Monday Dabo Swinney comments

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney talks about the first day of practice in Charlotte, Friday's game against South Florida and more.

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OPENING STATEMENT: We made the best of it with the help of whoever it was that helped clear the field this morning. They started early and worked on it all day to give us a chance to get outside. Today was a critical day for us, preparation-wise, because it's like a Tuesday-type practice. We got back together last night and had a walk-thru. We needed to bang and clang a little bit. We were able to accomplish that objective, spread out and do what we needed to do. I was proud of them for the focus that they had. We did not have a lot of mental mistakes. It was slippery and all of that. It wasn't quite the technique that you might want them to have on every single play. From an assignment standpoint, I thought they were pretty sharp, offensively and defensively. That's pretty good to see, that they're dialed in on the game plan. Good day.

WHO DOES USF REMIND YOU OF?: They're probably more similar to us, to be honest with you. It's a very similar team as we are. They're strength is their defense. They've got a veteran offensive line, just like we do. They have moved the ball well at times, but not been as explosive on offense, kind of like us. A lot of similarities. They're good at linebacker. They've got a lot of skill and speed. I think it's a good matchup. They're defense is going to be a handful. We're going to have to be well-prepared and handle them up front. They're a really good defensive line.

ON USF'S D-TACKLES: Ninety-seven is a guy that just kind of jumps out at me. They're quick, both of those guys, even 91 when he comes into the game. He's not very tall, but he's disruptive in there. Seven is their leading sack guy. They're fast, athletic and they play hard. That shows up when you watch the tape. They're a team that has gotten better through the year, defensively. We'll have our hands full. Not sure what they'll do at quarterback. I think we'll see both of them. One's a little bit better runner. One's a little bit better passer. They've both can do a little bit of each. Our plan will be good for whoever they play. They may change their philosophy a little bit, depending on who's in the game. It's going to be a good matchup.

DID EVERYONE ARRIVE OK?: We had three guys that arrived just after our team meeting, but we were aware of all the weather issues. We had some guys that were just stuck. Josh Watson was the only guy that was not able to make it to the meeting. He's up in Delaware. He's supposed to get here sometime today. He had all kind of issues. The only scholarship academic guy was [Drew]Traylor. He's not here for academic reasons. Other than, everybody's OK.

BOYD/PARKER QB SITUATION: Kyle [Parker] will start. It's a really good opportunity to prepare Tajh [Boyd]. He's prepared well, so has Kyle. Our plan is play them both, hopefully throughout the course of the game.

WILL THERE BE A SPECIFIC TIME FOR BOYD?: I hope we can get him in there fairly early. It's not something that we're going to advertise or anything like that. We hope to get him in there early, and throughout the game, not just one series. We hope to get him several opportunities.

EXPECTED WEATHER FRIDAY: I think it's going to be like a heat wave on Friday. Last year, it was about 20 degrees. Last year, when we practice on Christmas Day, it was freezing and windy. It actually felt pretty good out there today. We just had the snow and ice to deal with, but we pushed through it pretty good. I think it's going to get better as the week goes. They told me last night it's supposed to be around 55, so what a great day that will be. Hopefully, that will bring out a great crowd. Maybe there are some folks that weren't sure if they were coming. Hopefully, they'll load up and come enjoy a good ball game on Friday.

DEANDRE HOPKINS AND HOOPS: I think he was kind of nervous to ask me about it, so I initiated the conversation with him. It was something we talked about in the recruiting process, but I think he was relieved when I brought up, because I think it was really something that he wanted to try to do. I don't have a problem. [Chansi] Stuckey did that. Those guys, they'll figure all that stuff out. He's a young freshman. We're going to get him back in the weight room and have a big summer with him, spring training and all that stuff. It's really easier in basketball than baseball, when it comes to spring training and all that. The thing with Nuke, it's just go see how you do. If he's good enough to help them, talking to Brad [Brownell], they need bodies. He's a talented basketball player. If he can help them out down the stretch, then go play. This is Clemson University. You want all your sports to do well. If I've got a guy that can go help them win, then go do it. If he's going to be over there not really playing or having a role, then he needs to get back over with us.


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