Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney held his first regular season news conference Tuesday in the team meeting room of the West Zone at Memorial Stadium and proclaimed his team ready for the opener Saturday afternoon against North Texas State at Death Valley. Swinney said the Tigers had a good practice Monday night and would have a physical practice Tuesday. The Tigers are better than three touchdown favortes to defeat the Mean Green which has won just five games in four years under Todd Dodge.
Swinney did not make any major news during his 35 minute briefing. He said he expected someone to emerge from his receiver group as someone has always done in recent years. He expects Marcus Gilchrist will be a fine replacement in the return game for CJ Spiller and Jacoby Ford. And he said the team is not looking past the first two games, North Texas and Presbyterian, to the truly first big game which is at Auburn in week three.
- North Texas QB Riley Dodge is the coach’s son. He completed 67% of his passes as a freshman two seasons ago. But a shoulder injury last season forced him to give up quarterbacking duties and he moved to receiver.
- North Texas running back Lance Dunbar rushed for 1378 yards last season, 15th best in the country.
- North Texas returns six of its top eight tacklers from last season. Eight junior college players have joined the defense this season.
- Clemson has won 20 of its last 26 season openers.
AUDIO: Dabo Swinney news conference
AUDIO: Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele
AUDIO: Tight end Dwayne Allen
AUDIO:Defensive end Da’Quan Bowers
AUDIO: Free safety Rashard Hall
AUDIO: Running back Andre Ellington