Swinney making sure Tigers
Swinney and the Tigers take on Boston College this week

Swinney making sure Tigers "appreciate each one" as winning continues

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CLEMSON – What a difference a week makes. The Tigers go from slight favorites on the road against Louisville in a Top 15 matchup to playing at home as a heavy favorite against Boston College, but head coach Dabo Swinney is making sure his team appreciates each chance to play.

Boston College (1-2, 0-1 ACC) takes on No. 2 Clemson at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2, a week after a blowout win over Louisville.

“I'm proud of our team for where we are right now. We're where we hoped to be and the guys have competed really hard. We've had three tough opponents in a row and getting ready for another tough one this week,” Swinney said during his weekly press conference. “We’re excited about being back at home. It's hard for me to believe that it's game four already. It's our third game in the Valley. I was talking to our team yesterday about making sure you appreciate each one. We work all year for so few opportunities. We've got a lot going on this weekend with the Hall of Fame. Phil Prince and Fred Cone are going to the captains. That's going to be cool for those guys to be back and be honorary captains before the game. I'm really excited about being back at home.”

Swinney says the Eagles will present a bigger challenge than people think.

“B.C. is another division game for us. Record-wise, they're 1-2, but you have to look beyond that,” he said. “They played a good Northern Illinois team that beat Nebraska and won. The lost toWake Forest. They had several turnovers, but Wake Forest is a good football team. They're sitting 3-0 right now and a very good team. And a very tough Notre Dame game. At the end of the third quarter, was a very tight ball game that kind of got away in the fourth quarter.

“This is a tough, hard-nosed, physical team. There's a different mindset that you have to bring when you get ready to play Boston College. That speaks to their head coach, Coach Addazio. What a great job he does. Their mindset is you're going to have to beat them. They don't usually beat themselves. You've got to win the physical matchup because they're going to force the issue. If you don't have the right mindset going into it, they're going to expose you. Looking forward to the challenge.”

Boston College has ramped up the offensive pace.

“Offensively, they’re a lot of 11 and 12 personnel type of a team. They're going to run the power, the counter,” Swinney said. “The little difference this year is they're doing it really, really fast - a lot of tempo. Their explosives come off the run game. They want to be able to establish a physical presence in the run game. I’m impressed with their quarterback. He's a young player but he's got a good feel for what they're doing. He can throw the ball and run around and can make some plays. A lot of play actions, boots, and max-protections that come off of their success in the run game. They're playing with a lot of tempo. A Lot of discipline that we have to play with versus these guys."

Defensively, the Eagles have one of the most dangerous pass rushers in all of college football.

“Defensively they’re very experienced. They have 12 guys back who started at some point last year," he said. "A lot of guys with a lot of experience. That No. 7 (Harold Landry) led the nation in sacks last year. He's a real problem. He's a great pass rush guy. They're big and strong inside. You rarely see anybody ever move that No. 96. I bet he squats 800 pounds. He is a strong, strong d-tackle. Impressed with how they play against the run. We've got to do a great job of taking advantage of the opportunities when they present themselves because they're very sound on that side of the ball. They've got good kickers.”

In other words, it will be a typical Boston College team.

“Just overall, it's a hard-nosed game. It's early in the season. We know we're going to get a team that's really fighting to stay in the division hunt with just having one loss,” Swinney said. “If they can beat us, that would position them very well. For us, it's about getting better, trying to improve on some things. We were excited to win the game last week but there's a lot we've got to improve on. Some missed opportunities on offense probably played our worst game defensively of the three games we played. A lot of room for improvement as we get back on the field this weekend and back at it today with a good, tough, physical Tuesday practice.”


“Trayvon (Mullen) has earned the right to be the starter right now. We have a lot of competition at corner right now. As the saying goes, you can’t compete for the club in the tub. Marcus (Edmond) has had some tough breaks, but nobody is entitled around here. We've got good players and that's just the way it is. Marcus will be fine. Hopefully, he’ll be back this week. If not, he’ll be back soon. He'll be right in the mix. He’s a really good player. You haven't been able to see it much this year because he's had some unfortunate injuries. He got hurt in camp early and missed a good bit of camp with a hamstring, then the mid-foot sprain and he's fighting through that.

D.J. Greenlee still has a sprained MCL, so he’s out.”

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