Sunday night news and notes

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Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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said the Tigers don’t have to play the revenge card when looking ahead to this week’s home against N.C. State, because every Clemson player and coach who traveled to Raleigh last season remembers the 37-13 loss.

Clemson hosts N.C. State this weekend at 3:30 p.m. and has opened as a 17-point favorite, but Swinney said there will be no way the Tigers will overlook the Wolfpack [6-4, 3-3 ACC].

“Yeah there is no doubt. They embarrassed us on national TV,” Swinney said during his Sunday teleconference. “Again, N.C. State is capable of beating anybody. That is the only loss that Florida State has. This is a team that is very dangerous. They have an outstanding quarterback and they always have good skill. They are second in the league in scoring defense. They blitz about every snap. This is a big challenge for us. We will have to play very well. Again we are coming off a performance against these guys last year that was really poor.”

He then said he won’t have to bring up the game to his players – they will get the message when they look at last year’s game tape.

“You always look at last year’s tapes when you are playing an opponent that you play every year when the coaching staff is the same,” he said. “You always study that film because it is real tape of you verses them so you can see some match-up things and see some schematic things and you can compare that to what you have seen all throughout this year. And obviously we have a lot of film from this year.

“But no, they [the players] know we went up there last year and I think we turned it over three times in a row inside the 20 something yard line and NC State did a great job of taking advantage of it. And with momentum and energy they just took the game over and we couldn’t turn it. But that was last year and it has nothing to do with this year. It really doesn’t. That revenge stuff and all that, that don’t get you very far. It’s how you play the game. It’s about how you prepare this week.”

Clemson defeated Maryland 45-10 on Saturday to improve to 9-1 overall and 6-1 in the ACC, and Swinney said that Clemson can claim a share of the ACC’s Atlantic Division crown with a win over N.C. State.

“If we win this week, three out of four years we will be able to claim being the Atlantic Division champion,” he said. “Heck I didn’t even know that until today to be honest with you. If we win this game - even if Florida State wins - we get a trophy. By the tie-breaker we don’t get to go play in the [championship] game, but that is a big accomplishment for our guys. So hopefully we can find a way to win. It is going to take another good week of practice. I don’t expect there to be any dropoff or anything. These guys have been focused all year long.”

He said the win over Maryland was a complete game.

“Overall it was a really good game. From the opening snap I thought our guys were ready to play,” he said. “As I said last night I thought it was a complete game in all facets. We got to play a lot of guys again which is a positive. On offense we continue to get better. We did a really good job of protecting our quarterback. We had no sacks. I thought our offensive line tried to be physical. David BeasleyDavid Beasley
RS So. Offensive Guard
#68 6-4, 315
Columbus, GA

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was our offensive lineman of the week. He played well, very well. Overall a very productive day. Outstanding in third down once again. We threw and caught the ball well. Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
So. Wide Receiver
#16 5-11, 190
Spartanburg, SC

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was our offensive player of the game. I thought he had an outstanding game. It was good to see him. He made a great catch for a touchdown. It was a really good day for him.

“Defensively we played with attitude. We played with a lot of emotion and intensity. The thing that jumps out to you is fundamentally how much we have improved throughout the year. As a result we are just playing so much more consistent. We gave up the one long run. We had a season low two mental errors. We created three turnovers and tackled well. 1-13 on third down was tremendous. We returned the ball better than we have all year. That was good to see. We are going to need to do a good job in that area to really make a run.”

Swinney said there was very little news on the injury front.

“We are in pretty good shape. D.J. [Howard] kind of twisted his ankle,” he said. “Hot Rod [McDowell] kind of sprained his toe. Other than that I think we are okay. I don’t anticipate anyone not being able to practice this week.”

He finished the teleconference by saying he doesn’t worry about the polls, especially not with two games still remaining.

“All I know is we have 13 days left and if we take care of business we will have a chance to be in the top ten in every poll,” he said. “I don’t know how may polls there are but we will probably be top ten in all of them.”

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