Dabo Swinney has Clemson back in the ACC Championship game and on the doorstep to a second straight trip to the College Football Playoff. All that stands in the way of a second straight league title and a trip to the final four of college football is Virginia Tech. A lot has changed since the last time these two teams met for the conference championship. This is the first time the Tigers have seen the new look Hokies under Justin Fuente, who has revamped the offense in Blacksburg in his first season replacing Frank Beamer. Not everything has changed; Bud Foster is still dialing up the Hokies defense and the team still literally carries a lunch pail to every game. Check out a few of the highlights from Swinney’s comments and some of the audio below.
- Swinney said he is extremely proud of his team and staff for another great season. 12-0 and 11-1 the past two years isn’t easy.
- Swinney said it will be weird to play Virginia Tech and not see Frank Beamer on the other sideline.
- Dabo Swinney said VT defensive coordinator Bud Foster “has probably forgotten more about football than I’ll ever know.”
- Swinney said the biggest change with Virginia Tech now is the offense. Justin Fuente has put his stamp on the unit.
- Swinney on breaking down common opponents: “We lost to Pitt, they beat Pitt. They lost to Syracuse, we beat Syracuse. …That just goes to show you that stuff doesn’t mean anything.”
- Swinney said there is no question his team is fresher now than they were this time last year. They were worn down in November last year. He said a better placed open date and more competitive depth have made a huge difference.
- Swinney said there was a lot of leadership on this team from the beginning, starting right after loss to Alabama in title game.
- Swinney: I am a better coach at 47 than I was at 38. “THANK GOODNESS!” shouted out by someone in the media room.
- Dabo said he hopes they get a good crowd with the game being moved to Orlando. He’s just happy to be in the game, doesn’t care about venue.
- Swinney said this is the best road team he’s coached. 5-0 away from home with wins over Auburn, Georgia Tech, FSU among others. All five games were night games.
- Swinney said this team has had an edge to them all season. They come ready when it’s time to practice. Now they can see the finish line and they want to finish strong.
DABO SWINNEY PREVIEWS VIRGINIA TECH: