Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney didn’t mince words on Tuesday regarding the tough conversations he had to have this week involving the switch at the quarterback decision.
Swinney announced on Monday morning that freshman QB Trevor Lawrence had surpassed Kelly Bryant on the depth chart, ending a string of 18 straight starts for the senior.
The Head Coach detailed the move Tuesday as one he felt needed to happen because of the offense’s increased productivity with Lawrence at the helm against Georgia Tech:
Swinney on QB Switch
Lawrence had the better run of play Saturday, completing 13-of-18 passes for 176 yards and four touchdowns, earning ACC Rookie of the Week honors. He has also led a more efficient offense, as the Tigers have scored 13 touchdowns with Lawrence at QB, compared to seven with Bryant.
Despite the data, it didn’t make Swinney’s message any easier to deliver to Bryant:
Swinney on Message to Kelly Bryant
This week’s depth chart move will not mean an end to Kelly Bryant’s playing time, as he and Lawrence will just switch roles in an offense that will still revolve around both players.
Swinney also dispels the notion that this move means he does not believe his team can win with Bryant at QB. He also addressed the decision to withhold both players from the media this week:
Swinney on People Outside the Program Creating QB Controversy
The Clemson Tigers play the Syracuse Orange on Saturday, in a game where the home team will try to avenge its only regular season loss from a season ago. Swinney stopped short of calling it a “revenge game” but noted that the Tigers created a lot of their own peril by bad mistakes last year in Central New York.
The Head Coach said he was proud of how the loss did not define his team, and that they were able to play undefeated football until the College Football Playoff while the Orange did not win another game the rest of the year.
Swinney still believes the group coming into Death Valley has the talent to make things just as tough as last year’s matchup:
Swinney on Syracuse
Saturday’s opponent offers a stark contrast to what Clemson has faced over much of the season, as they will see a much more uptempo attack compared to the methodical option-oriented offenses they’ve seen in three of the first four weeks.
Swinney says the team’s depth will be ultimately tested on Saturday:
Swinney on Depth and Overall Team Health
Clemson and Syracuse face off at noon Saturday on ABC.