Swinney Previews Florida Atlantic, Updates Injuries, and Assesses Play of Cade Klubnik

Dabo Swinney addressed the media on Tuesday to preview the Clemson Tigers upcoming matchup at home against Florida Atlantic.

What We Heard

  • Swinney said FAU is a dangerous team. “They have some weapons. They have some speed and can take the top off pretty quick. This one of the biggest offensive lines we will play against all year. This is a good football team.” Said this team will challenge the Tigers athletically and schematically.
  • On the FAU defense, Swinney said “just a good group across the board. Not afraid to get up and challenge receivers and will play a little zone as well.”
  • Swinney said if the Clemson offense can clean up its mistakes and put four quarters of complimentary football together, they can match up with anybody.
  • Outside of about “five plays” Swinney has been pleased with Cade Klubnik’s play. “He’s a natural. He just has to go play,” Swinney said noting the quarterback will get better as he gains experience.
  • Swinney said the biggest problem the team has faced through the first two games has been the turnovers. That is where they need to improve. After the first week they needed to improve in the red zone and they did that against Charleston Southern. “It was good to see us finish.”
  • “We’re not going to be a great football team if we can’t win the turnover margin. We need to go on a run of winning the margin. Or at least being even. I’ll take those odds.” Swinney admits seeing the turnover issues is “frustrating.
  • “We have a good team. We always say don’t lose to Clemson. You want to minimize the things that make winning harder.”
  • Along the offensive line, Swinney said he is pleased with how both Tristan Leigh and Colin Sadler have played at LT. “Maybe at some point somebody will really separate. But I will be fine if no one does.”
  • Andrew Mukuba and Cole Turner will both be back this week after missing the Charleston Southern win. Swinney Said Tink Kelley is ready but with how Antonio Williams and Tyler Brown are performing that they might try and hold him.
  • Dabo Swinney said as well as T.J. Parker is playing, he is not pushing for a starting job yet. The head coach noted that would imply Xavier Thomas and Justin Mascoll have not played well and both have. “He is definitely our third guy,” Swinney said.
  • Swinney said he was happy to see Troy Stellato back on the field after missing all of camp. His confidence is as good as it’s been since he has been at Clemson.” Called him a “snatcher,” with regards to how he catches the ball. “He can definitely help us.”
  • After missing the first two games, freshman DT Vic Burley is back at practice this week. They are still hoping he will be able to avoid the redshirt.
  • Swinney said Jeadyn Lukus has “had a different look in his eye” since the start of fall camp. “His whole demeanor has changed. He is an incredibly gifted kid. He is long, he can run and he has excellent ball skills.” Noted how Lukus is one of the three corners they view as starters.
  • On the rule changes designed to speed up the game, Swinney said “You feel it when you get into the fourth quarter but on the flip side, we are averaging 80-something plays a game. We are getting our opportunities.”
  • Swinney said Robert Gunn’s low kicks were not an issue during camp. “Sometimes you are going to go through issues along the way. Whether it’s stage fright or something else. It’s just one of those things where you got to get your confidence. Hopefully we can get him going.”
  • On Garrett Riley, Swinney said “he’s an even keeled guy. It’s just who he is. He doesn’t walk around like he has all the answers. He wants collaboration. He loves what he does.” Noted that they call Riley “G-Money” and that he had a birthday on Monday. Said being even-keeled makes him a “good fit” for coaching the energetic Klubnik.

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