Swinney: As I said last night, just a good, solid win. I'm proud of our guys for coming out and taking care of business early, set the tempo and the tone early in the game and pretty much had the game in hand at halftime. It's a real positive to be able to play a lot of guys. We've got a bunch of coaching that we can do off of this tape, not just the starters. Pretty much wasn't the case last week. We played 80 players. We've got a chance, hopefully, to really grow as a football team. We can teach a lot of guys from game experience, so that was really good.
Offensively, it was a fast start. We're playing with a lot of confidence, scoring a lot of points. Last week, we rushed the ball for 300-something yards. This year, we threw the ball for 300-something yards. That's a real positive. I was very pleased with the quarterback play…we played four quarterbacks. Third-down percentage was outstanding. We didn't give up any sacks. We had not turnovers. We got our backs involved a little bit in the passing game. Overall, I thought we played solid. A lot of our backups came in, made some mistakes, but still did some things we can teach from. The disappointment, offensively, we still had some penalties and a couple of drops. We've got a couple of guys that can play a little bit better…
The positives were [defensively], we held them to 128 yards passing. Back-to-back turnovers, which we got points off of. Two weeks in a row, I'm very pleased with our red zone defense and third-down. You hold a team 3 out of 14 on third-down, you've got a chance to win a lot of games. We got better in several areas. Very poor from a rush defense standpoint. The big thing there, it's still a work in progress, what we're doing. We have to be gap sound. Everybody has to understand who's containing. Obviously, we've got to tackle, make sure we take the right pursuit things. Those are things that's very coachable -- we can improve upon. Then, we had a couple of penalties.
Overall, a good win. I'm very proud of our team, just focused, very business-like. It's got to be the same approach this week…
On not looking past this week's opponent…
Swinney: Just the same thing that we've been doing. We just talk about ourselves. Everybody is a faceless, nameless opponent. We talk about it. We spend a lot of time talking to these guys about our formula for success, our plan to win. That's really what our focus is. If we can continue to focus on that, come every day and try to win that day, eventually we'll look and see what we've gotten done. Right now, we'll just keep our head down and stay focused on the task at hand. That's Furman this week. We'll think about us and how we play and how we prepare. Hopefully, this team will do like they did last week. They showed up ready and the coaches did a good job of getting them ready. We were able to get control really quick.
On first half sideline discussion with Brent Venables…
Swinney: He didn't want me to kick it on the 61-yarder. That was really all that was. I value everybody's input. I've got to make the decision and we go with it. That's what we did…I knew the clock was going to run out. He was worried about having another play. That was all that was. I'll tell you what, people don't miss anything.
You had the last laugh on that?
Swinney: Yeah, how about that? A 61-yarder, sometimes I actually do something right. Look at that.
What a kick, man. That was just something. I've seen him do it in practice. I spend a lot of time with those guys. When we're doing walk-thrus and stuff, a lot of times I go over to the kickers. He's made one from 70. I've seen him make a kick from 70 yards. He's got a big, big leg. It's just really neat to see him be able to do that…I've been saying, if we get the right opportunity, obviously, if they had two minutes left or some time on the clock, we wouldn't have done that. With eight seconds, the clocks' going to run out. I wanted to give him a chance to do it. It really kind of gave us a little bit of momentum, a little boost going into the half.
DeAndre Hopkins stepping up his play…
Swinney: He's never lost by us. He caught over 70 balls and over 1,000 yards at receiver last year. But, for whatever reason, the media, everybody just talked about Sammy. He, obviously, was an explosive freshman. You just don't see that every year. You don't see too many freshmen doing that. Nuk doesn't care about any of that stuff. He just cares about winning. That's the truth. He just wants to win. Stats are not important to him. He's a very team-oriented guy. But it is great. It's great to see him step up and really be a go-to guy for us, and kind of make huge plays. Last week was just incredible, what he did at Auburn. To come right back and have three touchdowns...he's off to a good start.
I told Sammy, after the game, he better get back in a hurry. We're going to forget all about him. That's another thing. I am excited to get Sammy back. It's going to be fun having him back on the field. Obviously, he needs to get some good work this weekend. Hopefully, he'll pick up where he left off.
Swinney: We've got [David] Beasley, Beasley looks like he's going to be OK. He's got a sprained MCL. Probably, we'll know more by Wednesday on him. Hes' going to go this week. he looks pretty good. He didn't have much swelling at all today. I'm very encouraged with him. Tig Willard, he has what they're calling a sprained shoulder. He left the game. He was a little sore this morning. We're probably going to hold him out of contact, probably by Wednesday, we'll make a call, one way or the other. Neither one of those are serious type injuries, from a season standpoint or anything like that.
D.J. Howard bruised his trap. He's OK. Tony Steward had a mild hamstring pull late in the game, which is a disappointment. We wanted to get him some time at linebacker, but he looked good today, too. Hopefully, he'll be back and ready to go by Tuesday. And hopefully, he'll have an opportunity to get some really good playing time this weekend.
On C.J. Spiller's Sunday...
Swinney: That's my man. I'm not surprised. Year three, this is a big year for him. I'll be surprised if he doesn't have a great season.
Ready for round three
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