Swinney Updates Inuries, Talks Speed of Nate Wiggins, Previews Gamecocks

CLEMSON- Dabo Swinney met with the media on Sunday night and the head coach touched on a number of topics, including the win over UNC and the rivalry matchup with South Carolina.

“I’m really proud of our team and super happy for our seniors. It was a very competitive game. Both teams battled really hard. We played with great effort but made plenty of mistakes, too. The good news is we overcame them. The takeaways were huge. Winning that turnover margin is huge for us. It was a really good team effort and in all three phases.

What We Heard

  • On rivalry game: “The state champioship. We’re diving into those guys right now. We’ll see if we can keep our momentum going. Our guys have battled all year long.”
  • “That’s a tough place to play… They’ve created some turnovers. They have some guys who are playing with some consistency for them. Their quarterback is a really good player. I have not studied them yet. Just diving into that this afternoon.”
  • Health coming out of UNC game: “Pretty good except for Beaux (Collins) who will be day to day. We’ll see how sore he is. Hopefully that will go away quick. He was probably the biggest one. Everyone else, I think we’re in good shape.”
  • On the TE depth: “We got some of our heavy package stuff, which was just the way the game went situationally. Banks Pope got in there some. He’s a tough, physical kid. (Josh) Sapp got in there some. We didn’t use Olsen (Patt-Henry) as much. He’s still developing the trust in the run game but is more of a factor in the passing game. We won the game, rushed for 250 yards or so. It wasn’t perfect but they got the job done.”
  • OL against UNC: “They’re battling. They’re competing. It’s a play here or there where maybe we stay on the double-team too long. Just some leakage on protection. But they played well. No sacks. And we got that run game going. We had some great, great, blocks. There were more pluses than minuses and that’s always what you want to see. We had a couple of penalties and that was the biggest disappointment. We had a couple of technique and fundamental things that got us. All in all they did a heck of a job and our guys ran really hard behind them. They all battled.”
  • Cade Klunik being more confident running the ball and the TD run before the half: “Yeah, no doubt about it. That was huge. They were playing aggressive coming off the edge. He did a good job with his decision-making and ran with good vision. He still looks like a baby deer running around out there. He’ll continue to fill out and maybe add another 10 pounds or so. You’ll see that part of his game improve and he has already improved greatly from where he was when the season started. I was really proud of him. He made some big plays. He showed good poise. He had a couple of gritty yards. Big day for him as well with his legs.”
  • On Drake Maye gettling loose on some scrambles: “(Defense) not going to be real happy when we watch the tape. We missed tackles and we didn’t handle our rush lanes very well. And that guy is an elite player. He has a ton of awareness. When he runs, he’s hard to tackle. He’s a big dude and he’s crafty. It will definitely make us better. No one will be happy about the tape because we gave up too many big plays. Other times it was a gap and other times we just didn’t make the tackle. We have to clean up some stuff for sure. He just made too many plays to extend. It’s definitely a game we can build off of.”
  • Is Aveion Terrell ahead of brother AJ at same stage of career: “Maybe, just because of his brother. He has had such a great model to watch, a guy who is a first-round draft pick. He has been exposed to so much. And AJ was elite when he got here. We knew he was special. He was always about his business. I would say Avieon has benefited from his brother and the exposure to the game and the specifics of his position. And he is a hard worker. He is a grinder.”
  • On Nate Wiggins hustle play resulting in strip: “I’ll be talking about that for the rest of my career. It was incredible. That kid can absolutely fly. There are a lot of people who are fast but there are others who are as fast as they need to be. And (Andrew) Mukuba’s effort on the play was amazing as well. He dives out and just clips his heel and that little bit of a clip allowed Nate more time to get there. Nate was at a little more than 22 miles an hour, just smoking. It was one of the greatest plays I’ve seen. It was such a momentum play, too. And we’ve been on the other side of that this year, too, as y’all know. I’ve been on both sides of it. Boom, right afterward we go on an 80-yard touchdown drive.”
  • Being on losing side of rivalry game: “It’s no fun. That’s for sure. These games are huge. It’s a fun week to be a part of these games. Me personally, part of 13 Alabama-Auburn games, those are special memories. You come up here and I’m going on my 21st Clemson-South Carolina game and I’ve got a lot of great memories and I’ve got some bad ones. It means a lot to a lot of people. It is a goal of its own. It’s a season of its own regardless of your record. This one is unique and different. The preparation is the same, it’s just a game that everyone will live with for the next year and you’re going to hear about it all the time. It’s great to win it and it stinks when you don’t.”

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