It’s Talking Tuesday on a Thursday for #Clemson coach Dabo Swinney (AUDIO)

Dabo Swinney addresses the media Thursday at Clemson

It might say Thursday on the calendar, but at the Clemson football office, today is a Tuesday. With the Tigers not playing until Monday night, their weekly routine had to be adjusted to fit the day of the game. Thus, today is like a Tuesday and Dabo Swinney had his weekly press session with the media. The Tigers will play at Duke Monday night in their first matchup with the Blue Devils since 2018. Clemson has won the last five meetings.

Some key comments from Swinney Tuesday:

  • Tough opener, lot of respect for Mike Elko, lots of unknowns going into an opener because no preseason games, it’s on the road and a conference game, huge opportunity for both teams, playing a very good team with a lot of experience.
  • Duke is an experienced team and they are an experience team, will be a lot of fun to be a part of, they have one goal and that’s to win the opener, he’s not had a championship team that didn’t win the opener.
  • Elko defenses rarely are out of position, rarely beat themselves, plays hard, you have to finish drives, they take the ball away at a high rate and do a good job taking care of the ball.
  • Facing a quarterback in Leonard who is a really good player, he’s an accurate thrower who can make all the throws, and he’s an excellent runner who can extend plays and make yards with his legs, he’s a problem with his running.
  • Great opportunity for them Monday night to see where they are as a team because they are playing a complete team.
  • Proud of how his team showed up every day in camp. Feels like they had just one bad day in camp where they had to be coach-led.
  • Very interested to see how the offensive line plays, he hopes they win because of them, says people don’t expect much from the OL so he wants them to show everyone what they can do.
  • They have good depth on their offensive line, sees Sadler and Mayes as starters as well, they have up to nine who can play, feels they have six legit tackles who can play winning football.
  • Leigh was a long, long way from being ready to play when he arrived as a freshman, thought they had made a big miss with him, but he’s worked very hard and turned everything around, improved his strength, overall body physique, he comes in early and works late.
  • Best football is ahead for Leigh but he’s ready to play, expects him to be a consistent performer throughout the season, compares his development to how former DE KJ Henry developed throughout his career, and he’s now in the NFL.
  • Stellato missed all of camp but he’s good now, has practiced for the last week, getting over a hamstring, looked good for a guy who has not played the last two seasons, can help them when available.
  • Wants Klubnik to be smart when running the ball, get out of bounds or get down when he can, but sometimes he’s got to get the tough yards and he will be asked to do that, not going to run QB power 15 times but expects him to be physical in the run game when needed.
  • Thinks this is the fastest team they’ve had from a metric position, thinks they have guys who can run across the board, feels good about where they are athletically.
  • Pocket presence was an area Klubnik needed to improve on, and he’s gotten better with that, he’s very poised in the pocket now, the game has slowed down for him.

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