Top ranked Clemson is ready to focus on football games. After an off-season of a pandemic, national social unrest and player activism, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Tuesday it’s time to do what they have all come together to do, and that’s when football games. The Tigers begin their quest for another ACC Championship and a spot in the CFP Saturday night at Wake Forest. They are 33 point favorites for the 7:30 PM kickoff on ABC.
Here are some of the key points from Swinney’s Zoom conference with the media Tuesday morning:
- Team has embraced the concept that every day is opening day. This year has been like none other, probably more excited about this opener than any other because of everything they’ve had to do to get there.
- This is a very close football team and he can’t wait to see what they can do. Feels his players have followed thru with the culture of his program.
- Wake Forest has been a tough team to beat at home. A well coached team, lot of respect for Coach Clawson. The two have spent a lot of time together since March in meetings.
- Wake Forest has 9 defensive starters returning, and on offense one of the most unique schemes they will face. Lot of respect for quarterback Sam Hartman. Can beat you with arm or feet. Wake Forest plays physically.
- Said of his team, it’s a special group, no team he’s had has had to battle through the things this team has, very close, communicates well.
- Said it’s good to have Notre Dame in the league this year, will now have to pay attention to the Irish every week, instead of just the week when they play.
- He’s not concerned about the extra responsibilities Lawrence has taken upon himself as a leading voice for college football players. Said he has been a leader since day once and is mature enough to handle it.
- Looking forward to seeing how the second group of offensive linemen perform Saturday. He feels good about the first group but needs to see what the young guys in group two can do.
- Brandon Streeter has told him who he wants to run out second at quarterback, he did not reveal, but he feels good about both backups, all three quarterbacks are getting reps in the fall.
- Next level for Lawrence in his performance will be complete ownership of all the details of a game. The game slowing down, not getting fooled.
- Very excited for Cornell Powell and how he has grown as a football player, and he’s earned the opportunity.
- Reaction to reports about Jacksonville Jags tanking season to draft Lawrence and hire him as coach, said he had a laugh about it with Lawrence and they joked about it.
- Normally he’s transparent on injuries and illness, but he said this is a unique year, he said they’ll have a few guys not able to play for a variety of reasons related to Covid, probably be the case day to day and week to week.