Tuesday news and notes (Updated)

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CLEMSON – News and notes from Tuesday’s media interviews with head coach Dabo Swinney and certain players. This will be updated as the day moves along.

*Swinney said that safety Rashard HallRashard Hall
RS Jr. Safety
#31 6-2, 200
St. Augustine, FL

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injured his knee against Troy and will not play this week against Wofford.

“Hall is our biggest concern right now,” Swinney said. “He probably could play this week. He feels pretty good and there is no swelling or anything. They are going to fit him with a high-tech special brace that is supposed to relieve pressure from area that is bothering him. We are going to hold him this week and see how he does against Auburn. If he does fine and plays well, and the knee responds, then he will keep on play. If not, then the situation is probably where he needs surgery. There is a little defect in there, and at some point he will need surgery.”

*Swinney said Wofford’s offense is like Georgia Tech’s, and will make a defense play assignment football.

“They are a very sound, fundamental football team,” Swinney said. “They have a lot of things that they do. They give you a lot of different looks with their option play. We have to do a great job with our eyes and everybody take care of their responsibility or it is a big play. We have to tackle better than we did and play very physical against these guys. They key for us is first down – we have to put these guys in long yardage situations.”

*Running back Mike BellamyMike Bellamy
Fr. Running Back
#5 5-10, 187
Nocatee, FL

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electrified the crowd on Saturday with his 75-yard touchdown run, but he concerned his coaches when he dropped the football to the ground at almost the same time as he crossed the goal line. Swinney was asked if anything was said to Bellamy.

“Yes. There was something said,” Swinney said. “There was a lot said.”

*Swinney was asked about Maryland’s new uniforms, and he was frank in his reply.

“I don’t think that would fly in Clemson,” he said. “I had to turn the brightness of my TV down.”

*Offensive coordinator Chad Morris said he dumbed down the offense in the second half Saturday, but Swinney said the opposite. Swinney said the coaches dumbed down the offense in the first half, and then ramped it up in the second half.

*Quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS So. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 230
Hampton, VA

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played well in the second half of Saturday’s game, and Swinney said he needs to see more of that this week.

“He needs to start like he finished,” Swinney said, and then said that teams will continue to load the box in an effort to make Boyd beat them with his arm. "People are going to challenge us and they are going to make Tajh throw the ball."

*Freshman linebacker Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Fr. Linebacker
#12 6-2, 220
Wadesboro, NC

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played well this past Saturday when he recorded a sack and broke up a pass.

“He is special. Special. He is the whole package,” Swinney said of the North Carolina native. “On that sack, he went from Point A to Point B like a rocket. He was in the game, and we saw there was going to be a wheel route, and we were like ‘oh no, here is a freshman and he is going to peek into the backfield.’ But he played it like a veteran. He is going to be a special player.”

Spent some time with center Dalton Freeman, and specifically asked him questions about the lack of physical play by the offensive line, and he said the Troy scheme precluded it being a physical contest.

“They did a lot of stunting and looping and twisting,” Freeman said. “When that happens, you can’t really get your hands on him and block him the traditional way. They had a guy that was looping and you were almost chasing him down trying to block him. And that was a lot of the problem in the first half, and in the second half we calmed down.”

He said that the failed fourth-down conversion on the goal line was a product of a great play call by the Troy coaches.

“We were in the power, and we were pulling down to block,” he said. “But we were in the shotgun and we didn’t have a lead tackler, and they brought an extra hat into the box and he came over and made the play.”

He also said that the perception that Clemson’s linemen aren’t strong enough – or that Clemson’s strength program is behind the times – are wrong.

“That is absurd. I think we proved last season – especially when we were five trying to block eight or nine – that we can be physical,” he said. “Saturday was just a case of where a team comes in and they do all the looping and twisting and you can't get your hands on them. It’s not all pancakes, and I think anybody that actually knows football will recognize that. It becomes more of a finesse game, and we had to adjust to that.”

*Tight end Dwayne Allen took some of the blame for Saturday’s dismal first half by the Clemson offense.

Allen said as a veteran player, he should have helped out Boyd more on the hot reads and identifying the blitz.

“I have to help him on the hot reads more,” Allen said. “That is on me, and all of the receivers really. We have to help out our first year quarterback on certain plays.”

Allen said he can identify where the potential blitz is coming from, and point out that player to
Boyd before the snap. He also echoed Chad Morris’ Monday statement that Boyd had a different look in his eyes from first half to second half.

“I had to tell everybody to calm down, that everything was going to be fine,” he said. “Tajh’s eyes were just glazed over, and I had to crack jokes with him to get him settled down. But he was much better in the second half.”

*YAC. Tight end Dwayne Allen said his touchdown this past Saturday was a result of hard work he put in during the off-season.

“Last year there was pretty much no YAC – yards after contact or yards after catch – for me,” Allen said. “This offseason it was one of the things I pressed myself on, getting my head up to see my surroundings and gaining more yards. Last year I worked on route running and getting open and catching the ball,” Allen said. “I’d do a great job of doing those things, but that was about it. This time it was kind of like second nature when I cut back to the middle and just turned on the bu
Allen also said he wants to see the Clemson offense play good for four quarters.

“That’s something I want to really develop into the Clemson culture,” he said. “In the past we’ve been a very inconsistent team, week to week. We’d play a great game against Auburn, then come back home and offensively pull out a dud. I want to be a consistent team, to be able to dominate no matter who we’re playing.”

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