Dabo says Watkins will play Saturday if he is able; Price out with MCL injury


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The good news coming out of Sunday’s media teleconference with Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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is that wide receiver Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Fr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 200
Fort Myers, FL

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- injured during the third quarter of Saturday’s 31-28 win over Wake Forest - should be ready to go this week.

Left tackle Phillip PricePhillip Price
RS Sr. Offensive Tackle
#79 6-5, 315
Dillon, SC

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, however, might have to miss one or two games.

“Injury-wise, Sammy looked pretty good today. He was a little sore,” Swinney said. We'll see
where he is tomorrow. Hope to get him back going Tuesday or Wednesday. Not
anything serious. Phillip Price is definitely going to be out this week.
His ACL was fine, but it is an MCL sprain, so he'll be out this week for
sure. We hope to get him back for South Carolina, but that's kind of
optimistic. They do feel definitely he'll be back for the championship
game. I feel good for him that he'll be able to resume playing. We'll see
how he responds to treatment this week. Outside of that, I think we are in
pretty good shape health-wise."

Swinney said the coaching staff was pleased with the win, but understands there were far too many mistakes to feel confident heading into the final two regular season games.

"As you would expect, a lot of excitement around here today as far as winning the division,” Swinney said. “It's a great accomplishment for our team and staff, but it's back to work today as a staff. We've got a lot of mistakes. You sit there and look at the film and we had three turnovers
that were critical, plus a punt return for a touchdown. But at the end of
the day we found a way to win. They're showing that they know how to win,
making plays in crunch time. From a coaching standpoint, we're happy but
there's still a lot out there for our team. We just have to keep
improving.”

He said the offense put up good numbers, but made too many mistakes to be completely effective.


"Offensively we left a lot out there, but yet we have 522 yards offense,” he said.
“We rushed for 180 and had no sacks. It's a little frustrating because we
didn't play as well as we were capable of. Same thing on defense. We just
have a lot of work to do. We're 9-1 and by far we have not reached our
potential. We still have a lot of room for improvement. We have other
goals out there. We're trying to get a seventh ACC win for the first time
since 1983 and a 10-win season since 1990. “

On the players of the game


"Our players of the game were Rashard HallRashard Hall
Gr. Safety
#31 6-1, 210
St. Augustine, FL

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on defense, Jaron BrownJaron Brown
RS Jr. Wide Receiver
#18 6-2, 200
Cheraw, SC

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on
offense and Darrell SmithDarrell Smith
RS So. Tight End
#84 6-2, 245
Gadsden, AL

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on special teams. Really a solid day from those
guys.”

On if Spencer BentonSpencer Benton
RS Jr. Punter / Kicker
#13 6-2, 195
Myrtle Beach, SC

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reinjured himself

"No, we changed things because he kicked two duds in a row. He hit
two shanks and kind of rolled them out there. We went with Cat to see if
we could get a better kick. He had a great kick early and another good
one, but hit two bad ones in a row, so we put Cat in there. And we'll get
Spencer going back this week. His first game back, I think he might have
been trying too hard."



On if Watkins will play this week

"We're going to try to play him. That's up to how he responds. If
he's ready to go, we'll play him. He looks pretty good. He'll be a little
limited, but hopefully he'll be able to go Saturday. It'll probably be a
decision that'll be made later in the week."

On N.C. State being a trap game

"They're all dangerous. We're fighting for our lives every single
week. This one will be no different. We'll get the very best they've got.
When you're highly ranked and you're Clemson, you're going to get
everybody's best in this conference. From week to week, anything can
happen. It's tough to go up there and play. They shut North Carolina out
two weeks ago. This is the next game, we're trying to be the best we can
be and for us to do that, we have to keep finding ways to win. To get a
10th win would be a huge accomplishment. We're a good, solid team, but
we're trying to have a great year. We still have a lot of work to do for
that to happen. Every game on our schedule is dangerous."


On what he thinks is issue with QB Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS So. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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"Just pressing. Trying to make big plays and not taking what's
there. They dropped eight a bunch and we tried to force some throws into
some really tight windows. Some of that comes from the success he's had.
He's got a ton of confidence in his arm and in his receivers. He's not
very bashful in putting the ball in some tight spots. The one
interception, he just overthrew the ball. The guy was open. He just
floated it. The play on the screen, that was just a great play by their
guy. He certainly made some mistakes. No doubt about it. When he's going,
the team is rolling pretty good. He can definitely play much better. But
he brought us back in two clutch drives there at the end, so for that I'm
really proud of him. He ended up with a very solid day."

On Catanzaro

"When you're a kicker, you'll have moments like that. He's made some
big kicks for us this year. Obviously none bigger than that one. That was
a huge, huge kick. I told him there was no pressure on him. He wasn't
going to lose the game. I told him we'd win it then or in overtime.
Interestingly enough, if you look at his track record, he's been
incredibly accurate outside of 40 yards for whatever reason. Most of his
misses have been inside of that. And the first one was a great kick. He
hit it good, he just pushed it a little to the right. I'm really happy for
him to make a kick like that to win a game. You have to remember that he
is just a sophomore. The more situations you have like that and have
success and even failure, you get better."

On development of Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Fr. Wide Receiver
#1 6-5, 205
Calhoun Falls, SC

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and Charone PeakeCharone Peake
Fr. Wide Receiver
#19 6-3, 205
Moore, SC

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"Martavis played 16 snaps. Just opportunity. Nothing really other
than that. The biggest thing is Jaron Brown and Nuk Hopkins. Those are the
two starters there. Jaron was our player of the game yesterday. He's had a
couple of games where he hasn't had a catch. You have to take your
opportunities as they come. This is a fact ... Martavis and Charone,
talent-wise, pure talent, are as talented as Sammy. But they're normal,
developing freshmen guys. They've already done good things. We've got all
the confidence in the world in them."

On if he thinks it is remarkable that team is 9-1

"It is, considering the mistakes we've made. But you look at the big
picture and you don't want to be negative, but you go wow, how good could
we be? Sometimes you just get whipped. But we've got a lot of things that
are well within our control. Ball security being No. 1. I'm really
disappointed in ball security the last two games. We have to take care of
the ball. We have to have good technique. Guys need to do what they're
suppose to do. The quarterback has to take what's there. Defensively, we
had a good plan but we have to execute the plan. Field position was really
poor for us in the first half. Our d-tackles have to play the technique
that we call. Our linebackers have to fit their gaps properly. There are a
lot of things we can improve on. We had a punt taken back on us with
absolutely pitiful coverage. We had guys out there trying to cover with no
purpose. Our punter didn't punt the ball well and that's hard. It puts
pressure on your coverage team. There are a lot of things we have to
correct at every position. We're 9-1, but we're hungry as a staff. I think
we pressed a little bit yesterday. I think everyone was excited to play
yesterday. We just kind of forced some mistakes."

On mistakes being because of youth

"I won't single any guys out but we had some critical mistakes there
yesterday and that kind of comes with the territory. We just have to
continue to coach and improve. It's a lot better to do that when you find
a way to win as opposed to losing a game. We're not perfect all the time
but we've made big plays a lot more than we did a year ago. That's what
good teams do. It doesn't go always the way you plan it. But to find a way
to win nine times out of 10 is outstanding, especially with the amount of
youth we have on the team."

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