Timothy set to start

CLEMSON - Thursday night marked the final time Dabo Swinney will meet with the media before Saturday's showdown with Auburn in the Georgia Dome.


"Today was just a script-type day. Good tempo out there, just kind of polish," Swinney said. "We call it team Thursday where we bring it all together and just really polish up the plan.

"It's more of a mental day than a physical day."

According to Swinney, the team was where they needed to be, mentally.

"It's so easy this time of year to just be thinking about the game and just be thinking about tomorrow or whatever and lose focus about today, what's happening today," he said. "That's one of the things we talk about all the time. You've got to win today."

After a 2 p.m. departure for Atlanta, the Tigers will shift their focus to winning on Saturday.

Clemson will try to win with Giff Timothy starting at right tackle.

"He doesn't have a lot of career snaps, but he has been in a game or two. He brings a little bit of a veteran feel. I don't think he'll be overwhelmed with the moment," Swinney said. "He's probably not going to be perfect, but I know he's going to give us great effort and compete his tail off."

Swinney feels the same way about Timothy's backup, Shaq Anthony, and starting left guard David Beasley.

None of those young offensive linemen will be on a short leash.

"I don't think that's the right perspective. If you're sending guys out there and are afraid they'll make mistakes, you're not going to get their best," Swinney said.

Just as long as they're playing with good effort, the coaches can handle a mistake.

"The worse thing you can do with a really young player is shock them. They know the standard. They know what their job is. They know when they mess up," Swinney said. "They've got to go play and get in a rhythm...there won't be a short leash, unless they're just dogging it, somebody's just dogging it on us."

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