Talking Tuesday: Swinney previews #Clemson vs. FSU (AUDIO)

Clemson’s Will Shipley rushed for 121 yards on 20 carries in last season’s victory over Florida State

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney addressed the media, Tuesday, as his team continues in its preparations for this weekend’s matchup against fourth-ranked Florida State. Swinney devoted his opening statement to how difficult it will be to defend the Seminoles’ assortment of weapons, including FSU’s athletic quarterback Jordan Travis. Travis has thrown for eight touchdowns and spearheaded an attack that’s dropped 47.3 points/game through the first three weeks.

Among the weapons that has Swinney concerned are FSU receivers Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson. Wilson is averaging 19.0 yards/reception and Coleman has already posted four touchdowns.

It remains to be seen if Clemson’s defense will be at full strength, Saturday. Safety Andrew Mukuba has missed the last two games and hasn’t been cleared for action, yet. The Tigers are also waiting on the status of right guard Walker Parks. Swinney said, “They’re with us working, and I’d still say they’re day-to-day. But we’ll see.”

In recent years, Clemson has often entered this game as the favorite while Florida State has been in a rebuild. This season, however, the roles have shifted somewhat. FSU has climbed its way up the polls and the Tigers are unranked thanks to an opening-season loss at Duke.

Clemson knocked off the Seminoles in Tallahassee last season, 34-28, the Tigers’ seventh straight win in the series. Prior to the season, Clemson was picked to finish first in the conference by the ACC media and the Noles were picked second. We’ll find out where things stand in reality when the rivalry is renewed in Death Valley at noon, Saturday.

Some key comments by Swinney:

  • Swinney praises FSU’s offense, calling QB Jordan Travis a great creator. Makes explosive plays with both his arm and his legs. They run a million screens, 14 (WR Johnny Wilson) and 4 (WR Keon Coleman) are special talents
  • Points out that even when FSU was struggling, it’s always been a difficult game …. just like when #Clemson was 5-4 and they were ranked no. 3, this game has so much passion, intensity and familiarity, it’s one of those games that’s always big
  • Says they’re not worried about the rankings. There’s no chip on their shoulder about that. They don’t give trophies out after 3 games. There’s several teams that are ranked now that won’t be at the end and vice versa
  • On bringing K Jonathan Weitz back: It’s either going to be a great story or it’s going to be terrible … He’s not some guy off the street, well, I guess he is now. But he was with the program for four years. He was supposed to be moving into his new apt. and starting a new job in NYC in two weeks
  • Jonathan Weitz will start on FGs and Robert Gunn III will handle kickoffs/long-range FGs
  • With Weitz coming back in cold and Gunn struggling, Swinney says he hopes this week’s game doesn’t come down to a kick. “I don’t think my heart could take that”

Dabo Swinney Tuesday press conference

Running back Domonique Thomas

Safety RJ Mickens

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