Sept. 22, 2009
CLEMSON, SC – Video of Head Coach www.clemsontigers.com via TigerCast on Tuesday, September 22. The press conference will begin at 11:00 a.m. and is free to all viewers.
Coach Swinney’s weekly press conference will be broadcast live on TigerCast each week throughout the 2009 season. Sign up today and watch Coach Swinney preview the game with the media each week!
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Swinney Press Conference – September 22, 11:00 AM
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Swinney Press Conference Quotes
Opening Statement “We have a big opportunity this week with TCU. Just looking at these guys they are a really good football team. It is pretty obvious when you turn on the film. They are outstanding in every phase of the game. They are well coached.
“You can tell that the staff has been together for a while, it is obvious that they are all on the same page. This is a good opportunity to determine where we are mentally and physically because this is a team that is going to challenge us. This is a team that has been the seventh winningest team in the country since 2005.
“They are a very consistent program. They recruit to a certain philosophy. They coach a certain way and have just done a tremendous job. It is a good opportunity for us to check the oil and see where we are. I am excited about that.
“Games like this are fun. Obviously it is not a conference game so you win and it doesn’t help you in the conference, you lose it and it doesn’t hurt you either. This is fun because as a competitor you like to play against the best and this is one of the top teams in the country.
“It is also a unique opportunity and experience for me. It is really neat for me to be able to pick up their media guide and see a picture of my high school coach who was the head coach at TCU team for three years, Billy Tohill (1971-73). He is just as tough a hard-nosed guy I have ever been around in my life. He used to wear TCU stuff and talked about his time as a head coach there, so it was pretty neat to see his picture in the media guide.”
“Offensively they are very tough, hardnosed bunch that wants to run the ball on offense. They are going to line up and try to come right at you. They have 10 guys back who have started. It really just depends on what personnel group they put out on the first play of the game. They have multiple personnel groupings and have 10 guys that have played a lot of football, including the quarterback (Andy Dalton) who is a three-year starter.
“He makes them go. He is the key to what they do and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He is a very smart guy. There are a bunch of veterans up front on the offensive line. The running back, Joseph Turner, is their workhorse. He is averaging 97 yards a game, but the biggest stat on him is he is getting 8.5 yards per carry. That is a tall task and a big challenge for our defense. We are going to have to contain him.
“They have a lot of skill guys. They are all over the field, a bunch of veterans that have played. Ryan Christian is a receiver who looks a lot like Tyler Grisham. That is the kind of player he is. They are a very good bunch offensively. The two things that are critical for us are stopping the run and winning first downs. Those are going to be key battles for us defensively.
“Their defense is very physical and very fast. It looks a lot like Florida State, and a lot like our defense for that matter. These guys are very fast and extremely physical. They have six guys back that have started.
“They have been one of the top defenses in the country. They led the nation in total defense last year and ranked second in rushing defense allowing just 43 yards a game. If we only get 43 yards rushing, it will be a long afternoon for the Tigers.
“They are very well coached. They have Jerry Hughes, a consensus All-American at defensive end. He is the real deal, as good a player as you will see nationally. He had 15 sacks last year and already has 4.5 this year. He is fast, has great get-off speed, and good power for his size too. We will have our hands full with him.
“Defensively they have a bunch of all-conference veterans back there. The two corners are outstanding, the safety is a special player and Daryl Washington as good as anyone we play at linebacker. We have to be able to run the ball and create some opportunities through that.
“A game like this is pretty simple. I think both teams will play extremely hard. This should be a great ball game Saturday. We have a football team that is playing with great effort on both sides of the ball. We have not always had great execution, but great effort and that gives you a chance to win every single day. A game like this is probably going to come down to turnovers, field position and special teams. That is probably what is going to decide it. I am looking forward to it.”
Enthusiasm for Non-Conference Opponent that is Ranked “I like it. The players like it and the fans like it. . We play a good conference schedule every year and we are going to play South Carolina who is a great out of conference opponent every year. I think it is good that we step out of conference and play some good teams. Next year we are going to play Auburn. We will play at least two SEC teams every year from 2010 to 2016.
“I think it gives you a measure of where you are and where you want to go. This is a team out of a completely different conference that we don’t see. It is interesting when you study the film and see different styles of play from their opponents defensively and offensively. It is exciting.
