The Clemson Tigers know they will have a step up in competition from Week One as they prepare for their second matchup of the season facing Texas A&M on Saturday.
The Tigers and Aggies agreed to their home-and-home matchups in October of 2014, with Clemson heading to Kyle Field this year and Texas A&M coming to Death Valley in 2019.
The Aggies originally had a home-and-home scheduled with Oregon during these two years, but scrapped a series in favor of the opportunity to play the Tigers. Texas A&M had an exit clause triggered their exit from the Big 12 to the SEC that gave them the option to drop the game with the Ducks.
Circumstances have greatly changed for both teams since then, with Clemson winning a national championship and Texas A&M going through a coaching change this offseason adding Jimbo Fisher.
Despite the changes, Dabo Swinney says there’s a lot to admire about the Aggies:
Dabo Swinney on Texas A&M
The Tigers are no stranger to Fisher, having played each other while he coached Florida State during the last eight seasons. Clemson is 4-4 against Jimbo Fisher-coached teams, as the Tigers have won three in-a-row following a stretch of three consecutive wins from the Seminoles.
Swinney said there are certainly some wrinkles in Fisher’s offense that he’s brought over from FSU, but he’s also adapted to the personnel he inherited with the Aggies, including QB Kellen Mond:
Dabo Swinney on Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond
Clemson defeated Furman, 48-7, with relative ease in the opener, but the game still had plenty of intrigue. Saturday saw the debut of the Tigers’ dual-quarterback system, with Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence grading out evenly in the film room.
Swinney said on multiple occasions since the Furman game that there’s no reason for them to change the plan going into College Station.
The Clemson Head Coach complimented both players on how they’ve handled the competition going into the season, and also shied away from saying the current situation is there to “keep everyone happy”:
Dabo Swinney on QBs
Even though the game had a lopsided result, Swinney said they were able to evaluate many things about his team having played an opponent that wasn’t themselves.
He lauded the play of the Special Teams, but still pointed out some key areas on offense and defense that need work this week:
Dabo Swinney on Special Teams & Areas of Concern
Clemson and Texas A&M meet at 7 PM ET on Saturday, with ESPN televising the contest.