Dabo Swinney continues to find appreciation in the fact that Clemson has kept up its same level of success when much wasn’t expected of them nationally.
The Tigers have kept the train moving, with an 11-1 season and poised to play in a third straight ACC Championship Game with another shot at the College Football Playoff waiting in the wings.
The Tigers have not played Miami since 2015, back when the Tigers blew out the Hurricanes 58-0, in a game that indicates how much progress Miami Head Coach Mark Richt has made at Miami.
Dabo Swinney feels that the matchup with Miami is a good one, and will give a true showcase of the league, and who deserves to be on top of it.
Swinney on Miami
Swinney has experience with coaching against Richt from his time at Georgia, when the Tigers played the Bulldogs in a home-and-home in 2013 and 2014.
Clemson’s head man says Richt’s instant success is no surprise given his pedigree and the access to talent he has recruiting at Miami.
Swinney on Richt
A big topic of conversation this week centers on Dabo Swinney’s assistant coaches as Brent Venables and Tony Elliott are in the news for two completely different reasons.
Venables has been named in connection with Head Coaching vacancies at Arkansas and Mississippi State, while Elliott is finalist for the Frank Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top football assistant. Clemson’s defensive coordinator Venables won the award last year and is now ineligible to win for the next five years.
Swinney addressed both men, and also reflected on how gratifying the journey with this team has been:
Swinney on Venables, Elliott and the journey
As Tigers quarterback Kelly Bryant embarks on his first ACC Championship Game as a starter, he does so having had a front seat to the last two behind Deshaun Watson.
Bryant also comes into the Charlotte showdown playing his best football of the year after a down period in the NC State and Florida State games.
Swinney says there’s been no doubt since last Spring that Bryant gives them the best chance to win, and he’s done a great job by not trying to be “The next Watson”.
Swinney on Kelly Bryant
Coming into this week, most of the attention will be focused on Miami’s defense, from their FBS-leading turnover margin to the chain that represents that success.
Swinney believes Clemson’s defense deserves its due as well, especially after having to dip deep into its depth at linebacker and in secondary without losing productivity.
Swinney on Defensive Depth
Clemson and Miami meet in Charlotte for the ACC Championship on Saturday at 8 PM.