Dabo Swinney Weekly Press Conference

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Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, Windows Media (35:15)

Q: Opening remarks.

A: "It was a great win for us Saturday (at Virginia). I’m really proud of the team to go on
the road three out of the last four games and find a way to win a couple of them. It is
really difficult to beat Virginia in Charlottesville. It turned into a little bit of a slugfest.
Our team won the battle. Our defense played an incredible game. Offensively, we
found a way to get it done in the clutch.

"It has been a good week for us so far. I’ve been talking with the players and listening to
them. This game means a lot to them. South Carolina is a good, capable team on both
sides of the ball, in particular defensively. They play defense in the SEC and play some
of the best opponents week in and week out. We are very familiar with them and they’re
familiar with us. Each player knows their personnel very well. It’s a little different for us
because they have a new defensive coordinator this year.

"I would say that both strengths on the teams are the defenses. Offensively, Coach
(Steve) Spurrier is going to have those guys ready to play. We will have to be very smart
as far as what we do defensively. They are capable running the ball. They have some
playmakers. #11 (Kenny McKinley) is a player. # 84 (Jared Cook) is a guy that makes
play after play. They have a young freshman (Jason) Barnes that is beginning to emerge
as a really fine young talent. It will be a big challenge for us defensively.

" It should be a great matchup. I’m really excited to watch these seniors play their last
game here at Death Valley."

Q: On the rivalry.

A: "I didn’t really understand it (the rivalry) before I came here. I spent my whole life
growing up around the Alabama vs. Auburn rivalry. I was a part of 13 of those as a
player and a coach. There are a lot of similarities. It means a lot to the state. Most
people grow up either a Clemson fan or South Carolina fan. It’s been a lot of fun.
Fortunately, we’ve been able to win four of them and just lost one."

Q: On Clemson domination in recent years.

A: "Clemson had the better team on many of those days historically. Clemson has won a
national championship, a bunch of conference championships, and a bunch of bowl
games. Over the last several years, South Carolina has done a really good job. They’ve
really improved their program. Coach Spurrier has done a tremendous job. They’ve won
seven games this year. They’re battling and competing with everyone. This is a whole
different era. We have to show up and play this Saturday."

Q: On players’ respect for him.

A: "It means the players know that I care about them. It means a lot to know that they
care about me. They’re young players and people. No matter what happens, they will be
resilient. They’ll put a great product on the field next year."

Q: On South Carolina’s two-quarterback system.

A: "We have to prepare for their offense regardless of who is the quarterback. Both are
very capable with extremely capable arms. Both have had big moments. We have to
prepare for what they do offensively and how they may attack us."

Q: On offense.

A: "We’ve gotten better. We’ve improved in a lot of areas. For us to be able to run the
ball eight straight plays to win at Virginia shows that we’re growing up a little bit up
front. The future is bright for those kids. They are getting better and better. Cullen
(Harper) has played better. We were 1-3 and now we’re 3-1 (in the second half of the
ACC schedule)."

Q: On team being close to winning an ACC Championship.

A: "I think we’re close. Clemson has everything that it needs to win here. Clemson has
passion and pride. Facilities are coming in line here, which had been sorely lacking.
We’ve been able to go and recruit. ‘There is something in these hills.’ There is a good
foundation here. There is really good, young talent on this team. These guys have high
character and good academic support."

Q: On South Carolina tight end Jared Cook.

A: "He’s tall. He’s a wideout that has grown into a tight end. He has excellent ball
skills. If you get him in the zip code, he has a chance to come down with the ball. They
do a good job at creating mismatches. We have to be smart on how we prepare for them.
He’s a very good player."

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