Clemson will make its first appearance in Chapel Hill since 2010 this Saturday and the game will give Dabo Swinney a chance to match wits with one of the elder statesmen in the game. Mack Brown is in his second go-round as head coach of the Tar Heels and he’s hoping to restore them to a level of relevance in the ACC. He’s already beaten USC this season, and Swinney said Tuesday if his guys don’t play well, they, too, could become upset victims. The Tigers have won six of the last seven meetings with the Tar Heels and they are favored by 27 points for the 3:30 kickoff on ABC.
Some key notes from Swinney’s press conference:
- Said UNC is 2-2 but could easily be 4-0. You can see the influence of the new staff with the Tar Heels, they play really hard. Very capable of beating the Tigers. Turnovers hurt them last week vs Appalachian State. Very well coached, excellent scheme on defense.
- UNC is young on offense but has been very explosive, lots of big plays, compares Howell to Baker Mayfield, he has moxie and is savy and makes a lot of plays with his legs.
- When the game has been on the line, Howell has been very good. Thinks this is the best group of backs they’ve seen and they roll them in and out.
- They’ve got to do a good job in the passing game against the running backs, and they like to push the passing game down the field, have to quarterback contain in scramble situations.
- Looking forward to going to Chapel Hill, has been there just once in his 17 years at Clemson, said he did a terrible job with his team in 2010 on what he called a miserable night at Keenan Stadium. (Clemson lost 21-16)
- OL Blake Vinson will have surgery to repair the patella injury in his knee, out for the season. He redshirted as a freshman and can get this year back and have a 6th year if he wants it.
Dabo Swinney’s opening comments on the North Carolina game
Swinney further breaks down the Tar Heel offense
Swinney on what he wants to see from his team vs UNC