Sept. 13, 2011
CLEMSON, SC – Video of Head Coach ClemsonTigers.com via TigerCast on Tuesday, September 13. 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 13, 11:00 AM
Swinney Press Conference Transcript
Opening Statement: “We’re excited about the opportunity to play Auburn this week and get another shot at those guys. Everyone has pretty vivid memories of our game last year down there.
“They’re coming in with a 17-game win streak and I have a lot of respect for them. They always find ways to win. When you win games like that, you develop a swagger, a confidence that you’re going to make a play. You expect to win and that’s a tough nut to crack.
“This is going to be another tough out for us. They’re a very opportunistic team and they always seem to be in the right place at the right time. It’s not often you get to have the national champion come to your place (just the third time at Clemson), and we’re going to have to play better if we want to beat them. They’re the champions until someone knocks them out.
“Defensively for us, we have to play with a lot of poise. We always have to stop the run. That’s something Auburn wants to do and if we can stop it, we’ll have an advantage.
“We have to tackle better. Their QB (Barrett Trotter) is a good player. He’s a winner, but he’s not Cam Newton – he’s Barrett Trotter. Their coaches feel like he’s the best guy to give them a chance to gain a win, and we have to get after him early.
“We have to create the turnovers. We have to, once again, win the turnover margin; that’s a big part of why we’re 2-0. We also need to have more big plays than our opponent and Auburn has lived off of big plays. We have to know where guys are; you have to know where Ontario McCalebb, Michael Dyer, and Emery Blake all are on the field.
“Offensively for us, we have to play fast and physical. We have to take care of the ball and execute. They’re young on defense, but have guys who have played. Their two defensive ends (Nosa Eguae and Corey Lemonier) are athletic and fast. They’re a very good SEC defensive football team.
Special teams is an area that you always try to win and we’ll have to do better Saturday. From our standpoint, it really is about the Clemson Tigers more than the Auburn Tigers. We have to continue to improve and it’s a battle of execution. The team that executes the best is probably going to be the one that wins the game.
“We’re 2-0. We’ve had some really good and some really bad and we have to play better and try to play a complete game. We’re excited about Saturday.”
On this being a “statement” game: “It’s an opportunity for momentum. The win at Miami (FL) my first year (2009) created momentum for us and created belief in our team. This is an early season opportunity to create momentum going into conference play. We don’t know a lot about ourselves, still, and we’re going to learn a lot this week playing a team of this caliber. If we win, they’re not going to cancel the season. We’ll still have to play the next week. What we have to worry about is this week. That’s it.
On preparing our offense: “We’re really going to get after it today and tomorrow. Our guys are confident. We match-up well with these guys and execution is the main thing. We’re going to practice like we always practice. That has to carry over to the game. Again, the biggest thing is execution. We have to put it all together.
On physical matchups: “We did some good things against Wofford and Troy. We have some guys doing a really good job. We must have more consistency and we have to improve if we’re going to be a championship caliber team. I know what we’re capable of doing; we just have to do it on game day.
“We have to have consistency. The frustrating thing for us is that we’re `leaving meat on the bone”‘. We’ve had 900+ yards in our first two games, but we’re still missing other opportunities. We know we’re going to have to play better to beat Auburn, FSU, etc. We’re 2-0 and that’s the goal, but we’ve got to keep getting better.
“We’re playing disciplined. We’re 6th in the nation in penalties (5 in two games). Our quarterback is improving and we’re taking care of the ball. If you take care of the ball and have more big plays than your opponent, you’re going to win 98 percent of the time.
“Last year, we were bunting all over the field. This year, we’re hitting home runs. There’s a lot of good. Andre Ellington is 2nd in the league in rushing and 14th in the nation. We’ve found some stuff out about Philip Price; he’s a solid player. From a coaching standpoint, you’re always trying to get better.
On Auburn loss of Cam Newton: “They’re the same offense, the biggest thing is that they’re not calling quarterback runs, etc. They really involved Cam Newton more once they figured out the type of player he was. You don’t see them running (Barrett) Trotter like they did (Cam) Newton, but that doesn’t mean they won’t do it.
“We didn’t tackle the quarterback very well last week, so we have to be prepared. They had some plays last year where you’d play great defense and (Cam) Newton would scramble for 30 yards. That’s the biggest difference. (Barrett) Trotter’s just going to get better. He’s a first time starter, just like Tajh (Boyd) is for us.
On Clemson’s season after Auburn loss: “They had a little bit more than we had in the tank. We had some guys get hurt that really affected us (Kyle Parker and Andre Ellington) as the season went along. We didn’t have a great season, not a good record, but our guys played hard. We lost five games by six points or less.
“Our guys continued to compete but we just didn’t have enough in the tank. A game like that can really make or break you. That game really propelled Auburn. It was the catalyst for them pulling together as a football team. My hat’s off to them because what they did last year is not easy to do at all. They found a way to win, and that’s what good teams do. They haven’t necessarily been a dominant team, but they’ve found a way to win. As the “winning ball” gets rolling, you get that winning swagger and you can put together a winning streak like they have.”
On playing the second string: “I’m still not very comfortable about putting those guys in during a game like this, but I’m getting more confident after seeing guys play the first two weeks. We’re still a long way away from being where we want to be and where we’re going to be. We’re still a ways away from being solid (on defense).
“At receiver, I’m very comfortable with what we’ve got. Running back is another question. We have to get (Mike) Bellamy and (D.J.) Howard going with some more opportunities. We really haven’t had a chance to get (Demont) Buice involved, which is frustrating. I’m still not overly confident with our offensive line depth, but that’s why we practice. “
On kicker Chandler Catanzaro: “Last year’s Auburn game was a big moment for him. He was a freshman, all the pressure in the world was on him. This year, he’s matured. I’m proud of the way he finished last year. His mentality improved since last year and hopefully he’ll have a big day for us Saturday. He’s been a very consistent performer since the spring.”
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