Sunday teleconference notebook

Dabo Swinney met with the media Sunday to discuss Saturday's game against No. 15 TCU.

Dabo Swinney's Teleconference:

During his Sunday teleconference, Coach Dabo Swinney said the injured C.J. Spiller and Chris Hairston are getting better.

Hairston's injury has been diagnosed as an MCL sprain. His status is still unknown for Saturday's game against Texas Christian. He wasn't on crutches or wearing a knee brace and walked in on "his own weight." Spiller is expected to play Saturday.

"(Hairston) looked fairly good this morning. The initial reports were pretty good," Swinney said.

Even though the game is a nonconference one, sitting Hairston isn't be an option, assuming he's healthy enough to play.

"We try to win every game…when we play in Death Valley, we're going to do everything we can to win," Swinney said. "We're not going to play him unless he's capable of playing."

Hairston is going to be needed to help slow down Texas Christian defensive end Jerry Hughes. A consensus All-American, Hughes leads the Horned Frogs with 16 tackles and 4.5 sacks.

Swinney plans for the Tigers to try to minimize Hughes' impact on the game because it's a given that he will make plays. Hughes will likely be lining up along the right-side of the Clemson offense.

"He can run full speed under a table," Swinney said. "He is a very, very good player. We'll have to have two or three plans for him—plans a, b and c."

Along with keeping Hughes out of the Clemson backfield, the offense will have to get better inside the red zone. Swinney credits the trouble scoring touchdowns in the red zone to making critical errors that are breaking down plays.

"We've got to coach better, bottom line. It's not what the opponents doing. It's what we're doing," he said. "The good news is we can get better at that and fix that."

Swinney called the offense a deliberate and stubborn one against Boston College.

"We moved the ball well enough to get into position to kick field goals," he said. Swinney was pleased with the first home win over the Eagles since they joined the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Special teams play improved since the Georgia Tech game and the defense tackled better too. The Tigers cut down big plays by the opponent, an objective coaches set during preparation for the game.

Jamarcus Grant wasn't with the team on Saturday because he had the flu. He's expected to be back with the team Monday. Swinney said Grant's flu isn't thought to be H1N1 or the swine flu. Top Stories