Dabo Swinney weekly press conference

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Dabo Swinney weekly press conference audio (WMA Format)

Opening Statement

"It’s been a good open date for us. I think the team is ready to get back at it Saturday. It’s homecoming and that’s always an exciting time. We’re having some former players lead Tiger Walk (entrance to stadium on Saturday morning) and we’re looking forward to seeing that.

"During this off week, I think we’ve gotten healthy. That’s been a key thing for us especially coming off a physical game like we had at Auburn. We’re in pretty good shape with the exception of David Smith who is definitely out for Saturday, but he is making great progress. Spencer Shuey (reserve, LB) is listed as questionable and other than that we’re in pretty good shape.

"We’ve got a tough road ahead; we’re going to play nine straight games, hopefully 10 if we can make it to the championship game. I like what this football team is about. We talk about running the race to win, but you also have to run with endurance. We’re going to need some endurance over the next 10 weeks.

"It’s ACC play. This is the opportunity for us to work toward our next goal and defend our Atlantic Division title. This is a huge game for both teams in that regard. We’ve played three games and I like our personnel.

"We have a tough task in Miami. They’re a talented team and have great personnel and I think you’ll see a heck of a ball game. They’re balanced offensively. They run the ball 30 times a game and throw the ball 30 times a game. They’re very multiple with their formations. They like to get in unbalanced sets, which can create some challenges for us on defense. They have very talented skill. They have guys that can run.

"That quarterback (Jacory Harris) is a very good player. He’s a really good deep ball thrower and that’s something they’ll do often; they will throw the ball deep. They like their offense in chunks. That ball will get sent down the field a lot. We’ll have to be very disciplined in defending the deep ball.

"They’ve played a lot of people at running back. They’ve played four guys and we could see all four on Saturday. They have a good mixture there and it’s going to be a challenge. For us, we have to get after the quarterback – bottom line. We have to make sure we don’t make it a comfortable day for him. We have to keep him on the move. We have to tackle.

"They have the ability to get a lot of yards after the catch so tackling is critical. We will play really, really, really well and then give up a big play. We have to eliminate the big play and make a team have to go earn it. Let’s not have 10 guys doing their job and one guy bust and everyone suffer.

"We have to make them earn it. They’re defense as a whole is probably the best we’ve played. Auburn was very good but because of what Miami has in the secondary, I would give them an advantage.

"Miami is #1 in the nation in tackles for loss and #2 in the nation in sacks. They have a good front seven and they’re very good in the secondary. You can tell John Lovett (the defensive coordinator) is in his second year. They play a lot of people. Oliver Vernon is leading the league in sacks right now. Colin McCarthy is one of the top four or five tacklers in our league and he quarterbacks the defense. They’re loaded with talent in the secondary.

"It’s a big challenge for us and we’re going to have to execute at a high level. They’re second in the nation in sacks and we’re not giving up many sacks. That will be a battle between their defensive line and our offensive line. Plays have to be made. There are big plays there that need to be made and this is the game to make them. "

On Kyle Parker

"He looked good yesterday in practice. He took every rep at practice and the off weekend really helped him. We might put him in more of a protective padding, but he’s 100 percent ready to go. "

On bye-week

"You have to take that week to evaluate where you are and you just go to work on what you need to improve upon. I’m more encouraged than discouraged with where we are right now. These guys have bought in to trying to do things the right way. They went right back to work this week.

"The leadership has been very good. They understand that we had the opportunity to win a game that we should have won, but you have to move on. It’s all about Clemson, nothing else. It’s about how we prepare, our attention to detail, because we’re good enough. I think we’re a good enough football team to line up and compete and win football games.

"The goal is to move forward. But one of the things I’ve told the team is to remember the Auburn Tigers. Sometimes a bad memory can drive you to greatness. Let’s remember what happens when you don’t make the plays that are there or have a little lull. When they watch the film, they can see things that are in their control. We’re just trying to get better as a team and focus on Clemson."

On wide receivers

"We’ve only played three games. We now have it down to 6-7 guys, which is not unusual and all of those guys have made big plays in three games. I think over the next 2-3 weeks you will see a little separation. Hopefully they all continue to make plays and contribute, but over the next couple weeks you’ll see one or two guys emerge.

"It’s too early to say "hey, this is the guy". We’ve continued to get better and make improvement. We’ve got some dynamic guys and we’ve got talent. I think you’ve seen some flashes of that in every game.

"We’re not about building people’s stats, we’re about winning. We could have thrown the ball in the first two games, but that wasn’t the goal. The goal was to line up and win. Jaron Brown, Brandon Clear, Xavier Dye, and Bryce McNeal have all made some plays with their opportunities. Marquan Jones has been very steady and it has really been good to see him have some success.

On run game

"It’s going to be a tough order for us, but I’ll be very disappointed if we can’t establish some type of rushing game. We ran very well against Auburn, which was a huge key to the game in setting up some other plays. We have to do what we do and if some other opportunities present themselves, we’ll take them. Our goal going into every game is to establish the run, and we’re going to do what we do."

On last year’s Miami game

"That was really a confidence booster for our guys. It really showed us that we could make a run. It showed that we were growing up as a football team. We had a freshman quarterback and freshman center. Overcoming the adversity in that game was a confidence booster for the rest of the year."

On having patience

"We’ve done a great job with ball security so far. One of our statistical goals is turnover margin; I think that’s critical. We won the turnover margin at Auburn and we lost and that’s very rare. Usually, when you’re ahead in the turnover margin, you have a great chance to win the game.

"In this game, for us to continue to do a good job, we have to continue to take care of the ball. Kyle’s done a great job not forcing some things. Defensively we have to be opportunistic. We have to create a one-dimension offensive for them and make them do things they don’t want to do."

On Da’Quan Bowers’ play

"He has come to play. He’s taken to heart things we talked about in the spring, summer, and fall camp. I know where he wants to go and the level he is capable of playing at. He’s been a good player, but he’ll never live up to his expectations.

"He’s a very talented guy and he’s come in with high expectations, but he hasn’t been dominant every game, until this year. He’s gotten his body in great shape and he has his mind right. He’s just very focused on being a great player. We’ve had three games and he’s been player of the game twice. He’s been dominant. He’s on his way to having a great year.

"He’s had a difficult fall so far (death of his father), and I’m really proud of the way he’s handled it."

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