Tigers rebounding in practice

CLEMSON - Three days from this weekend's trip to Boston College, Dabo Swinney is pleased with the progress his team has this week during practice.

"It's been a good week. I like how the guys have practiced. It's been a tough couple of practices. They've really been challenged," Swinney said, following Wednesday night's workout. "The guys are eager to go play again. That's what you want to see.

"I'm glad it's Wednesday already. We're getting on to Thursday. We're just a couple of days from getting back out onto the field and, hopefully, finish a ball game."

The one-game-at-a-time mentality has been preached a little louder this week, because of the emotional road loss to Florida State.

"This is a big game. That's just what I was telling the team," Swinney said. "This is the biggest game of the year, because it truly is the next game. That really is the only mentality -- if you start looking ahead, you lose focus.

"The biggest game of the year is not last Saturday it's this Saturday, because it's the only thing that we control. I tell them all the time; let's win today -- the season starts tomorrow. It truly does. It's, basically, a one game season. That's all we can think about. Let's win this game."

Saturday's trip to Boston College marks the second round in a critical four-game stretch for the Tigers.

"If we're fortunate enough to still be around here on Monday, the next game is the biggest game. That really is not coach-speak," Swinney said. "That has to be your mentality when you're competing and trying to prepare, especially with young people. You start doing it any other way, they lose focus; lose their site of what they're shooting for right now.

"No doubt, we're trying to finish strong going here into the open date. We want to have the best possible first half of the season that we possibly can, and improve as a team, hopefully position ourselves to move on from that."

The personnel plans

Entering the season, there were plenty of question marks surrounding the offensive and defensive lines. So far, Swinney believes they've found some answers on the offensive side of the ball.

"We'll start the same guys up front on the offensive line [against Boston College]," Swinney said. "The defensive line, we kind of grade them as we go through the week. We've got two or three guys that are really interchangeable at this point.

"We just make the decision, based on what they do in practice -- same thing in the secondary, as far as where [Xavier] Brewer lines up."

Brewer's will be used in multiple spots.

"Does he start at corner or does he start at safety? We're just kind of challenging those guys. We've got five guys that we feel are fairly even," Swinney said. "Hopefully, we'll do a better job this week of rotating some guys. I don't think I did a good job of that last week, of rotating some of our personnel. I've got to do a better job with that."

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