On the Flu Epidemic “So far this morning we didn’t have any additional problems with the flu. Everybody is doing okay. I think we will get through it. It seems like it hasn’t been a prolonged deal. Most guys got sick over the weekend with the exception of Jarvis Jenkins who got sick yesterday afternoon. We are doing preventative things to try and contain it as much as we can. We are certainly going to have our issues just like everyone else.”
On Getting Parker Refocused “He certainly didn’t play his best game, but he is a freshman. We are going to have some wild moments from him and you are going to have some where he is just going to make mistakes. Experience is a precious thing and comes from making a lot of mistakes. That is what wisdom comes from. He is getting experience every day, every practice but he is a competitive guys.
“His mistakes are very correctable and we look forward to him bouncing back and having a great game. In that type of game I didn’t want to screw it up and they were having a hard time. The only way they were going to move the ball was if we gave them the ball so we didn’t do a whole lot in the second half other than just let the air out of the ball and sit on it and just play good defense and field position and kick field goals. He will bounce back and play well.”
Fix Errors in Red-Zone “I have looked at everything and we are not really having any problem moving the ball on normal downs out in the field until we get down there. It is across the board, it is not one player or position. It is a tight end who has laid off the ball, or a lineman, or quarterback with poor cadence, a back lined up too deep but it is a critical error. Across the board we have had some issues.
“The good news is it is all things we can get better at. It is not like we are getting whipped or they got us. We just have to eliminate the critical error so we have a chance. The other thing too is you have to take some shots to score touchdowns in the red zone. It is hard to just run it in sometimes in the red zone. You have to open it up a little bit and take some shots. We have been pretty conservative but to me that is smart football. When you have a defense like ours and a kicker that has a lot of confidence points are precious.”
Will Hairston practice today? “Probably not. He will be out there and practice mentally. That is a big part of it too. The good thing about Chris is he is as smart a player as we have. He is a very sharp kid, gets it and understands the big picture. He can take it from the film room and go play on Saturday. That is a bonus.
“So mentally he will practice and hopefully tomorrow or Thursday maybe he can do some things, but you just don’t know until you see because something is going to get better everyday. But hopefully he will be ready Saturday. Even if he doesn’t do anything until Saturday he is capable of going in and performing.”
Play of Defense “That is the second best game ever in Clemson history in terms of holding a conference opponent in total defense. Boston College is a good team. They have big strong guys up front and they have been able to run the ball. This is the same team that beat Florida State last year and it was a completely dominant performance by our defense.
“They played with great effort and that is what I am most proud of is our kids have bought into it and play with great effort. Defensively, that performance is something that will be remembered around here for hopefully a long time.
On Sapp “He has had three really good ball games. He is 16th in the nation in tackles for loss. He is doing a great job of leading. He is a very mature young man. He has a lot of confidence and is playing with a chip on his should. I think he is just having fun playing. It is good to see. I am really proud of him. He is on his way to having quite a year.”
On Richard Jackson “This spring Spencer Benton was the most consistent guy, he has a cannon for a leg and obviously Richard can. It is one thing to go out there and kick it and it is another to kick it with confidence. This is a guy right now that is in the zone. He has a lot of confidence. He is another one of those guys that has been through a lot and matured and feels good about himself. He feels good about the hard work he has put in and the things he has overcome. I just couldn’t be more proud. He has turned into a weapon for us and gives us the ability to get those three points and with the defense like we have three points is like a touchdown.
On C.J. Spiller “I don’t think anybody in this room or in our stadium really appreciates what C.J. has done so far this year, or in his career at Clemson. This guy is a once in a lifetime guy. He is special. He needs two return yards and 12 receiving yards to be the first player in the history of our conference to have 2500 rushing, 1500 returning and 1000 receiving yards. That is absolutely incredible to me because he has had to share time with a guy for three years.
“It just shows you how dynamic he is. He can just impact the game in so many ways. He is just as complete player as you can be. When you turn the film on he picked up a blitz in the BC game and jacked that linebacker up. He is just doing a super job for us in every area. I am really proud of CJ. He has a little bum toe and he just plays right through it. He doesn’t complain, doesn’t say anything.”
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