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Catching Up With Dabo Swinney

Here are some quotes from Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney’s press conference this week. Clemson is 2-2, with close losses against Texas Christian and Georgia Tech. The Tigers, in my view, have as good a chance as anyone to win the wide-open Atlantic Division race.

(On winning close games)

"We put a little film together that I call the `win reel' because we just have to learn how to win games like that. When you have control of the game certain mistakes don't get magnified. But when you are playing good teams and close games and you are in position to win, you have to win the game. That is a mentality.”

(On the running game)

"We are running ball well, especially in the fourth quarter. This year in the fourth quarter we have had 42 rushes for 213 yards. We are averaging five yards a carry in the fourth quarter. That is a good thing. That is winning football. We are making improvement in a lot of areas. Our effort is good.

"C.J. Spiller has been phenomenal. I can't say enough about him. We all know what he has accomplished and to do something that only one other player has accomplished in college football history is pretty rare air.”

(On the schedule that has included games against Middle Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Boston College and TCU)

"We have played four games and those teams we played are 12-3 combined and two of the three losses are to us. I believe playing a tough schedule is going to pay off for us and we are going to be a battle-tested bunch as we continue."

(On Maryland’s team)

"Maryland is off to a slow start, but Ralph Friedgen has been around a long time and has a tremendous track record. He will have this group ready to play. They have our full attention after they beat us at Clemson last year. We are very much aware of what kind of football team Maryland is and what they are capable of doing.

"For them, they are getting ready to play eight straight conference games. We are going on our third conference game. For them it is a new beginning, and a fresh start. They are 1-3 but they are undefeated in the conference so they have an opportunity to have a new beginning and a fresh start. They will be ready to play, we will get the best Maryland effort of the year I can assure you that. So we have to be ready. If we are going to be a good team we have to go on the road and win. We have another opportunity to do that Saturday.

"Just looking at their offense, Coach Friedgen does a good job along with Coach Franklin. They are very balanced in what they do. They have multiple personnel groupings, which creates some serious game planning during the week. We will have to be very sound. They want to run the ball so we have to be able to stop the run on first and second down. They love to take the homerun shot on those downs.

"This kid Torrey Smith is a pretty good player, he is a good receiver, leading the ACC in reception yards and kickoff return yards. He is actually ahead of C.J. in all-purpose running. Their quarterback [Chris Turner] is a good player. He is a little better runner than I would like for him to be. That is something we are going to show improvement on. I am sure they will test us to see if we are better prepared to handle the quarterback. He is a good solid player.

"Defensively they are young. They only have four starters back and lost one of the top guys on defense to an injury early in the year. They just a new defensive coordinator and have a completely different scheme on that side of the ball. It is night and day from what they have been coverage wise. They are going a little bit more towards an odd front with a lot of different blitzes.

"They are getting better every week. They did a good job against Rutgers, if you just look at the score you wouldn't think so but there were lot of turnovers in the game by Maryland. Their defense held them well until right there at the end. They are really improving on the defensive side of the ball and have some impressive safety's and really big inside."

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 1, 2009; 1:15 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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