Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney met with the media Tuesday ahead of the Tigers’ home opener against SC State. Swinney updated injury news, discussed the critical errors he and his staff saw in film review and shared why he thinks this team still has a chance to be one of the best in in Clemson history.
Here are some key comments from Swinney:
- Wide receiver E.J. Williams has decided to put off surgery (ligament) and will try to tape up his thumb and play.
- Offensive lineman Mason Trotter will be available but will be “clubbed up,” meaning he won’t be able to snap and will move to guard.
- Safety Landenn Zanders is out for the season (shoulder), but Swinney is pleased with the depth at that position.
- Safety Nolan Turner is still unavailable but is expected to return by the Georgia Tech game.
- Football rewards precision and attention to detail. That was the difference in the game. But games like that make you better.
- Not worried about this team. Could still be one of the better teams they’ve had around here. Need to clean up mistakes. If they’d won 10-3, they’d have the same problems.
- Feels good about DJ Uiagalelei despite the poor numbers. Thinks he will grow from mistakes.
- Really pleased with play of defensive line and linebackers . Fit the run game and held up against a really good offensive line. One play was the difference. Our guys gave up three and they gave up three.
- Love the way our team has responded and recognizing what the mistakes were.
- Points out critical errors relating to missed blocks and miscommunication w/receivers early on in game. Didn’t play with the precision and attention to detail necessary to beat a great defense. “They were more consistent than we were.”
- On play-calling: We should have hung in there on the run game a little more.
- Slot receiver Justyn Ross “didn’t do the little things well” and “didn’t have a great game from an execution standpoint.” But Swinney told him he was happy to see him on the field so he could make those mistakes. “I’ll win and lose with that guy any day.” He’s locked in. He’s mad. Just one of them days. He’ll bounce back and he’ll have a great year.
- The last 12 days of practice before Georgia game, wide receiver Joseph Ngata was awesome and he carried right into game day.
On SC State
- Respects SC State’s Buddy Pough as a person and a head coach.
- Looking forward to getting more players in the game this week.
- Happy for the last two freshman classes that will experience Death Valley at full capacity for the first time.