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Clemson Football

Dabo Swinney on ACC Title matchup with Notre Dame: 'This is championship football'

December 8, 2020

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Opening Statement:

"Just a quick follow up from the other night really proud of our team and our staff, it was a tough challenge, night game, nobody there freezing cold, just really proud of the mental toughness of our guys and, and their energy. Was a little bit of a different type of game, that's for sure. Just proud of how we competed for four quarters and settled and put a good game together. A lot of good things, with this team all year long, this has been a special group really proud of them."

On the success of the senior class:

"They've made a lot of history all year long and continue to do that obviously, punching our ticket to our sixth ACC title game in a row. Our seniors got their 50th win and I think there's only 11 groups in FBS history to do that. So we're really proud of them."

On the defensive numbers this season:

"Made some history on defense the other night, the first time we've had three scoop & scores in a season ever, and first time to have four seasons in a row with three different defensive touchdowns. Only one other school and ACC history score 34 points or more in the first 10 games."

MUST-READ: Business as Usual: In the most unusual of seasons, Clemson is right where they are accustomed to being at this time of year, playing for the Atlantic Coast Conference title.

On earning a trip back to the ACC Championship:

"We got done what we went up there to do and that was to win the game and punch our ticket to Charlotte and, and so we're excited about heading back up to Charlotte for a huge game with Notre Dame. Congrats to Notre Dame for the season they've had, they've obviously had a great year and this is championship football. This is what you work for-- and have a chance to compete at the highest level. You got two great teams, unusual in college football that you get a chance to play a team again, but we really look forward to it. (We know) it's going to be a tough, tough battle, but what a great opportunity for our team. This is the next goal for us, to win this league, you win the league and good things come with that."

On Jake Venables’ broken arm:

"Yeah, he's gonna have surgery tomorrow. I would think he would definitely be out, but I have not gotten that confirmed, but I do know he's going to have surgery tomorrow. I'm gonna have to put the plate put in there. So I don't anticipate him being available."

On South Carolina hiring Shane Beamer:

"I think they made a good hire. I consider Shane a friend. He's a good person. I've known him for a long time. He's always stayed in touch over the years. He's got a sweet wife and really just a great, great family guy. Have tons of respect for his entire family. Coach Beamer, one of the good guys in this business. When I first came into the ACC, just a great guy, like I said, became a friend. Shane, I've known for a long time, Shane was with Woody at Mississippi State, so I've just known him a long time. I  just think he's a really good person and has been very successful as a football coach. Obviously, he's at our rival and all that type of stuff, but I have a lot of respect for him as a person, as a man, as a father, as a husband, and as a football coach. I think they heard a good man."

On what Beamer needs to do:

"Just be himself, you know, just be himself. He knows what he needs to do and he'll do a great job. I actually reached out to him last week and had a good conversation with him. Just be himself, surround himself with good people and be an inside out program. I think that's where it starts."

On if James Skalski had any lingering issues:

"I don't think so. I mean, anything can happen-- it's football. So every time you step in between the lines, it's a tough game, and anything can happen. But, as far as where we are today, I think he's in a good spot."

On having two weeks to get ready for the ACC Championship:

"It is definitely unique, for sure, I mean, it's just basically an open date, both teams have the same open date. But it's week 11 for us. We are, who we are, they are, who they are. The things that got you there, you're not going to all sudden, just get away from those things, you just got to try to be good at what you do and you certainly can learn from your first matchup, but at the end of the day, you have it comes down to execution."

On the advantage of having Trevor Lawrence for the second Notre Dame game:

"D.J. was amazing, obviously, but I just think, he's a veteran guy. He's a guy that's won 33 games as the starting quarterback, so I think that his overall experience and just overall knowledge, is just at a little bit of a different level, as it should be, from a guy making his first-ever road start-- the second career started as a freshman-- but he certainly played a great game and I just think Trevor brings a veteran presence. You just can't coach that. You have to put in the work to get to that point."

On the movie “Safety” coming out this week:

"Well, I was an assistant when all that was going on. Ray Ray was on the other side of the ball, but I remember being in our staff meetings and conversation about what all was going on, and what compliance was trying...they were trying to get a waiver where the families here could help. It was obviously a very unusual situation. Fahmarr was around a lot and then Fahmarr ended up, when Ray Ray was gone, Fahmarr stayed in the area and went to school with our kids and things like that. So I really got to know him more, as he got older. It was definitely a unique story at that time that, I think captured the hearts of a lot of people."

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Dabo Swinney on ACC Title matchup with Notre Dame: 'This is championship football'

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