Tigers finalize Boston College prep

CLEMSON - Head coach Dabo Swinney talks about the kicking game for Saturday, the newest tombstone and more after Thursday's practice.


Opening statement...
Swinney: We've had a good week of practice. Spencer Benton's going to be the only one that's not able to play. Everybody else is good to go. We tried to be smart with them all week, with their reps, kind of watching their reps. Really, just a very business-like group. I like how they've practiced. We've got a lot of mental preparation to do between now and game day. That's one of the things I was telling them that's where they've been really good. There's still a lot of work to do from this point, until kickoff. Granted, it's all mental, but there's a lot of work to do, to continue to do a good job, to continue to put distractions out and stay focused on what you're doing to have a good performance. We'll have good meetings tomorrow, good game prep. We're excited about Tigerama and homecoming and all that, and, hopefully, play our best game. That's all we're trying to do this weekend.

The plan for kickoffs...
Swinney: We're probably going to start [Chandler Catanzaro]. We're probably going to give both of them a chance, to be honest with you. We'd like to be able to kick both, to kind of experiment a little bit in a game situation. We'll probably start Cat. He's been a little more accurate, as far as putting the ball where we want it. Dawson [Zimmerman] probably has a little stronger leg, but has been a little less accurate. That can create some issues. I'd like to be able to work it out where we could give both some opportunities. We've got to score some points, to be able to do that. Hopefully, it will work out somewhere along the way. Dawson will hold. Cat will be our backup punter.

How was Andre Ellington this week?
Swinney: He's good. Practiced really well yesterday and today. On that interception [at Virginia Tech], he had a little thigh bruise he's had to work through Monday and Tuesday. Tajh [Boyd] dove and came right into his thigh, trying to make a tackle. He looks good. I think he's about close to 100 percent. He's too good of a player to keep down. At some point, he's going to make his presence known.

Will Brandon Thomas start at left guard?
Swinney: Yeah, he's going to start. We'll start him. I think you'll continue to see those other guys a little more time.

Charone Peake was still dealing with his shoulder a little bit the last few weeks, correct?
Swinney: He's better. He's better, though. He's a guy we've got to get going. He and Adam [Humphries], to be honest with you. Both of those guys, man, they're really good players. They practice great. We've played five games now. I trust them. I think you'll continue to see those guys worked in a little bit more. We really need them, to keep those guys fresh. He's a guy we've got to get going. He's about ready to roll.

More on Peake's injury...
Swinney: He had a little a/c sprain [shoulder] that's limited him in practice the last couple of weeks. He's had to wear green most of the time. He's pretty much got his range of motion back. We're really excited about all those guys. The way he and Humphries practice, I just have a lot of confidence that these guys are ready to play, whatever role, just playing. It's exciting. That helps everybody. They'll get more opportunities.

Is David Smith No. 2 at left guard?
Swinney: Smith will come in. I'm hoping we can get both he and Cloy a little bit more this week. Really, we probably need to get Cloy more at center, at some point.

When does the tombstone for beating nationally ranked Virginia Tech come in?
Swinney: I think they've got it ordered...I think they called it in from the locker room up there. We'll have our tombstone. I think we're probably going to do something a little special, too. The tombstone is a tradition. I'm talking about, maybe over in the [West End Zone], some kind of acknowledgement [for the three-straight wins over ranked opponents].

To read more from Thursday night's post-practice interview with Swinney, visit the CUTigers.com premium message board The Valley:


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