Swinney implores students, fans to stay for entire game against Wake Forest
|Sunday, October 1, 2017, 7:17 PM- -|
Clemson students have complained about the way student football tickets are being handled this season, but a majority of the students left the stadium early during the Tigers’ win over Boston College a week ago. Head coach Dabo Swinney noticed and said the students need to be there early and stay late when the Tigers host a 4-1 Wake Forest team this weekend.
Clemson knocked off Virginia Tech Saturday night in Blacksburg, but there isn’t much of a break this week – the Demon Deacons took Florida St. to the wire before dropping a close one Saturday.
“We’re going to need a great crowd this weekend. It’s Homecoming and I hope we’ll have a lot of people back,” Swinney said during his Sunday teleconference. “We need our students to be there and for the whole game. We need our fans to be there. We need them there in the third quarter. We don’t need to take winning for granted. We need to show up and let’s have the same great atmosphere every single week and not just be a place that just shows up for GameDay or a night game. Our players, we’re going to ask them to show up regardless, that’s what we do. We’re going to need the best atmosphere we’ve had all year this weekend.”
Clemson ended the month of September with a 5-0 record, including three wins over Top 15 teams.
"Quick turnaround for us today, getting home late. Cannot say enough about our team,” Swinney said. “They were ready to play in that environment. It was a great team win. It was contributions from all three phases. Virginia Tech is a heck of a team. For us to come away with a big win is just how we wanted to end this month.”
The defense held Tech to 342 total yards and three first half points.
"Defensively I thought it was our best game. That's good because I thought our worst game was at Louisville,” Swinney said. “We stopped the run, created turnovers and continued to play good in the red zone and on third down. It was a clean game, but still a lot to coach from on tape. All in all just really a relentless effort. I'm so proud of those guys. Offensively it was a fast start, which is what we wanted. I think we had 10 points before they had a first down in the game, so we needed that. We were hopeful that we could take care of the ball and win the turnover margin.
“That was critical. It was good to see us convert the fourth and one on the goal line, but we did miss some opportunities. We were only 12 of 21 passing but it should have been 17 of 21. We had some drops and some missed throws. We missed some touchdown opportunities as well. We weren't as good on third down, just 6-of-16. We probably should have been eight or nine of 16 on third down. We had three sacks, one on the O-line, one where they just had us on a 2-man blitz and one was on the QB. I do think we did some good things, but again there were some missed opportunities. All in all a solid night for us. Special teams, kickoff coverage continues to do a good job for us. (Alex) Spence got a field goal. We contained a fake field goal as well. The one punt, Will (Spiers) just didn't hit it. It was a line drive. It was a convincing win and every phase made big contributions.”
“Injury-wise, Justin Foster (ankle) won't be able to practice tomorrow. Everyone else is good to go.”
Players of the game
“I won't release the players of the game anymore (on Sundays). It's become anti-climactic in our team meetings on Monday. I want our guys in the team meeting to be the first to know."
*Clemson SID Tim Bourret will release on Monday.
What he likes best about his team right now
"We're 5-0. That's what I like. We're a long way from perfect. I like the fact that they have fun playing. They put the work in, they're supportive of each other. Bottom line is they have found a way to win. We've played some challenging teams. We still have a lot of improving to do. I just like the mindset of our team."
Spiers’ punting effort
"I think he had two 50-yarders. I think he just missed that one. That one hurt for sure. I don't think one bad punt means he had a bad night. We were sky-punting on one and there was some wind up there. It just happens."
Was the VT crowd a factor
"I don't think so. It was a great atmosphere. I thought they did an awesome job in having a good stage for college football, but for us we were ready, locked in and got a 3-and-out right out of the gate. I think we had 10 points before they got a first down. We just never let them get an opportunity to sustain energy in the crowd."
Is Shaq Smith healthy?
"Yeah, he's healthy. He's starting on special teams for us and doing well. Sometimes people make too big a deal if a guy isn't starting (from scrimmage). Kendall Joseph, Dorian O'Daniel, J.D. Davis, Tre Lamar. They're just ahead of him right now. Same thing that kept Dorian off the field as a red-shirt freshman. He's just a young player who has some guys in front of him. Eventually, he'll be a great player for us."
"He's good. He's ready to go and was available but we were going to try to limit him and not play him unless we had to. But yes, he was available and ready."