Swinney says Tigers are playing their best football when it counts
|Monday, November 4, 2019, 8:01 AM- -|
CLEMSON – As the Tigers enter the fourth quarter of the season, they are locked in and focused.
Clemson is 9-0 and once again surging towards a berth in the College Football Playoff. The Tigers have won 24 consecutive games and seemingly set some kind of record each week, whether it’s on offense or defense.
Head coach Dabo Swinney told TigerNet Sunday that last year’s 15-0 team was ready to compete for a championship in the spring but this year’s team took a little longer to jell.
He then said the similarities between the two teams at this point of the season starts with leadership and chemistry.
“I think the similarity is in the leadership. The chemistry has really come together,” Swinney said. “This is a team that I think had to really develop the chemistry because we have so many new people, whereas last year's team, we could have played in the spring. We really could have. We could have spotted the ball and lined up and played in spring practice. There was such good chemistry and leadership across the board. All of those defensive guys and those offensive guys and those veterans, it was just a deep group of leaders. There are a lot of guys that are gone and now there are over 40 guys that weren't here last year. That's a lot of guys getting their opportunities.”
The coaches started the leadership overhaul in the spring.
“This spring, we had a lot of work to do,” Swinney said. “We always have a lot of work to do football-wise but this was really just establishing the leadership and then the chemistry. That just doesn't happen. Those are probably two of the most underrated things on teams are chemistry and leadership. That is why for me this year, that was the one thing I felt like we were going to have really work hard to develop. And where we are now, the similarities to where we are now to where we were then, we were playing our best football and the leadership and chemistry were really, really good. And that is exactly where this group is. “
The difference? This year’s team is deeper across the board.
“The difference is, this is a more youthful group and we have a little more strength in numbers in that we are playing a lot of people. We have quality depth,” Swinney said. “I think we are better on the back end than we were this time last year. We are just more locked in and deeper and proven and consistent. And then offensively, Trevor (Lawrence) is further along right now than he was this time last year as a quarterback and the leader of our offense. I think we are deeper at wide receiver than we were at this time last year. I think there are a lot of great positives with this group. It's exciting as we go into the fourth quarter of the season in game ten here.