Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Tuesday at his weekly press conference there will be no let up by any member of his team as they prepare to host Syracuse for Homecoming Saturday night. Unlike the last two opponents who presented something to rally around (highly ranked defenses), the Orange aren’t the kind of team this season that would get the juices of a team like Clemson flowing. But Swinney wants no excuses and is outwardly approaching this game like any of the big games on the schedule such as Georgia, Florida State and USC.
Here are some of Swinney’s key comments from his presser:
- Syracuse has had some tough losses but is a good team. They are coming off their best game of the season at Wake Forest.
- Syracuse lost their starting quarterback but seems to have found their guy in the freshman who is now the quarterback.
- AJ Long has made some nice throws and the ball comes out quick. Feels the secondary will be challenged.
- Syracuse is very aggressive on offense and defense. Feels they are better on defense this year than last year.
- Everybody is back at practice this week from this past weekend except for Choice and Leggett.
- Dye was back in practice last week and looked good. Didn’t tackle him. This week the doctors have cut him loose.
- Thought Cole Stoudt played well at Boston College. Played with leadership, poise and confidence.
- Deshaun Watson will return as the starting quarterback when he’s healthy. He’s the starting quarterback.
- I think we’re a really good team and could be a great team by the end of the year. This is a fun group to coach.
Clemson won last year at Syracuse 49-14 as Tajh Boyd threw for 455 yards and 5 touchdowns.
In the only other meeting between the teams,, Syracuse won 41-0 in the 1996 Gator Bowl.
The Orange are 3-4 and coming off a 30-7 win at Wake Forest in which they scored 1 offensive touchdown.
A win will make this senior class the most successful in ACC play in school history with 25 league victories.
Clemson’s defense is ranked in the top 20 nationally in 15 different categories.
Tigers are #1 in tackle for loss yardage and 3rd down conversions.
WR Mike Williams leads the nation in yards per reception at 22.4.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson is #1 nationally in passing yards per attempt and #2 in passing efficiency.
Clemson has played the same five offensive linemen every snap of the last two games, first time for that since 1987.
Syracuse has allowed only 5 sacks this season.