How was practice this week?
Swinney: It's been good. It's been real good. It's kind of had a championship feel to it all week. I like the energy that these guys have played with. They had good focus. Guys have had a good sense of urgency, from an accountability standpoint, which is what it's going to take. Everybody's got a job to do. Everybody's got to be dependable, responsible for each other. If we're going to win a championship game, it's about execution and not making mistakes. I think, mentally, we're in good spirits. Excited about heading up there tomorrow and playing for all the marbles.
How has Phillip Price responded?
Swinney: He's practiced well. He's gone every day, and that's been good for him. We haven't had any issues. So hopefully we won't have any in the game. We haven't had any issues with anybody. We've been in really good shape this week, for the first-time in a few weeks.
So who will start?
Swinney: Phillip will [at left tackle]. And Brandon Thomas will start at guard.
Any other injuries?
Swinney: No. It's been good. Tony Steward is the only one on the report. A lot of guys that have maintenance-type stuff, but nobody that can't go.
What about Spurrier's comment, 'We ain't Alabama, we ain't LSU, but we ain't Clemson.' It was kind of a derogatory tone. I wondered if you had a comment on that?
Swinney: That's sad I get asked a question like that on a Thursday before a championship.
I heard that. That's the kind of thing that gets back to you. I don't know if he really said that or not. I guess he did. There's been no rebuttal. If he did, that's disappointing. I was taught to win and lose with class. That's kind of a childish thing to put out there, to be honest with you.
I think our program here speaks for itself. I guess I'd have to say I agree with him. If I had to say anything, he's right. They're not Clemson. They're never going to be Clemson, to be honest with you. No three-game win-streak is going to change that. It's not the first-time they've won three in a row. It won't be the last time. It might be 50 more years, but it will probably happen again.
|"I've gone out of my way to be complimentary to them, complimentary to coach Spurrier. I'm going to defend my program. I'm going to defend my players, my coaches. I'm going to defend Clemson University, because I believe in it. I think he's exactly right. They're not Clemson. They never will be."|
You're looking at the best era in the history of South Carolina football right now. I think they just had their second 10-win season. They won a championship in 1969 and the 2010 SEC East. This rivalry, there's a lot of rivalries out there. This is more of a domination. And that's a fact. My kids' grandkids won't live long enough to see this ever really become a rivalry. It is what it is.
Again, I've got respect for their program. South Carolina's not Clemson. There's a lot of differences. This is a place that's won a national title, 17 conference championships, two division titles. Heck, we've won more bowl games than they've ever even been to. I think our program has 100-plus more wins than South Carolina. That's reality. That's the best era they've had in 115 years of South Carolina football -- right now. And they've done a great job. They've whipped our butt the last three years. It's my job to change that.
Coach Spurrier's been there seven years. After five years, I think he had 35 wins. New contract, all that kind of stuff. After five years and I have only 35 wins at Clemson, there's going to be a new coach here. You know what? There should be, because there's a different standard. He's exactly right. They ain't Alabama. They ain't LSU. And they're certainly not Clemson.
That's why Carolina is in Chapel Hill and USC is in California. The university in this state, always has been, always will be -- Clemson. It's right here in Clemson, South Carolina. Print that. Tweet that. Whatever. Again, it's ridiculous that I'm getting asked a question like that on a Thursday. I'm proud of who we are. I know who we are at Clemson. I know where we're going.
I guess my response is, he's right. He's exactly right.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The twitter post referenced in the last question in this transcript can be found on South Carolina football's official football page. |