The Clemson Tigers have had a lot of practice winning over the course of the last three years, but they get a chance at revenge this week against one of their few blemishes over Dabo Swinney’s latest tenure.
The Pittsburgh Panthers are the last team to defeat the Clemson Tigers at Death Valley two years ago, and as Swinney stated, the only ACC team that his senior class has a losing record against (0-2).
As they get ready to meet in Saturday’s ACC Championship Game, Swinney sees a team similar to Boston College in variety, but more based at wide receiver as opposed to tight end.
He also sees a defense that is going to play physical in its pass coverage, meaning the Tigers will have to win a lot of one-on-one matchups in order to capture their fourth straight ACC title:
Swinney on Pittsburgh
Clemson comes into the game against Pittsburgh with a lot of confidence on the offensive side, compared to a defense that had what Swinney termed “their worst performance since I’ve been here”.
He said much of the credit for that output should go to their opponent, South Carolina, but he also outlined some areas where they need to be better as the games raise in their importance:
Swinney on Defensive Adjustments
The Tigers’ defense, captained by Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables, has only come under fire in certain scenarios this season.
In Week Two, Kellen Mond’s ability to move around the pocket and extend plays made the game against Texas A&M a dog-fight, while the similar skill set of Syracuse’s Eric Dungey also moved the Orange closer than expected to Clemson.
South Carolina’s 600 yards against Clemson represented a season-high for yards allowed, while Jake Bentley’s 510 yards represented the highest total ever for an SEC quarterback against a Top-Five team.
Venables has had contact with Texas Tech regarding their head-coaching vacancy, but said Monday he was not actively pursuing the job:
Venables on Texas Tech Rumors
Swinney lent a window into the many faces of Venables, not just on the field but behind the scenes, along with another vocabulary lesson from Will Palaszczuk:
Swinney on Brent Venables
Finally, Swinney addresses his well-publicized comments from Sunday’s teleconference, talking about the danger of complacency with his fanbase.
Swinney clarified his stance, saying he does not want to be a part of a program where “winning isn’t fun” or “isn’t enough”:
Swinney clarifies his Sunday comments about fans