The big game this weekend will be taking place in College Station as Clemson travels to Texas A&M to face the Aggies. ESPN’s College GameDay will be on location for the game that reunites former annual rivals, Jimbo Fisher and Dabo Swinney.
Speaking of Swinney, the Clemson coach met with the media on Tuesday to preview his team’s trip to Texas.
Here are the highlights of what he had to say concerning the Aggies:
Dabo Swinney’s opening comments:
- “Defensively, they are stout. They have some big dudes up front, No. 34 is an Earthmover. (No.) 8 is a good player, (No.) 46 led the SEC is sacks last year. Very talented. They have a lot of guys back on defense that started at different times last year. Very good in the secondary, probably the best safeties as we are going to see. These are really talented players at safety. I’d say all four of their starters in the secondary will play in the NFL.”
- “Their D-coordinator came from Notre Dame, he came from Wake Forest and I was really, really happy when he left (Wake) and went to Notre Dame because he was one of the best that we saw, year in and year out. He does a great job schematically, especially coaching up those guys in the secondary.”
- “Very impressed with their quarterback. The more I’ve watched of him, really impressive athlete. I’ve met him, he came here and camped one summer. He’s incredibly athletic and he has moxie. He won me over when he’s running the read option and he’s 20 yards downfield leading the way blocking… I know they played a game against a team that didn’t match up real well last week but he made some good throws. Made on throw on the sideline, two really big throws to their tight end. (No.) 81 is a guy that transferred in there. He fits the mold of what Jimbo has had from the tight end position.”
- “They rushed for 500 yards. I’ll say that again, they rushed for 500 yards. I know the team didn’t match up with them well but it’s hard to rush for 500 yards, I don’t care who you play. Their back did a tremendous job.”
On his experience coaching at Kyle Field:
- “Yeah, I was part of that butt whipping we took there in ’04. Couldn’t get home soon enough. We got destroyed out there. That’s the only time I’ve been in Texas for a football game.”
On what he’s seen of the adjustments made to Texas A&M’s roster after hiring Jimbo Fisher:
- “He’s added some fullbacks and tight ends, couple of transfer guys he got in, he’s always been a tight end guy. He’s very diverse, he’ll be heavy in a heartbeat then go spread. Lots of play action. At his core, he wants to run the ball… One thing I always think he’s done well is the screen game. They’ve always been a great screen team.
How does Fisher’s hire make this game different than originally planned when you scheduled this game?
- “Well, I didn’t schedule them, I just knew they were coming. When it was scheduled, I don’t really think much about it, I just live in the moment for this reason exactly. I don’t get too excited about teams we are playing five years from now, lots of things change… I knew the trip to Texas A&M would be a great one… Didn’t really put much thought into coaching or players.”