Dabo Swinney addressed the media at his weekly press conference, Tuesday. Clemson is 8-0 and expected to have no problem with FCS-level Wofford, but Swinney remembers how tough the Terriers were on the Tigers during their last meeting, “We got booed going off the field at halftime … We were wondering who kidnapped our quarterback (Tajh Boyd). But Tajh settled in and played a great second half.”
Clemson went on to win that 2011 game 35-27 behind Boyd and 165 yards rushing from Andre Ellington. The 2011 Tigers team also featured wide receivers Sammy Watkins, Deandre Hopkins and Martavis Bryant, tight end Dwayne Allen and defensive linemen Andre Branch and Vic Beasley. Wofford’s Mike Ayers had a knack for utilizing option elements to overcome talent deficits like the one he faced that day. But this group of Tigers has been harder to fool. Brent Venables has schooled his defense well against option attacks and had no trouble with Georgia Tech in Paul Johnson’s final four seasons. It should be noted, however, Josh Conklin has since replaced Ayers at Wofford and installed variations to the offense including more downfield passing.
Clemson will play host to Wofford at 4 p.m., Saturday. The Tigers are a 47-point favorite.
Notes from Dabo Swinney press conference
- Coach Swinney said his team has practiced well all season except two days leading up to the North Carolina game.
- Concerns facing option elements: We do have a lot of young guys here seeing their first option offense. We have to be disciplined and if you’re not good on the back end, they can scheme you up with play-action
- On defense: It’s all started with good play from our linebackers. And we’ve got a lot of grown men in the secondary. Last year it was led in the front of the defense, but this year it’s been led from the back.
- On Xavier Thomas: Xavier looked good last night but his status is yet to be determined. We’ll find out if he can put the pads and practice tomorrow and Thursday.
- On watching former Clemson players in the NFL: I’m never surprised by Deshaun (Watson). He’s a guy you’d better get on the ground … Love seeing our former guys playing at next level. Of course, (Hunter) Renfrow got his first touchdown, Sunday. They’re opponents now but they’ll always have that Clemson bond and that’s pretty cool.
Dabo Swinney press conference