Sunday Update: Swinney talks QB plan, Friday night games, substitutions
|Sunday, October 8, 2017, 7:16 PM- -|
The Clemson football team practiced Sunday night in preparation for this Friday’s game at Syracuse, but the status of quarterback Kelly Bryant likely won’t be known until later this week.
No. 2 Clemson is 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the ACC and will travel to take on the Orange (3-3 overall) Friday night in the Carrier Dome. The big question right now is the health of quarterback Kelly Bryant, who injured his left ankle late in the third quarter against Wake Forest and didn’t return to the game. Bryant was in a walking boot after the game.
"Kelly Bryant came in today and he's a little sore,” Swinney said. “He's moving around pretty good. He's day-to-day. We'll see how he progresses throughout the week. He's going to be just fine. It'll be a decision later on this week. He'll be limited today but I think he'll practice. If he's ready to play, he'll play. If not, we'll play the next guy.
"We're not going to get into all that. We'll just get ready for those guys,” he said. “I expect Kelly to be ready to go. We'll have a plan if not, but I won't lay it all out for Syracuse."
The Tigers were 28-14 victors in Saturday’s win over Wake Forest.
“Just want to congratulate our team. They beat a tough Wake Forest team,” Swinney said. “As you saw last night in college football - with a noon game, you can watch other people - I have a great appreciation for our guys and how they get ready each and every week. They really took care of business. We got a little sloppy the last five minutes or so of the fourth quarter, but overall really proud of our guys and their readiness to go play. Third year in a row that we’re 6-0 and it’s hard to win and especially win consistently. Just proud of our team. I really feel like our best football is in front of us.
“Quick turnaround here. Got a lot to do. Today is Monday for us, so I’m not really sure what happened to Sunday, it’s somewhere out there, but we’re grinding around here. We’ll be on the practice field in a little less than an hour. I thought the guys came in today ready to go. They had the right mindset and just kind of embracing the moment and looking forward to a big challenge this week. Syracuse is playing well. A big win against Pitt. Played LSU tight. Played N.C. State tight at N.C. State. Big challenge for us. We’ve had a tough little stretch here through the first six games and got another one this week. Looking forward to the open date afterward, but our focus is really trying to empty our tank this week and sprint into this open date and play our best game Friday night.”
Players of the game
About liberally substituting during the game
“My thought process is that I’m not trying to please the fans. I’m trying to win. I’m trying to have a great program. If they get bored with winning, that’s their problem. I’m playing the guys that deserve to play. I’m not worried about all of that other stuff. I’m just trying to win the game.”
On enjoying what’s happening right now and how hard it is to win every week
"It’s hard. Everybody has enough. Most teams have enough that when you’re not quite ready, you’re not focused, you put the ball on the ground, you get beat. It’s just a fine line. That’s why I have such a great appreciation for where we are right now and where we’ve been the past several years. Just the type of consistency that we’ve had is very uncommon and rare, especially when you’re dealing with young people day in and day out. I’m just proud of our guys, the leadership.
“That was a late trip coming back from Virginia Tech then you’ve got an early game against a good team, then you know you’ve got a short week the next week and I just like how they showed up and were really focused on the task at hand and doing what we needed to do to get a hard fought win and to get to 6-0. We’ve played some good teams. Wake Forest is going to be a good team. Virginia Tech is a good team. Nobody really wanted to say a lot about Auburn in the early part of the year, but Auburn is a good football team. “
The play of Hunter Johnson and Zerrick Cooper
“Hunter was outstanding. He was 5-for-5 and he made the right reads with the run-pass game. He converted some of our run calls into some passes. He did a good job and obviously had the touchdown throw. I thought Zerrick missed a couple of throws but also made a beautiful throw to Deon that Deon just dropped. They both did fine with the opportunities they had.
Playing on Friday
“I’m not a fan of it. I’m going to miss my son. I’ve got a son playing Friday night at the same time I’m coaching. I really hate that I can’t be there for that. I’m not a big fan of it, but it’s just kind of the way it is. TV kind of dictates all of that stuff. I certainly am not a fan. I prefer Saturdays.”