Oct. 11, 2011
CLEMSON, SC – Video of Head Coach ClemsonTigers.com via TigerCast on Tuesday, October 11. 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 – October 11, 11:00 AM
Swinney Press Conference Transcript
Opening Statement: “We’ve had a good first half of our season. We’ve been a good second half team all year, and that’s what it’s going to take for us to have the season we want to have. We’re going to have to finish strong in the second half of the season. I’m proud of them; they’re getting better. We still have a lot of work to do in a lot of areas. These guys take pride in their performance, but we haven’t played a perfect game by any stretch. These guys are committed to be the best.
“This is a big game against Maryland – they’re a division opponent. They’re right in the middle of things. If we want to stay in the driver’s seat in our division, we have to win this week. It’s about us and how we play.
“Maryland is a very capable team. They lost to #12 Georgia Tech at Georgia Tech, 21-16, and they lost to #13 West Virginia, 37-31. They’ve had some guys out and they lost to Temple, a good team, but they’re very capable. We’re going to have to play very well.
“Offensively, they’re a young team. They’re starting two offensive seniors and three defensive seniors. Their offensive line is big. Their tight end, Matt Furstenburg, is a good all-around player.
“Their receivers are their strength and they have everyone back. They can really run. As a group, they’re very dangerous. They like to throw a lot of screens. We’ll have to play well at corner and tackle the catch very well.
“Their running back, Davin Meggett, is a tough runner. We always want to stop the run. They aren’t sure at their quarterback position right now. Danny O’Brien is a good player, he was the ACC Rookie of the Year last year. C.J. Brown is now the team’s second leading rusher, after only one game.
“Defensively, they’re an even and odd front. Joe Vellano leads the defensive line and he is a really good football player. He brings a lot of energy to that side of the ball. Their linebackers, Demetrius Hartsfield and Kenny Tate, are very athletic. They’re both really good football players and Maryland has good talent in the secondary.
On Tajh Boyd: He’s going to practice today and take every rep. Tajh’s injury was one I’d never seen before. It was almost like a stinger – where it hurt and you couldn’t move it at the time, then the next day, you’re fine.
“His knee was not a factor. The way his knee bent probably saved him. He’s more sore in his thigh (with a thigh bruise) than he is anywhere else. He’s caught a lot of grief from his teammates because not only did he get carted off, he rode in the front seat. Dwayne Allen told him he should have just driven it himself. (Laughing)
“I don’t know how to explain it, other than it’s just a blessing that he’s ok.
On undefeated teams keeping focus: “You have to guard against distractions. It’s easy to lose your focus and get complacent. You start reading your press clippings and listen to everyone tell you how good you are. We have to stick to the same formula every week. We prepare with purpose, every day. We give great effort with emphasis on technique. Teams lose their focus and their humility and then they lose. You have to stay dialed in as a team. You’re going to learn everything through your effort and the concept of team and family. It’s about team. We have to nourish the concept of team and family.
On losing at Maryland in 2009: “We didn’t know who we were as a team (fifth game that season). We didn’t handle the environment up there and everything just snowballed. We did not play well. How you handle adversity is always a good sign on your potential for success. I believe that with anything in life.
“Everyone has adversity, and it’s how you handle it that defines you as a person. When you see people handle bad things in a positive way, that says, “that person has a chance to be successful”. After that game, we went back to work, and got everything together. It’s one thing to get beat. But, that wasn’t the case in that game. We really did not take care of our business and that’s what we try to get these guys to focus on. We want them to focus on us. We believe if we do that and execute our plan to win, we have an opportunity to be successful.”
On 2011 Clemson team: “We’ve answered a lot of questions. I’m very confident in how our guys are going to respond to things – good or bad. I saw that last year in these guys. I know this team very well. I’m very comfortable with the challenges ahead and how we’re going to handle them. Our team is a reflection of our staff and the things we’ve tried to work on for the last two years.
On kickoffs: “I was not happy with kickoffs last week. [Chandler] Catanzaro did well in practice, but his first one in the game went to the 25-yard-line. We have to do better than that. Dawson [Zimmerman] did alright. We’ll probably start Dawson [Zimmerman] this week. He has the strongest leg, but he hasn’t practiced it much. For Dawson to be able to hold, kickoff, punt; that will help his chances to play after Clemson.
On pass rush: You have to block Brandon Thompson and Rennie Moore, first. They’re the heart of our defense. While you’re focusing on them, that gives Malliciah [Goodman] and [Andre] Branch chances to get the tackles. Brandon Thompson is playing as well as anyone in the country.
“If there’s someone playing better than him right now, I want to see it. He’s a dominant player. I’m glad he’s on our team. He’s a game changer – so is Rennie [Moore]. They’ve really helped us from a pass rush standpoint. The quickest way to the quarterback is over the center. Brandon Thompson has been so dominant in that position. Teams are doubling him from the first snap. He’s so close to the ball that if you don’t handle him, it’s going to be trouble.”
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