Not referring to anyone in particular or to specific circumstances, Dabo Swinney made a clear statement on where he stands on the subject of players who are unable or unwilling to buy into the Tigers’ ‘one-team, one-dream’ theme.
Swinney was asked after the North Carolina game if all the players now on the roster are ‘all-in’ regarding their opportunities in the Tigers’ multi-faceted offense.
“If they’re not, they need to leave,” Swinney said. “The door’s right there. That’s the least of my worries – I’m the last guy to coddle guys. This is a team sport and our guys know that. It’s one-team, one-dream.
“You’ll have a hard time making it at Clemson if you’re not a team guy. A hard time. Sooner or later, it’s going to be a problem…
“But we don’t worry about all that,” he added. “We coach ‘em all, coach ‘em all hard, love ‘em, and the guys who want to be about the right things are going to make it here, and the guys who don’t won’t make it.”
Tajh Boyd 2nd on TSN Heisman Watch List: The final week of October finds Tajh Boyd in the thick of the Heisman Trophy conversation should front-runner Andrew Luck falter.
The Sporting News over the weekend listed the Tigers’ sophomore quarterback atop its list of alternative choices.
TSN’s editor’s wrote:
“Look at all the undefeated teams in college football, and only Kansas State is more of a surprise than Clemson. Boyd’s numbers are better than perhaps anyone’s in the country, but his smart play, inflappability and occasional flair have been just as eye-opening. Season stats: 172-of-278 (61.9 percent) for 2,379 yards and 24 TDs, with 3 INTs; 165 yards and 4 TDs rushing.”
Like Alabama, Tigers Expecting Success: An interesting take on Clemson’s rise among the nation’s elite from the Associated Press’ Pete Iacobelli:
‘Clemson coach Dabo Swinney felt it during his college days and he's feeling it now with his sixth-ranked Tigers — an expectation of success.
Swinney walked on to the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide, eventually working his way to scholarship status with the 1992 national champions. What set Alabama apart was the iron-clad belief that it would do what it took to win. No other outcome was acceptable.
Swinney sees the same notion taking hold at Clemson, which is 8-0 for the first time in 11 years after a 59-38 victory over North Carolina on Saturday. The Tigers (5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) try to move to 9-0 for the first time in 30 years since the school's 1981 national championship season at Georgia Tech this weekend.
Swinney has spent less time each week cultivating that can't-lose mentality. And it has shown in workouts and games.
"I'm starting to see an expectation in these guys. They practice the right way," Swinney said. "That's all a product of winning."
Tigers Lead ACC In Scoring, Total Offense: Clemson leads the ACC in scoring (40.63) and total offense (482.5) going into its game this week against Georgia Tech. The Tigers rank 12th and 15th nationally in those categories, respectively.
The Tigers are also 12th nationally in turnover margin (+1.13), 13th in passing efficiency, 15th in passing yardage , 25th in kickoff returns, 40th in rushing, and 51st in scoring defense.
Tigers, Deacons Out Front In Atlantic: Clemson and Wake Forest have turned the ACC’s Atlantic Division into a two-horse race, headed into the home stretch of the season.
The Tigers sit atop the standings at 5-0, with the Deacons a game back at 4-1. By the time Clemson plays Georgia Tech on Saturday, Wake Forest will either have gone to 5-1 with a victory over North Carolina, or dropped to 4-2 with a loss to the Tar Heels.
Florida State is two games back of the Tigers in the loss column at 2-2, but is, in effect, three games back because of Clemson owning the head-to-head tiebreaker between the two teams. Maryland is 1-3, also with tiebreaker disadvantage, and NC State is 1-2. Boston College, at 0-4, has now been mathematically eliminated from contention.