Win at all costs

CLEMSON - The next time Clemson reconvenes on the practice field, it will be in Tennessee at Father Ryan High School.

After Tuesday's practice in Clemson, coach Dabo Swinney said the timing of Sunday's game helps to keep things close to a "normal game week." The exception being that the game isn't on a Saturday.

"Sometimes when we have played on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, it takes a little time to adjust your mental clock," he said.

Comfortable with the team's preparation over the past week, Swinney said he thought the Tigers would be ready to play Tuesday night.

"I feel like we've gotten a lot of quality work done with what little time we've had," he said.

Players began leaving for Nashville after at Tuesday afternoon meeting in the West Zone, during which Swinney planned to address a variety of topics.

"I want them to have the right framework. That's what this meeting's about," he said. "We're going to watch film that really focuses on what's made this a successful season--the things that it takes to win."

Swinney said a successful run game and stopping Kentucky from having success on the ground will be keys to Clemson winning. Against a Kentucky defense that gives up an average of 183 yards on the ground, which is 100th best in the nation, C.J. Spiller, Jamie Harper and Andre Ellington could be looking at a big night on Sunday.

In the ACC Championship, against a Georgia Tech team that ranks higher versus the run than Kentucky, Clemson rushed for 323 yards in the 39-34 loss.

"I don't know if I've ever lost with 300 yards rushing. That's probably my first in my 21 years of coaching college football," Swinney said.

"For us, everything kind of comes off the run--play-action, nakeds, our screens and the drop back--all of that stuff ties together staying in rhythm."

At the same time, Swinney takes a win at all costs approach.

"If it takes throwing 50 times, blitzing every snap--whatever it takes to win the game. That's what we've got to do," he said.

Before the game, Clemson has several team activities on tap.

Both Music City Bowl participants will go to Dave & Buster's on Wednesday night. At night on Christmas Eve, the Tigers will celebrate the holiday with dinner, gift exchange among the players, a senior skit, a competition among the players that Swinney's wife has organized and Christmas karaoke. Top Stories