Wednesday practice report

CLEMSON - Head coach Dabo Swinney met with the media last time Wednesday before Saturday's big game at South Carolina.


Coach Dabo Swinney closed the book on another workingman Wednesday. With school out for the Thanksgiving Holiday, the Tiger's Wednesday was all football.

Before taking the practice fields, Swinney admitted that he was concerned the team would have a let down.

"The guys are out of school, it's Wednesday--I figured they might be a little lethargic, but they bounced around really well," he said.

Richard Jackson made a 53-yard field goal in the team's special team work.

"He's kicking the ball well and has been doing that all week," Swinney said. "He kicked the ball well Saturday--even the one he missed. I went over and told him. I said, ‘Hey, that's the way you kick the ball.' He kicked it like he was really focusing on trying to get it through the uprights."

Having settled for two field goals with the ball inside Virginia's red zone, the Tigers continue looking to improve the final result inside the opposing team's 20.

"We had (issues) on both sides of the ball," Swinney said. "We let them score a couple of times down in the red zone and we messed it up again--just self-inflicted wounds (on offense)."

**********Swinney said the fourth-down call to go for the touchdown on Clemson's first drive was his call.

"I went for it because I felt it's early in the game. If we didn't make it, it could be an opportunity for the defense to create something," he said.

South Carolina has just five interceptions through 11 games this season. Swinney attributes that number to the youth at corner and a few potential picks that were put on the ground.

"When you watch the film, they've had two or three that are right on them and they just haven't finished the play," he said.

Though rushing the ball appeared to be a struggle during the Virginia game and afterwards on the stat sheet, Swinney knew rushing yards would be at a premium against Virginia's 3-4 front, much like they were last season.

"It's hard because they don't chase things. They sit there and play a shell," Swinney said. "We still had some nice plays. It's hard to rush for 200 yards on those guys."

The rushing total could be a little bit higher this week. Swinney credits that to South Carolina's style of play.

"They're a little bit more aggressive on defense than Virginia is. They like to challenge you," he said.

Swinney's made it a point of emphasis all week--stopping South Carolina's rushing attack.

"If we stop the run, it's advantage Tigers," he said.

When the Gamecocks need yards through the air, Swinney believes Spurrier will go to "their bread and butter."

"They're going to run curl-flats, quick stuff, crossing-type plays and throw back to the tight end--that's some of what they do," he said. Top Stories