Dabo Swinney Talks Clemson’s Mindset, Antonio Williams, Prepping for Miami

Dabo Swinney’s sticking to the same mentality he’s had for over a decade: The biggest game of the year is the next game.

That consistent message was what he offered for this Clemson Tigers as they are coming out of the open date and preparing for their first game in two weeks with a trip to Miami on Saturday at 8 p.m.

“We’re trying to beat Miami,” Swinney said Wednesday when asked about the team’s mindset for the second half of the season. “That’s all we’re worried about. We aren’t worried about six games. We’re worried about one game.”

At this point, it makes sense for the 4-2 Tigers to be focused solely on getting their second ACC victory after starting league play 0-2 in September. 

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, have lost a pair of ACC contests back-to-back to Georgia Tech and UNC.  

Swinney likes the way his team approached the bye week and where it’s at coming out of it. 

“They’ve been excellent,” Swinney said. “I thought we had a good week last week. Back-to-back really good practices. We know we’re playing a great team. Big challenge and they’re working their tails off to prepare.” 

Here’s what else Swinney had to say about Clemson’s third ACC road game and his personnel: 

  • On WR Antonio Wiliams: “It’s been a long three games not having one of our best players out there. It’s been a while since he’s played a game. It’s gonna be great to see him out there for sure. Swinney said Williams has been “full-go” in practice since last week and was very close to playing in the Wake Forest game.
  • On Miami blitzing: “They’ve not been a huge pressure team. In the red zone they’re going to light you up. They haven’t had to (blitz). They can pressure with that front they’ve got.” 
  • On getting Miami WRs on the ground: “Tackling is always at a premium, especially when you’ve been off. We’ve done a lot of work yesterday and today to make sure we’re ready to go. Miami is a big screen team. It’s going to be important in a game like this that we tackle for sure.”
  • On the COVID-19 year of 2020 giving players more eligibility: “I’m not sad to see that end.
  • Scouting Miami during UNC game: He watched the game on TV last Saturday to gain knowledge of personnel and scheme and to “enjoy the game.” Swinney said he took note of the Tar Heels, who come to Death Valley next month, as well.

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