Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said his team just didn't finish plays in the nearly three-hour practice and were inconsistent on both sides of the ball.
"The effort and the enthusiasm were outstanding, but we were a little sloppy in
finishing plays," he said. "We didn't catch the ball well and the defense was either
really good or just okay so we didn't finish. We were sloppy with execution. That
would be a good description of this practice."
There might have been a reason for the Tigers (7-5) struggles. Swinney and the team
went straight from the practice fields to the dining hall at the WestZone where
Swinney put together a big pre-Christmas meal for the team.
"I think they have a big spread up there," Swinney told the media.
That spread included all the fixings – turkey, ham, chicken, roast beef, countless
vegetables and of course dessert.
"I know they are hungry," Swinney said.
The team also exchanged $10 gifts they bought each other as secret pals.
"I can't wait to see how some of the presents are wrapped," Swinney joked. "It's
going to be fun. It will be a lot of fun seeing them enjoying and spending time with
As for practice, Swinney says he really couldn't put a finger on why his team was
unable to finish plays and drives Friday and instead chalked it up as "Sometimes you
will have a day like that."
Clemson cannot afford to have that kind of day Saturday. With about 90 percent of
the game plan installed for the Gator Bowl, Swinney said it will be important for
the Tigers' success that the players leave that session with complete knowledge of
the game plan.
"We have to sure up the game plan tomorrow as far as X's and O's type stuff with our
running game, particularly the inside drills," he said. "We're looking for guys to
show the knowledge of the game plan. Tomorrow is a big day for us because it is like
a Wednesday in a normal week of practice and Monday is more like a Thursday.
"When we get to Monday, we need to be really confident in what we are doing and
understand why we are doing it that way so when we get down (to Jacksonville) we can
really hit it running."
The Tigers plan to have another full pads-session in the morning and Swinney is
looking forward to seeing his players get after it.
"We were really good in spots, but we were really bad in spots today. Hopefully we
can be a little more consistent tomorrow," Swinney said.
REDZONE SRUGGLES: One of those inconsistent areas Friday was in the redzone. During
its redzone period, the Tigers made all kinds of errors on offense, which obviously
concerned their head coach.
"We did a little redzone period today and we missed a signal, dropped a ball, we
just didn't play very well down there. The defense actually did a real good job,"
The Tigers did get some situational stuff in, and will spend Sunday breaking down
and finalizing the rest of the game plan in staff meetings.
BACK IN ACTION: Clemson backup quarterback Willy Korn was back in the mix after
basically sitting out the first five practices to rest his throwing shoulder. Korn
had surgery on his throwing shoulder following the South Carolina game.
"Korn got his first extensive work today, team work," Swinney said. "We let him out
today and cut him loose and he did a good job."
Friday Practice Report
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