Top-ranked Clemson had to work harder than normal last Saturday in defeating Syracuse, and that game left the Tigers a bit bruised. Coach Dabo Swinney said Tuesday starting MIKE linebacker James Skalski, who missed the Syracuse game, will be out indefinitely due to a groin injury which will require arthroscopic surgery. Swinney also said he’s not sure if they’ll have starting defensive tackle Tyler Davis back this week, and starting SAM linebacker Mike Jones is day to day. The Tigers face Boston College at home Saturday, a team Swinney said that will play a very physical offensive style starting with quarterback Phil Jurkovec. He will line up behind an offensive line that averages 308 pounds per man. The Eagles are coming off a win over Georgia Tech and are 4-2 under first year coach Jeff Hafley, the former offensive coordinator at Ohio State.
Other key notes from Swinney’s press conference:
- BC is going to be a tough team, a well coached team, they are playing hard and with confidence, they are doing a great job of figuring out their strengths and playing to those strengths.
- Big, physical offensive line at BC and they are well coached. Difference in BC now to the past is throwing the ball all over the place, and with a lot of different looks, hard to get quarterback on the ground and can make all the throws.
- All three BC running backs can run, tight end is the leading receiver, big, strong targets, well coached on defense, well positioned, couple of transfers up front who have really helped, they are relentless getting to the ball.
- Very confident DT Tyler Davis will be back soon, progressing well.
- LB Mike Jones is day to day, could play, may not play, hope to have him back this week.
- DE Justin Foster remains out, hopeful of getting him back at some point this season.
- BC QB Phil Jurkovec is really tough as a runner, hard to bring down, a different type of challenge from what they’ve had, they use him in run game a lot.
- LB Jake Venables is a good player and did a good job filling in for Skalski last week, McGuire and Bentley also played well last week and will get more work.
- BC TE is a strong receiver, very competitive, plays big, he’s a security blanket for them, they will find him, a big challenge for their defense.
- SAF Nolan Turner is as good a player as he’s had at Clemson, he’s playing as well as any safety they’ve ever had at Clemson. Turner as a good example of developing a player over time and how the ratings system in recruiting is more about pure talent than a football foundation.
- They are a developmental program, not a quick-fix program, that’s how he’s chosen to do it there. That’s why he doesn’t want to be involved with transfers coming in if he doesn’t have to, but knows with the ease in restrictions might have to look at it.
Dabo Swinney press conference previewing Boston College