Nov. 8, 2011
CLEMSON, SC – Video of Head Coach ClemsonTigers.com via TigerCast on Tuesday, November 8. The press conference will begin at 11:00 a.m.
Coach Swinney’s weekly press conference will be broadcast live on TigerCast each week throughout the 2011 season.
Click on the link below to watch the press conference on TigerCast:
Swinney Press Conference – November 8, 11:00 AM
Swinney Press Conference Transcript
Opening Statement: “It’s good to get back to work today. It’s been a good open date. We’ve gotten healthy which was our number-one objective. A lot of guys benefitted from time off. I noticed last night at practice that the guys had a spring in their step that they hadn’t had in awhile.
“It’s good to get back out there and I’m ready to get going. I like watching games, but I’d rather be a part of it. I’m glad to be back in Death Valley this week for the last time this year. Our fans have been great. I hope they go ahead and come in on Friday and we’ll get this thing rolling. I’m excited for the atmosphere our fans are going to create.
“This is the biggest game of the year. It’s the only game we can control at this point. We have a chance to play for the division title and that’s the goal we’ve been working toward. It’s our next goal. We have a chance to play for it on senior day and it’s a chance to be undefeated at home.
“Only one other team in school history won seven home games (1987). Wake Forest has had a really good year. They were capable of winning all their games. North Carolina got away from them a little because of turnovers, but they always compete. They compete with all they have. This is a tough out.
“We’ll get the best they have and our guys know that. They’re improved offensively and they’re very balanced. They have a veteran offensive line and a quarterback who isn’t making a lot of mistakes. Tailback Brandon Pendergrass is a strong runner. Chris Givens, Michael Campanaro, and Danny Dembry are great receivers. Givens makes a lot of plays for them and they try to get him the ball a lot of different ways. He can make something happen after the catch.
“They do a great job with formations. They know how to create advantages. We have to try to make them one-dimensional. We have to stop the run and play well in space. They’re going to get their guys with as much space as possible.
“Defensively, they play very hard. They got after Virginia Tech in the first quarter and a half. They were relentless on defense. They do a lot of unique things on defense. There’s a lot of movement. We have to do a great job of catching that movement in this game.
“If we’re going to run the ball, we have to do a good job of executing our scheme. Their secondary is as good as we’ve played. They’re very athletic and well coached. We have to take care of the ball. In our last outing, we did a poor job of that. We have to get back to doing what we do. Tempo is something that we have to use. We have to finish. We’ve had a good year, but if we’re going to have a great year we have to finish. We’re focusing on playing the best four quarters we’ve played all year.”
On loss to Georgia Tech: “You never want to lose. We needed the bye week. Our guys have had good focus all year and they handled the loss well. They came back to work last Monday and were ready to go. Their eyes are forward. They know that’s over, they want to learn from it and not let it happen again. The coaches let it linger longer than it should, but the guys shake it off well and bounce back pretty quick.”
On motivation against Wake Forest: “This is what it’s all about. We are looking to win the second division title in three years. It’s been 21 years since a senior group could say they were undefeated at home. It’s senior day. This is the last time the guys are going to play at Death Valley. We all remember our last game. It’s a chapter that’s closing for you. They’ll enjoy the opportunity that they have and they’re going to be focused on playing the best they can.”
On Andre Ellington: “He practiced last night and took every snap. He looks good.”
On defense: “We’re trying to get everyone to do their job. It’s a shared responsibility with players and coaches to make everyone understand that we have 11 guys that have to do their job. We’ve had some inconsistency in our execution that’s cost us.
“We’ve played some good players that have just beat us in some situations, but we know we’re capable of playing better than we did against Georgia Tech. Our guys know what the reality is. We have to fix our problems that we know we have and try to play better this week.”
On defensive depth: “The difference in this team is depth. Last year we had guys with experience. This year we’re very talented, but we don’t have the experienced depth that we’re going to have. There’s a risk/reward that you’re always dealing with. We’ve had a lot of guys that are learning and going through the game plan process for the first time. They’re learning how to practice and prepare. All of that stuff gets absorbed and at some point they’re going to be able to tap into that and be great players.”
On differences between Wake Forest and Georgia Tech defenses: “They have more movement and that’s the difference. Both teams are an odd type of style of play, defensively. Georgia Tech wants to be a two-safety defense and Wake Forest wants to be a one-safety defense. The style of play can dictate that, but they want to be a one-safety team and that’s a little different that Georgia Tech.”
On Tajh Boyd: “He hasn’t lost many times in his career, but he’s been here before. He didn’t play well at Georgia Tech, but he’s going to be anxious to get out on Saturday and play better. That’s what we expect.”
On seniors: “We’ve got great senior leadership. Most of our seniors are starters or solid contributors. That’s what you want. Hopefully, at some point we’re going to have veteran juniors and seniors that you’ve developed through your program. We’ve done a good job of developing leadership throughout the team, not just the seniors.
“These seniors selected guys that they wanted to be in meetings with them. That helps spread out that leadership. All these guys are about the right things. Marquan Jones has been an incredible leader for our team this year. That is a special guy.
“He’s been right there, teaching, helping, etc. He practices as hard as everybody. Andre Branch, Kourtnei Brown, Rennie Moore, and Corico Hawkins have all been leaders on the defensive side. We have so many leaders. That’s been the difference in our football team. You have to have that in place if you want a team to get to a high level.”
On open date: “You always take some time to look at yourself. You want to see what the opponent sees. You also want to get back to the basics and you want to get a head start on the opponent. Because of when this open date occurred, this year’s open date was about getting healthy and getting focused on execution. It’s been very good. The main objective was to get healthy. We also focused on getting back to ball security. You’re not going to win games if you put the ball on the ground. It caught up with us when we played at Georgia Tech.”
On Stephone Anthony: “He’s a great player. He’s going to be a special player at Clemson. He has been recently nursing a foot sprain and he really needed the week off to get healthy. I expect him to finish strong for us. He’s a very focused and very intelligent and talented linebacker. When you draw them up, that’s what you want. He’s learned a lot this season and he has the potential to be a great player. “
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