Talking Tuesday: Swinney looking for a big close to the season’s “fourth-quarter” but wary of incoming Hurricanes (AUDIO) #Clemson

Trevor Lawrence led Clemson past Miami in 2020 42-17 in Death Valley (Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports)

Clemson: Dabo Swinney prides himself on his team finishing a season strong, winning the “fourth-quarter” as it may. Under Swinney, the Tigers are 60-14 in the months of November and December. Since 2016 Clemson holds a 31-3 record in those two months.

The Tigers are 1-1 thus far in November of this season with two games left, Miami this Saturday and USC the next. At his press conference Tuesday, Swinney pressed the point about his team winning the “fourth-quarter” of the season and carrying that momentum into the postseason.

The Tigers are 9-1 and will clinch a 12th straight ten-win season by beating the Hurricanes. Miami is only 5-5 and coming off a win over Georgia Tech. They’ve had injuries at quarterback that leaves the starting job open to interpretation. Plus, it’s Miami, so the roster is filled with athletic South Florida talent. All of that gives Swinney reason for worry about this Saturday.

The Tigers have won the last three games in the series by a combined score of 138-20. The series is tied at six games apiece. Clemson is favored by 19.5 points for the 3:30 kickoff on ESPN.

Key comments from Swinney

  • Another big challenge in Miami, Hurricanes coming off a win over Georgia Tech, lots of unknowns with three quarterbacks playing, probably get a top running back back, former Tiger receiver Frank Ladson now with Miami, fast and aggressive on defense.
  • Swinney: Miami leads the nation in kickoff return, new coach, they are kind of working their way back, coming off a win so they have some confidence.
  • Looking for his team to clean up some mistakes, better ball security, attention to detail on defense with guys not busting their assignments.
  • Not too concerned with Shipley turnovers, he’s got to be who he is and cut it loose, but needs to be aware of the fundamentals to better hold on to the ball.
  • Mafah had a play last week that lasted over 15 seconds, shows how physical he is, how relentless and tough he is, Spiller has done a great job with running backs, best part of the team right now.
  • Saw in his linebackers last week what he’s been looking for, thought Trotter set the tone for the group. Thought guys up front really brought it. Thought Wiggins had his most physical game.
  • Malcolm Greene is out and is having a procedure on his groin; Collins practiced and is looking better; Venables is out; Simpson is day to day; Pace is close to being back and appears ready to play; Thomas in good spirits after his foot surgery Monday.
  • It’s tougher when you lose a game late, but it’s hard to win and it’s hard to be 9-1, not many one loss teams out there, they forget all that good stuff you’ve done when you lose late.
  • Miami has some dudes, long, physical, they can run and they are a very athletic group.
  • Tony Elliott will do as good a job as anyone in handling the situation at Virginia, about as tough a situation you can be in as a coach, Elliott’s life experiences and his faith will be a plus in this situation, he’s special.
  • Plenty of respect for Miami, those guys are capable of lining up on any given day and beating anyone.

Dabo Swinney previews the Miami game

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