I'll have the video posted shortly. Transcript is below.
Just going back to the game with Notre Dame I was disappointed like our players were
that we didn’t win the line of scrimmage. I thought that we went into the football game; it
was a great matchup and we started fast, which was one of our goals because they’re a
really good first quarter team. I thought we came out of the gates stopping the run and
obviously blocked a punt for a touchdown and got some good momentum. Over the course
of the game losing some of the rotation on our defensive front hurt; I didn’t feel like we did
enough things to get off the field, got in a lot of third and ones instead of third and longs.
Any time you’re in a game like that when it’s a one possession game for a lot of the game
there’s just one or two or three plays on either side of the ball that you’ve got to make and
we didn’t as we have in other games this year. That’s what we wanted, we wanted to make
it a four-quarter game. We’re driving down by one score and unfortunately called a hardcount
play where we don’t snap it unless they jump offside and (Center) Garrett
(Bradbury) thought that the nose guard crossed the football and he snapped it, so we take a
shot on that play thinking it’s a free play and the refs didn’t see it that way. That was a big
play with the turnover that ended up being a pick six, puts us down by two scores and then
we’re driving down again to get back within one score and get stopped on a fourth and one.
It wasn’t good enough but I think there’s a lot of positives in the game.
I thought we played very well on special teams, we were plus 95 in hidden yardage, I
thought A.J. Cole really punted the football well and we had a great blocked punt and return
from Nyheim (Hines) early. We had a really good kickoff return late that gave us field
position on their side of the 50 but our coaches, our players, all of us are frustrated and
mad and felt we didn’t play as well, coach as well as we can. It gives us a great opportunity
to improve this weekend against another top ten team in Clemson. We did have some guys
beat up in the game, I don’t know statuses or any of that and probably won’t until
tomorrow. Everybody’s progressing and nobody’s out for the season, it’s going to be a dayto-day
thing as we try to get these guys back. Nyheim was walking around today and said
he felt a lot better so that’s positive, as was (DT) Justin Jones. He said he felt really good.
Haven’t seen (DE) Darian (Roseboro) yet, (DT) Eurndraus Bryant I think he’ll be fine. We’ll
just have to see by tomorrow where we’re at for practice.
Clemson, a 7-1 football team with the number one ranked defense in the ACC and second in
scoring defense, second in rushing, first in pass, first in total, first in sacks so a really good
defensive team that we’re playing. Offensively they’re fourth scoring 32 points per game
and very balanced, 200 plus in both categories with a very fast tailback and an excellent
receiving core, which Clemson always has and Kelly Bryant’s completing sixty seven
percent of his passes. Great challenge and a game that our players are excited to play in.
We’ve played well against them and obviously we want to find a way to win this football
game. The guys will work their buts off to do that’s. Excited for homecoming and hoping the
crowd is like it was with the Louisville game, we need crowd noise in this game big time to
make them have to operate on their silent count and it is a full moon, so I’m asking people
to come out and be loud and crazy. The student section and all those things, all of it helps
our football team play well. I know we’ll be ready to play regardless of who can or can’t, by
Saturday the guys that are out there will play hard and I like forward to seeing that.
Q: It’s probably not as drastic as Notre Dame’s change but Clemson’s more of a running
team this year too. What have you seen from them? They have so many different running
backs and Bryant is different from Watson.
A: They’re running the quarterback more, that’s the biggest thing. Last year they ran the
tailback and they had a great tailback last year, so they’re really not that much different
when you watch them other than Kelly Bryant is running the ball a little more than
Deshawn did. They’re still taking their shots down the field, they’re still running their
perimeter screen packages, Renfrow’s playing really good football in the slot for them. They
rotate two different types of tailbacks and Etienne is scary with the ball. Cain and McCloud
are really good football players; different outside guys, a bigger guy and a real quick guy.
Both their returners, Etienne’s a returner and so is McCloud. They’re going to take what
you give them; they look at how you line up and then they’re going to try get into the plays
they want to be in and make plays on the ball for sure.
Q: Any important carry over from last year within the program right now given last year
you guys had that game. You were so close to winning it, so do you guys remember that bad
A: Absolutely remember it but it’s not last year. All that’s going to do is serve how much
they want to win it this year. They’re two different teams and they had several players in
that game that aren’t on our team anymore and the guys that played in that football game
remembered it well. I’m sure their players do too, it was a great game.
Q: I didn’t see what happened to Justin (Jones), I think it was the first quarter he hurt his
A: Yeah he just banged his elbow up, so he’s fine.
