Tigers, Jackets preparing for Saturday

CLEMSON - Like Clemson, Georgia Tech enters Saturday's ACC Championship at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa coming of a loss to an inner-state rival from the SEC.

Paul Johnson's team lost 30-24 in heart-breaking fashion to Georgia.

"We didn't play our best game and I thought Georgia played well," Johnson told reporters Sunday. "I think they beat us up physically on both lines of scrimmage. We had our chances and didn't get it done."

Like the Tigers, the Yellow Jackets are "turning the page."

"We have to get ready for a very talented Clemson team. I think any coach in the league would say Clemson is one of the most talented, if not the most talented team in our league," Johnson said.

Despite struggling to stop the run against South Carolina, Johnson doesn't see any weaknesses in the Clemson defense.

"They've got outstanding guys up front, a really good line backing corps, and the secondary is experienced," he said.

Offensively, Johnson sees improved quarterback play and a better offensive line.

"I think they've improved a whole lot offensively since they've played us," he said. "I hope that we've improved too or it's going to be ugly."

Until the loss to Georgia, Johnson believed his team had improved its tempo and speed of play.

"Our guys are a little more comfortable," he said. "I think our quarterback play is a lot better than it was when we played earlier against them."

Dabo Swinney believes both he and Johnson have a better feel for one another after Georgia Tech's 30-27 win in September.

"From a scheme standpoint, that's a good advantage this time around. You've played each other so you have a much better feel for the actual people that are going to be in the game," Swinney said.

For the first time in his two games versus the Yellow Jackets, which have both been defeats, he'll have a full week to prepare the Tigers.

"The guys should have a little bit of recall," Swinney said. "They'll be able to see themselves on film--doing good things and where they made mistakes."

He shrugs off those who question the quality of the ACC when its two best teams are coming off losses to SEC teams that aren't playing in its conference title game.

"The SEC is a great conference and so is the ACC," Swinney said. "I can assure you, if you line up to play an SEC team or an ACC team, you better bring your ‘A' game. If you don't, you're going to get beat."

A 34-17 loss to South Carolina makes it pretty apparent: Clemson didn't bring its ‘A' game to Columbia.

"The season is over now. We're in post-season play. Everybody else is at home," he said. "We're in post-season play because these guys earned it on the field. It's important we refocus them on what got us here."

NOTES: Clemson will be the home team Saturday. The home and away teams are rotated from the Atlantic to the Coastal Divisions based on a coin flip at the first championship game. If the Tigers were to clinch the Atlantic again next season, they would be the away team at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

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