Clemson will play at Pitt Saturday afternoon for the first time ever, and the Tigers will go in as the underdog at Heinz Field. Oddsmakers originally made Clemson a three-point favorite, but by Monday the line had shifted to the Panthers as 3.5-point favorites. That’s a rare position for Dabo Swinney and the Tigers to be in, but Swinney knows his team has not lived up to the billing this season and upsetting Pitt would put them back on the right track.
Some key comments from Swinney’s press conference:
- Highly impressed with Pitt QB Kenny Pickett, excellent receivers, experienced offensive line.
- Best offense they have seen, very physical group, have to match their physicality. On defense, they are an aggressive group and will challenge you.
- His team has some guys who need to be in Calculus, and they are still in arithmetic.
- Knows there’s a lot of outside noise about the offense, something they are fighting thru right now, can’t let that stuff get into the team and they’ve done good job blocking it out.
- Frank Ladson is day to day, EJ Williams responded well to his knee scope, nothing major found.
- Proud of center Mason Trotter, thought he played well except for the bad snap, can’t get continuity on the line with all the constant changing.
- They are running the ball well and that helps the passing game, but not completing the big plays down the field, haven’t been able to pit it all together but feels like they will, they have all they need to be a great team.
- Joseph Charleston came to him last week and told him he wanted a fresh start, said he’s kind of numb to all the transferring, liked Charleston, injuries set him back and some younger guys have stepped up.
- On his name being mentioned with LSU, he said the only Death Valley he’s concerned about is the one at Clemson.