Swinney updates Watkins, Price

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney updates Sammy Watkins' shoulder, Phillip Price's knee, reviews the Wake Forest win and looks ahead to N.C. State.

Opening statement...
Swinney: As you would expect, a lot of excitement around here today, as far as winning the division. It's a great accomplishment for our team and staff. Back to work today, as a staff.

A lot of mistakes. You sit there and look at the film. Three turnovers that were critical, back-to-back, then a punt returned for a touchdown. You're not going to win many games like that. At the end of the day, we found a way to win. That's what it's all about. Our guys showed a lot of heart. They're showing that they're learning how to win. They're making some of those plays that you have to make in crunch time to win a game like that. Those are some positives.

From a coaching standpoint, we're looking at it like we're happy that we're 9-1. We're thrilled that we clinched the division. But there's still a lot out there for our team. We've just got to try to keep improving. We're still making some mistakes at critical times.

Offensively, for example, we left a lot out there. You get 522 yards of offense. You're rushing for 180. We only one-yard. We had no sacks, 9-of-16 on third-down, three 80-yard drives. It's a little frustrating, because we just didn't play as well as we're capable of. Same thing on defense. We've just got a lot of work to do to get better. We're 9-1 and we have not reached our potential. We still have a lot of room for improvement. We have other goals out there, and that's what we're focused on. Starting with this week, trying to get a 10th win, trying to get a seventh ACC win for the first-time since 1983. We'll bring them back here in the morning and get ready.

Watkins' shoulder injury...
Swinney: Sammy looked pretty good today. A little sore, but looks pretty good. We'll see where he is tomorrow. He'll probably be a limited tomorrow, Tuesday. We hope to get him back going, either Tuesday or Wednesday. It's not anything serious, but it's one of those things. It's a little sore. We'll have to be careful with him in practice. We're hopeful he'll be ready to go.

Price's knee injury...
Swinney: Phillip Price is definitely going to be out this week. The good new on him, his ACL is fine. It is an MCL sprain. He'll be out this week, for sure. Hope to get him back for South Carolina, but that's kind of optimistic. But they feel, definitely, he'll definitely be back for the championship game. I'm really happy for Phillip that he's going to be able to get back and resume playing in his final year here. We'll see how he responds to the treatment this week. We'll have more on him next weekend.

Would you sit out Watkins this week, or are you going to try to play him?
Swinney: We're going to try to play him. That's kind of up to how he is, how he responds. If he's ready to go, we're going to play him. That's our anticipation. Like I said, he looks pretty good. He'll probably be a little limited here, from a contact standpoint, for a couple of days. He'll run around, catch balls and get the scheme, and hopefully get ready to go for Saturday afternoon up there in Raleigh. It's probably going to be a decision made later in the week, maybe even game day. We'll just see how that goes.

Is this a dangerous game with the division clinched and not much left to play for?
Swinney: They're all dangerous. They're all dangerous. Y'all watched us play all year. Every single game, we're fighting for our lives every week. This one will be no different. We'll get the very best they've got. When you're a highly ranked team and you're Clemson, you're going to get everybody's best in this conference. That's one of the things that makes this thing interesting from week to week...they shut North Carolina out at home two weeks ago.

For us, there's a lot to play for. This is the next game. We're trying to be the best that we can be. For us to be our best, we've got to try to keep finding ways to win. This 10th win would be a huge accomplishment for these players and our program. We're a solid team, but we're trying to have a great year. We've still got a lot of work to do for that to happen. We've got a big challenge. Every game on our game's dangerous.

Tajh Boyd's early game struggles...
Swinney: Just pressing, trying to make big plays and not just taking what's there. They dropped eight a bunch and we tried to force throws in some really tight windows, instead of checking the ball down underneath...some of that comes from the success that he's had. He's got a ton of confidence in his arm and he's got a ton of confidence in his receivers that they're going to make plays for him. He's not very bashful in putting the ball in some tight spots. He made a couple of poor decisions.

To read more from Sunday night's teleconference with Swinney, visit the CUTigers.com premium message board The Valley:


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