Q: Coach, how soon did your players get over that loss against Notre Dame knowing what’s
at stake? Having to move forward, I know when the guys get a big win they have the 24
hour rule. How did you feel suffering a big loss that got you out of college football playoff
consideration, but still have so much to play for?
A: I asked them yesterday where they think we’re at and they said we’re in first place and
we control our own destiny. That was a good sign to hear the first thing out of their mouth
was they knew we were playing for a lot still. They were disappointed I think still, you play
in a football game and there was 11 penalties in the first half. Many of them were there and
many of them were calls that don’t usually get made but they called them. Our goal going to
Notre Dame was to play our best football we could play. That was the disappointment, I
didn’t feel like we did that. Not that we lost the game, obviously we want to win every
single game but we wanted to play our best in that game and all that is, is better than the
week you were before. We didn’t do that. We did that for a short span of time and I think
that was their frustration and that’s a good frustration to have because you can learn from
that. It wasn’t hard to snap them in, immediately we’re talking about what’s left on the
table for them and who they play.
Q: (WR) Kelvin Harmon has obviously flashed before but he’s just shy of three straight
100-yard receiving games, obviously giving you production. What is Harmon doing better
maybe even from the beginning of the season to now? The way he’s maybe attacking the
A: He’s a big body that has really good ability to track the football and he’s got strong
hands. He’s a hard guy to climb, people are on his back and he just holds them off and
catches the ball. I think the fade ball he’s always been really good at, you’re seeing him
catch a lot more inside plays and the play I think I was most excited about was the quick
screen where he accelerated. That’s the fastest we’ve seen him from a short play, accelerate
with the ball. Our strength guy said he was running 21 miles an hour or something on that
play. For a guy that’s 220 pounds that’s pretty impressive.
Q: You just faced one of the best offensive lines in college football. Coach Swinney says that
the offensive line he has at Clemson is the best he’s had since he’s been there. From what
you’ve seen on tape so far of Clemson, with their offensive line is there a lot of
A: I think it’s an experienced group for sure like Notre Dame’s was, they’re just different.
The way they block is different, not saying ones better than the other but there’s different
ways to coach how you block this play, that play and they’re doing a great job with their
offensive line. Robbie Caldwell does a tremendous job all the time. If Dabbo thinks they’re
the best he’s had I’m sure he’s not saying that because they’re not.
Q: Coach can you just talk about the opportunity you have to play for first place in the
A: We want to control where we go and as a football team, a coaching staff, that’s
something you always want to do. We’re into November now and we want this
conversation to continue. Every game we play brings us closer and closer and closer to
where want to be at the end. It’s just a short term focus, knowing we’ve got to beat
Clemson. To do that we’ve got to play much better than we did last week. It’s just how do
you get them from where they were to where they want to be. Focusing on those details
and making sure we put a game plan together that the kids can play fast with and execute
with and make the plays needed.
Q: What makes Clemson’s defense so dominant? Why have they been so successful this
A: It starts with their players, they’ve got great players. They’re huge up front and they’re
deep. They go 6’5, 6’5, 6’4, 6’5, 6’4, 6’5. All of them are over 300 pounds inside and the
rotation at end is 260, 265, 255, 265 so it’s big, long bodies which is what you want in your
front. Their linebackers are super well-coached guys and he’s got a couple guys that are
making a ton of plays. Dorian O’Daniel has five sacks on the year, pressures, an interception
and 58 tackles. Kendall Joseph has 66 tackles and those two guys are active. He’s got three
North Carolina kids in the secondary and I know this game will matter to those kids. It’s
going to be a great game, I’ve known Brent Venables a long time, we’re both Kansas boys,
he’s a great coach and he’ll have his guys ready to play.
Q: You said Etienne is scary. Nyheim Hines is probably one of the five fastest players in
college football, he looks really fast out there.
A: He does, he plays at a high speed. I don’t know what his times are so I couldn’t answer
that for you but he’s averaging 8.4 yards per carry and he gets from a hand off to top speed
very quickly. He’s a very good football player He’s a north and south runner and runs
through some contact. He’s impressive.
Q: Clemson has a player from North Carolina on their team, Dexter Lawrence, what have
you seen on the field from him?
A: He’s playing with a lot of confidence, I’m sure anytime he’s playing back in his state it
matters to him but the guys and incredible athlete at 6’4, 300 pounds. He’s a really good
football player and they put him over the center a lot where he can eat up two blocks and
take two gaps up. He’s the best player in the country coming out for a reason.