What ranks as Dabo Swinney’s greatest concern going into the Georgia Tech game on Saturday?
The Yellow Jackets’ motivation to get their season back on track?
Tech’s effective and well-practiced ‘cut-blocking’ technique?’
The dynamic and explosive personnel coach Paul Johnson has assembled to execute his offense?
Swinney’s answer might well be “all of the above.”
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But if he had to reduce Clemson’s challenge into a single nutshell phrase, it would be, simply: “Do your job!”
Option football requires defensive discipline, Swinney explained. And Georgia Tech’s attack is designed to punish any lapse in attention with a back-breaking big play.
The Tigers well know the Yellow Jackets’ sting.
“Looking at last year’s tape, we had guys in position to make plays and they didn’t do their job,” Swinney said during his weekly news conference on Tuesday. “Somebody has the quarterback every play. But he takes the pump fake and goes and takes the pitch guy, too.
“You have to play the option every single play. You can’t get bored with doing your job. They always have numbers, so you have to pay attention play after play.
“So we have to clean it up, everybody do their job, and then we’ll have to win some one-on-one battles.”
Swinney described the Yellow Jackets as “a big challenge…a rivalry game, and always a tough game...We’ve had some knock-down, drag-outs, but we haven’t won many of them lately.”
Swinney said his players know exactly what they’ll get from Georgia Tech.
“It’s a big game for them, too,” he said. “They’ve had two overtime, last-play losses, and that’s hard to deal when you’ve worked your tail off.
“We’ll get their A-game – the best they’ve got – and our guys know that. This is a team capable of playing with and beating anybody.”