Tigers Not Looking Ahead

CLEMSON - If you tune into to sports talk radio or visit Internet message boards this week, you begin to understand fans are already starting to talk about the annual rivalry game with South Carolina.


The problem is South Carolina has the weekend off before traveling to Death Valley on Nov. 29, while the Tigers still have one more game to play - against Virginia.

So while Gamecock fans may already be talking trash at the water cooler this week, there is still a little bit more business to take care of from the orange and white perspective.

And the good news is the team, unlike the fans, doesn't appear to looking past this week's matchup in Charlottesville.

"No, no not at all. We've got all we can handle with these guys," Clemson interim head coach Dabo Swinney told CUTigers.com Monday after practice. "These guys have our full attention. Shoot, we can't afford to overlook anybody. They've had two weeks to get ready for us and we are going to their place.

"They've got outstanding coaches and good people. Last time we went up there it was not a pretty site so hopefully we can play much better. Our challenge this week is to see if we can put games together back-to-back. Let's see if we can go on the road now and play a complete game. We didn't do that at Wake, at B.C. or at Florida State. We haven't done that. Let's go on the road and put one together."

"It's going to take every ounce of effort we have to beat Virginia."

The last time the Tigers travelled to Charlottesville in 2004 ended up being a 30-10 loss against in a Thursday night broadcast on ESPN. At the time Virginia was ranked No. 9 in the nation.

The last time Clemson has beaten Virginia in Charlottesville was eight years ago in Tommy Bowden's second year as the Tigers' head coach (31-10).

TALKING TO TERRY DON: Swinney also said Monday evening he has had regular conversations with Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips since taking over the head coaching position on Oct. 13.

"Oh yeah, I talk to Terry Don every day," he said. "I talk to him every day. He's been very supportive and give an encouraging word all the time. I see him all the time."

INJURY UPDATES: After an easy win over Duke Saturday, the Tigers remain in good shape on the injury front.

"We are really good actually," Swinney said. "It was a big benefit for us to play a lot of guys and rest a lot of guys. Tyler [Grisham] is a little sore. Most of them came out with about nine minutes left in the third quarter.

"Hairston is looking good. He got some time but not too much. He'll be really back running full speed this week. Then Dorell- we won't know with him until tomorrow until we get full pads and beat him around a bit."

QUICK HITS: Swinney said sophomore DT Jarvis Jenkins "has as much talent as anybody." Gets out of control at time with his discipline but he's got it. He's a really good player." ... He also said Miguel Chavis is making progress and that Rashaad Jackson is starting to look like Rashaad. "He's been in a nice shot in the arm." ... Swinney said a lot of players on the team would be helped tremendously by bowl practice. ... Lastly, Swinney said Kavell Connor has been a good player, but is just a few plays away from being a "great player."

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