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Clemson Football

Dabo Swinney Press Conference Notes: Florida State

October 8, 2019

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Here are some quick, unedited notes from Dabo Swinney’s Tuesday press conference previewing Florida State:

– Great break for us. I think everybody needs a break now and then. Took Saturday and Sunday to have some family time and really watched some football. Doubt many accounts take the weekend off and do accounting. Being a football coach is a weird job. It was fun to be a fan and just watch some games. Excited to get back at it. When you take a break from something you love, you have a newfound appreciation for what you do.

– Really good energy at practice last night.

– Florida State is the most talented team we’ll face. Just look at recruiting. They’ve out-recruited us over the last decade. They should be 5-0. They are truly two are three plays away from being 5-0. They are starting to play better. Everything goes through Cam Akers. We were probably a little soft the last few games in the run game so we need to match that physicality. Florida State keeps giving him the ball because that sets up everything else.

– They are getting better up front. James Blackman is efficient in his scrambling. Both quarterbacks (Alex Hornibrook) are efficient. Very, very capable group offensively.

– Defensively, they are the biggest group we’ve seen. They are huge. No. 11 is a very special player and has the ability to pressure the QB. They are big, big guys and they are hard to move. The biggest thing that has hurt them from being 5-0: they’ve had a bunch of penalties. They have overcome that through being +5 in turnover margin. We did not create a turnover at North Carolina. That will be a huge stat in this game. If we win the turnover margin, then we’ll win the game and vice versa.

– Clemson and Florida State is a special game and has been for a long time. It never gets old. The last 10 years, the team that has won this game has won the division. Both teams want the same thing: control of division destiny. This is Playoff football. It’s exciting to be where we want to be and have all of our goals are still there.

– This week is PAW Journey week. The program provides 85 initiatives per year. There is a process players have to go through to be ambassadors. Have 100 percent career placement from 2018 team. This year we’ve served over 1300 hours of community service as a team.

– Kendal Briles is committed to the run. Tempo. They play really fast and are going to try and neutralize substitutions. They are a little more downhill running game. A little different style. Then there are lots of RPOs. A lot of slants and then they just drop back and let it rip. Last year they did not run the ball very well.

– Soft against the run? Missed some tackles and weren’t aligned to things properly. Just being disciplined and lining up right. Details. When you don’t do things right, good backs have a way of finding creases. You better have your big--boy pads on.

– A lot of positives came out of seeing Trevor Lawrence have to overcome his first bit of adversity in 20 games. Showed grit and moxie in what was not his best game.

– Our third-down percentage is higher this year at 46 percent than 42 percent success rate last year.

– Very clean injury report yesterday. Tanner Muse is back and ready to go.

– Said he’s taken the tarp on the ROY Bus and given it an oil change. Didn’t think they’d be back on there, but here we are. Here we go.

– If you are playing your best football right now (in early October), it’s probably not going to end well for you. We’re 5-0 and not close to being our best.

– Trevor Lawrence has not been up-and-down. He’s been very consistent and is 5-0. He’s made some huge plays with his legs, big-time scramble throws. He didn’t play well at UNC, but hasn’t been up-and-down. We’re 5-0 and he’s a big reason for it.

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