Swinney: Open week comes at good time after physical game


by - Senior Writer -
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Swinney said he was encouraged because he believes the Tigers were the more physical team against Auburn.


Swinney teleconference with media (MP3 Format)



CLEMSON – The Clemson Tigers will practice tonight on the Jervey practice fields, but head coach Dabo Swinney met with the media Monday evening to talk about the Auburn game, injuries, the bye week and the upcoming game against Miami.


Swinney said the game was physical – on both sides of the ball.


“There was some big hitting going on,” he said. On both sides. I thought we were the more physical team. That was a good thing to see for me. That was encouraging. I just don't think we can have the program we want to have if we can't line up and battle the way we need to. I thought our guys in the trenches got after them. The way our backs ran the ball – they had a physical presence, the hit, that’s what you want to see. And Auburn had some big hits, too. It was a battle all night long."


With the big hits and the injuries, Swinney said the open date is coming at a good time.


"The open date is a good time for us. I didn't like it earlier in the year but I like it now because we've got a couple of guys that we need to get well this week. Anyway, I'm proud of the team because of their resiliency. They responded well in their first big test. We didn't win the game but we have a lot to build on. We'll continue to work on and strive to be a smarter team. If we're going to win a championship this year, we have to be able to go on the road and finish in some tough environments. We have nine in a row coming up. The next one is at home and we have to do everything we can to hold court here."


Swinney said that quarterback Kyle Parker will be limited in practice this week, and was asked if there had been any consideration in pulling him from the Auburn game once he got hurt.


"We considered it at one point because we didn't know if he was OK. But Kyle is a competitor. He wanted to stay in and wanted to go. We were going to go with him, no doubt about it. He gave us a chance to win the game. He's the leader and we certainly wouldn't have hesitated with Tajh [Boyd] but as long as Kyle felt like he could play, we were going to give him a chance."


Long-snapper Matt Skinner was called for a penalty on the field goal in overtime that would have forced a second overtime, and Swinney said he had spoken with Skinner about the mistake.


"He just made a mistake. He had 15 snaps in the game and 14 of them were perfect and I doubt there were any other players out there who had 15 snaps and most were perfect. Matt is a heck of a snapper. He can flat out do it. Unfortunately, nobody notices you sometimes until you do something wrong. It's a tough situation. He's just a sophomore. That one right there was certainly costly, but it didn't cost us the game. We had several opportunities to win that game. The next snap was perfect but we missed the kick. You have to take advantage of your opportunities."


Swinney finished by saying that it looks like two Tigers are questionable for the Miami game.


"[LB Spencer] Shuey is the other one. He's got a grade 2 or a grade 3 AC separation. He and David Smith are the main two who are pretty questionable for the Miami game. Tig [Willard] should be back rolling pretty good for the Miami game. He could have played Saturday but it was going to be an emergency situation."

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