Dabo Swinney Weekly Press Conference

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Swinney talks to the media on Tuesday. (Photos by Mark Crammer)

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, Windows Media (36:15)

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney Quotes

Q: Opening remarks.

A: “We’ve had good preparation. I was really pleased with the effort at practice
yesterday. The guys came back after a weekend off, and I was pleased with the
attention to detail and enthusiasm out there last night. We had a full-pads practice. It was
cold and windy, and I thought they responded well. I was excited about that.

“Boston College doesn’t make it any easier for us. This is a very good football team.
They are a lot like Georgia Tech defensively. Boston College is second in this
conference in defense, so it will be a huge challenge for us offensively…but what a great
opportunity. They are big upfront. They do a tremendous job stopping the run. I think
they are giving up about 100 yards (109) a game on the ground. They have a very sound
system on defense.

“ If you play their game, then it can be a long day for you. We’ve got to be creative
offensively to give us a chance against these big guys. They have linebackers as big as
defensive linemen. One of their cornerbacks was a starting linebacker for them last year.
From a size standpoint, they have a tremendous advantage.

“ Offensively they have a good scheme and they are very well coached. The quarterback
has been efficient and he’s made some plays. You wouldn’t think he was a good runner
or scrambler, but then you watch him play and he’s slippery. He has seven touchdowns.
They try to throw quickly and they’re going to try to run the football. They will be a big
challenge for us, but I’m pleased where we are preparation-wise.

“We haven’t won against them since 1958. For our seniors who have played Boston
College the last three years, it has come down to the last play. As we go up there, this
game will be no different. There will be five plays in this game that will determine the
winner from the loser.”

Q: Does your team think they are a good team?

A: “I think they believe they are a talented team. What I’m trying to do is make us
become a team with more than just talented guys running around out there. We’ve made a
lot of progress in that area. Somewhere along the line, it has gotten to the point where if
we lose a ballgame, players say ‘here we go again.’

“It should be a shock to them when Clemson loses a game. That’s the way it is supposed
to be. That’s how we’ve got to practice and meet in preparation for football games.
We’ve got to expect to win. If you don’t expect to win, then chances are you won’t. It
starts right here. We’ve got talented football players. There are no excuses here. This
place was built on winning. We’re here to win. You practice, meet, eat, and sleep to
win. Everything you do goes into creating the mindset. If we continue to do those things
we will make those plays.”

Q: Have the seniors bought in to your system?

A: “The seniors have been awesome. I’ve spent more time with them than anybody. We
have talented seniors who are NFL guys. We’ve got guys who have been good leaders
here. We meet twice a week. One of the things I asked the seniors to do is vote a walkon,
two juniors, two sophomores, and two freshmen to join our meeting each week. I
want to start developing leadership in all areas of the team. They’ve been great. They
have had input. Their attitudes have been good. That’s probably been the most pleasing
thing for me is how the seniors have responded.”

Q: On wide receiver Aaron Kelly.

A: “He caught 11 touchdowns last year. Up until Saturday, he had not had an
opportunity to score a touchdown. That’s our fault. We’ve got a guy that can make
plays, so we’ve got to give him an opportunity to do that. This game isn’t complicated.
You block, tackle, run, throw, and catch. You play harder than your opponent. If you
have a good player, you give him opportunities. If we’re going to win, we’ve got to give
our skill players the ball. He has outstanding ball skills. We have to make sure he has
the chance to be a great player. If you don’t challenge a team downfield, then they sit on
you. It makes all that other stuff very difficult to do. It opens up other things.”

Q: On skill players.

A: “Jacoby Ford has to touch the ball. He had two huge plays last game that didn’t
count. It is the same thing with Tyler Grisham. He’s a guy that can make plays. James
Davis and C.J. Spiller speak for themselves. We’ve got good players here. It’s our job to
make sure they are touching the ball. We have to be smart with our schemes.”

Q: Do you feel more prepared coming into this game against Boston College?

A: “I think we were well prepared for Georgia Tech. We are much more settled. We’ve
been able to create a better environment from the working standpoint. We’re not running
around and scattered. Coaches are getting more than a couple of hours of sleep at night.
We’ve had a chance to sit down and put a good plan together.”

Q: On Boston College’s defense.

A: “They are second in the league in defense. They are really good. You’ve got to put
drives together on them. If you put them in space, you have a better opportunity to make
big plays. That’s what they don’t want you to do. They like to keep you in a box.”

Q: Not beating Boston College the last three years.

A: “It’s been really hard to believe that because the games have been so close. I’ve been
a part of all three of those games. I thought we were going to win all three of them up
until the last play of the game. It hasn’t gone our way. We’ve been prepared and in a
position to win, but we haven’t won. That’s a hump we have to get over.”

Q: On quarterback’s Cullen Harper and Willy Korn.

A: “Cullen is the starter. He has performed well in practice. I thought he came in
(against Georgia Tech) and played his best game. He made some plays with his legs. He
threw the ball with a ton of zip on it. I thought he played a really good ballgame,
especially under the circumstances. He had been taking second-team reps that week.
Willy Korn continues to impress me as a player and a person. He’s not a 100 percent
physically. He did practice yesterday and took second-team reps. He’s still not ready, but
by game time, he should be ready to go. The plan is to try to incorporate both of those
guys for the rest season.”

Quarterback Cullen Harper, Windows Media (5:22)

Running back C.J. Spiller, Windows Media (3:15)

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