Sept. 27, 2011
CLEMSON, SC – Video of Head Coach ClemsonTigers.com via TigerCast on Tuesday, September 27. 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 – September 27, 11:00 AM
Swinney Press Conference Transcript
Opening Statement: “Virginia Tech is the ACC Champion and the best team in our league. They have that title until someone knocks them off. They’ve won 12 ACC games in a row – they’ve been very tough to beat.
“I have a ton of respect for (Head) Coach (Frank) Beamer. He’s a class guy and a very genuine guy and has done a great job with that program. They play really hard. Above everything else, they play hard in all phases. It’s going to be a tough challenge.
“They’re the only team in the country with seven 10-win seasons in a row. They’re very tough to beat at home. We have to play as well as we can and try to have our first complete game. We still haven’t played a complete game yet. We have to stay focused and stay committed. It’s going to take a complete game to win.
“Their offense wants to run the football. That’s what they do. They run about 44 times a game and they’re good at it. They have NFL-type guys on the offensive line. They have a lot of guys that have played a lot of snaps.
“Their two running backs (David Wilson and Josh Oglesby) have scored 10 of their 11 rushing touchdowns on the year. They’re a handful when it comes to stopping the run. Their receivers are all good and they have four guys who are very productive and they really spread the ball around. They will probably get receiver Jarrett Boykin back at full speed and we expect to see him.
“Defensively, we have to stop the run. That’s where it starts. If they have a good night running, it’s going to be a long night for us. We have to eliminate big plays. Their defense is going to be a big challenge for us. This is two weeks in a row where we’ve played a top-10 defense.
“Virginia Tech has given up only about 10 points a game this year. They’re in the top five in all statistics categories. They lead our league in sacks; they’re second in interceptions. They’re unique. It’s going to be different from a game plan standpoint. They have great personnel. Their defensive line is built to stop the run. Jayron Hosley is the best corner in the league. Overall, Virginia Tech is a very talented defense.
“They’ve always been very good on special team. This is two weeks in a row we’re facing dangerous returners. Bottom line – we have to be sound on defense and have to eliminate big plays. Offensively we have to handle the environment.
“We’re excited about this game. I’m anxious to take these guys on the road and see where we are. We’ve been a good home team, but we have to be able to win on the road. We’re starting at the top and it’s going to be a big test for us. I like the demeanor of our team and where they are mentally. They’re excited about playing in that venue. We’re going to prepare very hard this week.”
On Virginia Tech’s defense: “Florida State was pretty good up front. Both of these defenses are very talented. [Virginia Tech]’s guys are built a little differently from Florida State. They’re not quite as tall, but they’re a thicker. They are built to stop the run. We’re going to line up and get after them. This is going to be a physical game. We want to see who can sustain that physicality for four quarters. Virginia Tech’s defensive scheme is different. This is the one game you really have to prepare for. There is some carry over from things you see on a weekly basis, but the robber coverage isn’t something you see every week.
“We have to really school our guys on what that looks like. They have one junior on their defensive front; everyone else is a sophomore. They’re pretty young, but they do what they do.
On refocusing after back-to-back big wins: “I think our guys are ready. They’ve been an easy group to refocus every week. Our schedule has helped us. We haven’t had a chance to think about the last game because we’ve had to focus on the next game. You’re going on the road now, which is a little different. These guys have a ton of respect for our conference opponents. Every game counts. Our non-conference games are over until the final game. I hope they handle 4-0 like they did 1-0, 2-0, and 3-0. I hope they stay humble and hungry and keep trying to get better.”
On playing at Virginia Tech: “We’re going to have a lot of crowd noise at practice to prepare our offensive guys for the environment. We’re going to challenge them this week in practice to perfect their communication and execution with extreme noise. When we’re at home we don’t have that kind of issue on offense.
“My big thing is – if you’re a good player, you’re going to be a good player anywhere. They don’t change the field, the ball is the same – if your performance is determined by where you play, then you’re not mentally where you need to be. External things cannot affect performance. You have to be focused and dialed in and have to execute whatever’s called.
“If you have the right mentality going on the road, an opposing crowd can energize you. You just have to mentally be ready for them to yell at you. You can’t let it affect you. Play the game. The players on the field decide the game.
On preparation of Tajh Boyd: “This is no different than every week. We see disguises all the time in defenses. You train your quarterback on where to put your eyes. There are always things we coach him on. We just have to line up and play ball.”
On play of receivers: “Our guys are doing a great job. We’ve only had a couple of drops. We’ve caught the ball very well in the first four games, which is critical. They’re doing their job. We want to have guys here who can catch and we’ve done pretty well. We’ve transformed in that area from last year and our guys have stepped up.
“DeAndre Hopkins understands the position a little more this year and is a very consistent receiver. Sammy Watkins is a great player. We recruit guys that can catch. Tajh (Boyd) has been putting the ball on the money and the offensive line has been giving him great protection.
On Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas: “He’s a different kind of guy. They use him like we use Tajh (Boyd). They are a lot more shotgun and a little more spread than you would think, and that’s to take advantage of their quarterback who is 6’6, 250 pounds. We’re going to have to do a great job of tackling him. They’re going to try to run him against us.
On difficulty with short-yardage downs: “Sometimes it’s a bad call, but we’ve just had one or two guys not perform their job. There are a lot of times when we’ve done well. It’s disappointing because we’ve had a couple of games where we’ve had third-and-one or fourth-and-one and didn’t get it. You have to execute; all 11 guys have to do their job to be successful on the play. You also have to give the opponent some credit. Sometimes they win the down.”
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