Thursday Dabo Swinney Audio

CLEMSON - Head coach Dabo Swinney talks about Saturday's season opener versus North Texas.


OPENING GAME MEMORIES: I've got some good memories and bad memories. I won't ever forget that Alabama butt whooping here. That was an eye opener. Southern Miss. my sophomore year, which was the year I started playing. They had this quarterback that was in a bad car wreck that summer. He wasn't supposed to play. It was a prelude of what was to come many years later. All they talked about was, is he going to play, is he not going to play? A lot of people thought he wasn't going to play. Brett Favre played beat us, like 30-27. That was coach [Gene] Stallings' first game. I'll never forget that opener. Not quite the way you want to start your head coaching career off at Alabama. I'll never forget watching him play, going wow, he was something special. Our national championship year, I don't remember who we opened with to be honest with you. I want to say Vanderbilt—I don't remember. Most of the time, the big wins you don't remember as much as the bad losses. Those tend to stick out with you a little bit more.

THOUGHTS ON PLAYING A MARQUEE SEASON OPENING GAME IN THE FUTURE: I'd be all for it. I'd have no problem with it…if you had your druthers, you'd like to not have a team like that. I think it's exciting for everybody involved. It's good if you can win it. I think anything you can do to create exposure for your program and build your brand and have a good gauge early in season, where you are in a non-conference game. I don't think that's a bad thing.

IS MAYE THE ONLY ONE OUT?: Yes. That's it.

CO-STARTERS: Those linemen, those six guys will just play. [Mason] Cloy will just roll. He'll be everywhere. We've got a good healthy rotation there. I think you'll see Phillip Price and Brandon Thomas get some good reps. Phillip will probably g o with the ones some, maybe at right tackle and left tackle. As far as the receivers go, we're at a point; we'll have to start somebody, just because you have to run somebody out there for the first play. It's really so close at each one of our positions, they deserve to play. You just play them, try to give them opportunities, hopefully, over the next few weeks—I don't think anything will be settled Saturday—hopefully over the next few weeks somebody is going to emerge in that game environment. I hope it's three or four or five guys. That's really what you want. Now you've got depth, competitive depth at practice every day and you've got several guys that can make plays, which makes you a much tougher team to defend, as opposed to one guy or two guys. It's easier to game plan as well because you don't have to do as much plotting and scheming to make sure this guy is here or there. You just go play. I hope that we have four or five guys step up. All of those guys warrant opportunities and warrant playing time. We'll roll, just let them play.

STATEMENT WITH FIRST PLAY OR SERIES?: No. Hopefully, we won't turn it over. I just want to see good execution. The game's not going to be settled on the first series, either way, whether you do really good or go out there and go three and out and have to punt. It's the course of the game. Hopefully, when it's all said and done, we'll have played well enough to win the game. That's the ultimate—we've got ourselves on film and really go and study. Try to keep getting better. I hope both sides can get off to a strong start and set the tempo early. We'll just play one play. If it's a good play, great, if it ain't, we'll just go to the next play and reload.

GETTING THE PLAY IN: We like to be up there in 20 seconds on the clock. Twenty to 22 seconds so he's got time to do what he needs to do and hopefully snap the thing somewhere between 16 and 20. Great. It depends on what tempo we're in. That's kind of the normal tempo. If we're playing really fast, it's get it snapped as quick as we can possibly line up. It just depends on what mode we're in. Top Stories