Coach Dabo Swinney said in his weekly Sunday teleconference preparations for the Yellow Jacket's option offense started this spring. In addition, coaches were already back to work between 6 and 7 Sunday morning with practice starting at 7 p.m.
"If you have an opponent somewhere on your schedule that's very unique like a Georgia Tech, it only makes sense to prepare a little bit this spring and some more as a coaching staff this summer," he said. "Hopefully, that will be a big benefit for us as we get into the game planning with our players this week."
Clemson coaches have studied film from last year's meeting along with all other Georgia Tech games. Though defensive coordinators have changed, Swinney said there are some base things that can be applied in preparation for Thursday.
"I think we've got a good feel for them as a coaching staff," he said. "Now, we have to get it ingrained in our players and flip the page."
Georgia Tech's offensive weapons start with reigning ACC Player of the Year Jonathan Dwyer and quarterback Josh Nesbitt. Swinney said opposing defenses are lulled to sleep by the run then beaten through the air.
"It's a big challenge," Swinney said. "They're a very good football team…they play within their scheme and they'll take their shots."
He added that Georgia Tech Coach Paul Johnson will call a play just to get a look from the opposing defense.
"(Johnson) will call something, he doesn't care if it gets a yard or not. He just needs to get some information," Swinney said. "That's really all he's trying to do. If it gains a yard or loses a yard, well, that's just arbitrary."
The plan on defense will be to keep it simple.
"We have to be simple enough to where we know what we're doing," Swinney said. "We also have to do a great job from a call stand point to make sure he can't just zone in and settle in on exactly what we're doing and exploit us."
Offensively, the quick turnaround from one team to another isn't as demanding. Not to say it's going to be easier for the Tiger offense to game plan.
"They're a little more conventional (on defense)," he said.
And in retrospect, preparing for Middle Tennessee's defense wasn't as clear cut.
"This defense we just played was all over the place. We didn't know where they were going to be," Swinney said. "We had a simple game plan and we were able to manage all night with the different looks we saw from Middle Tennessee."
FILM REVIEW: Overall, Swinney believed the first team played very well. The lone sack was the result of a three-man twist stunt that didn't have the proper switch in protection.
When grading film, Swinney was looking at effort on all three teams and was pleased with what he saw.
"We didn't have a lot of missed assignments. The biggest things were very correctable," he said.
Only two penalties on offense, and two on defense, preparation was good.
"Two of them were stupid penalties…but it was a very clean game from that stand point," Swinney said. "That was a good sign and I hope that shows the kind of focus and attention to details we have with the staff."
Unfortunately for Willy Korn, his two drives ended with a turnover: a freak fumble and unlucky interception. Swinney said he's got all the confidence in the world in him.
"I'm not concerned about anything in that regard, as far as his mental stability. He's a tough kid, he'll bounce back," Swinney said.
Defensively, the Tigers yielded only one touchdown when the Blue Raider offense scored on the first possession of the second half. After all the sacks and interceptions the rest of the night, Swinney has challenged the defense to finish better.
"We came out to open the second half and we let them go down and score. The last two drives of the game they had about 60 something yards," he said. "We have to really finish and put them away. We got a little sloppy late in the game."
INJURY UPDATE: Reserve linebacker Daniel Andrews may be limited at tonight's practice after missing last night. He should be ready to go Thursday.
Swinney said there were no other injuries to report.
Tigers already focused on Tech
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