the opportunity to ask Dabo Swinney questions each week.

This week's Ask the Coach feature comes in during a week in which the Tigers played perhaps their most complete game of the season in a homecoming win against the Duke Blue Devils.

During the contest, senior wide receiver Aaron Kelly set a conference record, catching the 217th pass of his incredible career, making him the career leader in receptions in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

In the third quarter of the game, Swinney made a concerted effort to get Kelly the football, hoping he could set the record in front of the home crowd. He even brought quarterback Cullen Harper back into the game to complete the record-setting pass.

Senior running back James Davis is also closing in on a record, needing just 268 rushing yards to become Clemson's career leader. He has 3699, with the record of 3966 owned by Raymond Priester. All of the above prompted this question from Jarrod Moore:

Moore - Can you please ask the coach, why he didn't try to do for James Davis what he did for Aaron Kelly. James Davis is one of the most important players in the history of this program, why did he not throw him in, in the 3rd quarter and give him more than 9 carries. It is now almost impossible for him to get the record.

Swinney – "We have a lot of good players. We have tried to do a good job of spreading the ball around, and making our horses get plenty of water. James knows that he is a great player. This guy needs four more touchdowns and he will be the all-time touchdown guy here. James knows that is not just about James. He knows it is about the team and all these guys working together. He set the tempo in the game Saturday; he set it early and he set it late. He ran as well as I have seen him run it all year as far as finishing runs, and he probably could have got the record Saturday if we had just left him in there in the third quarter and fourth quarter and just fed him. I kind of like looking at him over there with that ballcap on his head, to be honest with you, and know I'm gonna have him on that plane to Virginia. He has a great chance to get that record and I hope he does."

James Durrah of Simpsonville had a question about the defense.

Durrah - The defense, except for the Florida State game, has looked better and better over the last few weeks, and has regained some of the nastiness they had years ago at Clemson. Can you ask Michael Hamlin, the senior safety, why he thinks this is?


Hamlin - "I think Coach Swinney has been telling the defense to just go out there and let it all hang loose, and play with energy, and with passion, and that is what we've done. We are trying to keep the crowd and the sideline motivated out there, and not leave anything out on the field."


Email your question for Dabo Swinney or a Clemson player here: davidhood@tigernet.com

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