Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel addressed the media, Wednesday, in the Orange Bowl kickoff press conference from Miami, Fl. Both coaches shared their memories of early Orange Bowl experiences. For Heupel, that was as a star quarterback on Oklahoma’s 2000 national championship team. Swinney’s first taste of the Orange Bowl came as an assistant under Gene Stallings when Alabama squared off with Michigan in Tom Brady’s final collegiate game.
The two coaches also shared their mutual admiration for one another and their programs. Swinney is impressed with how quickly Heupel has “made Tennessee Tennessee again.” Both coaches also expressed how important it is for their teams to finish strong and springboard into next season with an Orange Bowl victory. We’ll find out which of these top-10 teams finishes strongest when the Tigers and the Volunteers lock horns at Hard Rock Stadium on Dec. 30th at 8 p.m.
Key comments from Dabo Swinney
- On prepping his team for bowl games: Less is more in these types of games. One of my biggest mistakes as a head coach was trying to do too much
- If you’re playing Tennessee, you’d better score or you won’t have a chance. I don’t think it will be a 6-3 game. 35 might not do it
- On why Orange Bowl is important to program: Postseason is always important. Only four teams go to the playoff … To compete at the highest level, seniors get a chance to display their talent and young players get this big game experience
- This is like a playoff game. Both teams have been in the mix all season