Tigers in early stages of gameplan for fast, physical Buckeyes

Football - Dabo Swinney helps Mackensie Alexander stretch before practice on Saturday

Photo by Mark Crammer

Football - Dabo Swinney helps Mackensie Alexander stretch before practice on Saturday

CLEMSON - Two bowl practices are in the books, but the Tigers are just scratching surface on the Ohio State gameplan.

"Right now we haven't got many first downs and many stops," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "We're just kind of getting into this thing. Maybe by the end of the week we'll get them to punt a few times and maybe we'll score once or twice. We've got a ways to go."

Two players particularly on his mind are junior quarterback Braxton Miller and senior running back Carlos Hyde, who lead the nation's No. 3 rushing offense (317.5 YPG) and No. 7 total offense (518.5).

"That quarterback that's rushed for over 1,000, he can fly," said Swinney. "He's a running back playing quarterback with a legit arm. I should say he's a quarterback that legitimately runs like a running back. He can throw the ball. Then the big ole running back they have. They stick to what they do – and why wouldn't they? That wins games for them.

Shuey, Tigers ready to get bowl prep going

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"Just the physicality and their style of the play – the multiplicity of how they run the football with the back and quarterback, that's a big challenge. We're going to have a great plan."

Hyde was suspended for the Buckeyes' first three games...and he still totaled 1,408 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.

In the last eight contests, the Naples, Fla. native averaged 160 yards and almost two touchdowns a game (1.75).

Miller has hit his stride on the ground in the last four games, rushing for 623 yards and eight of his 10 touchdowns down the stretch in Big Ten play.

Ohio State's playmakers just jump off the tape.

"How quick their running backs are, how fast their quarterback is and he's also a great passer – it's definitely going to be a challenge," Clemson linebacker Spencer Shuey said. "They have some big offensive lineman – All-Americans and all that. It will be an extremely physical game and tough."

Eligibility issues still in play for Tigers

Clemson's head coach says he's feeling good about the Tigers academically going into the bowl season, but you just never know.

"There's all kinds of rules, I don't try to figure all of that stuff out," Swinney said. "They'll let me know. Whoever's ready to go, we go, and whoever's not, they'll stay home."

Last year, Clemson had to sit the nation's leader in yards per reception, Martavis Bryant, and reserve o-lineman Shaq Anthony for the Chick-fil-A Bowl. For Bryant, the word came down almost two weeks into December (the 12th), while Anthony wasn't suspended until the week of the game.

"Everybody was here (Saturday)," Swinney said. "The eligibility stuff we won't know (yet). I wish I knew now so we don't practice guys that aren't going on the trip. We just don't know.

"Everybody has three or four guys that are down-to-the-wire academically. Until they certify that over to us from Vickery (Hall), we got to assume everything's good."

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Comments » 9

tigerrob44 writes:

Sounds like they have a really good running team. Maybe our front 7 can shut them down and finally get the recognition they deserve for playing so well this season. Check the stats for all games this year and you will see they were the highlight of our team and our offense averaged about 500 yards per game. I look forward to watching them stop OSU cold in their tracks. They will stop them cold.

Xander5000 writes:

I wish there was a way to speed up the elgibility information. This game could have been for the national title...why do we need to have unpleasant surprises that we could control??

As for Ohio State, Clemson needs to be faster and more physical than them the whole game......then its game over.......end of story.

TigerNE writes:

in response to Xander5000:

I wish there was a way to speed up the elgibility information. This game could have been for the national title...why do we need to have unpleasant surprises that we could control??

As for Ohio State, Clemson needs to be faster and more physical than them the whole game......then its game over.......end of story.

I have little doubt the players who are on the edge know it and therefore the coaches know it. So it's not difficult to have a practice strategy that includes the "just in case" loss of any one of those on the edge. But even if you don't make such a plan, I think at least half of the practices come after it is known who is eligible, no?

TheTruth46 writes:

in response to tigerrob44:

Sounds like they have a really good running team. Maybe our front 7 can shut them down and finally get the recognition they deserve for playing so well this season. Check the stats for all games this year and you will see they were the highlight of our team and our offense averaged about 500 yards per game. I look forward to watching them stop OSU cold in their tracks. They will stop them cold.

Good luck with that my man. Seems as though I remember hearing and reading such boastful comments when WVU was the opponent. We all know what happened that evening, the massacre in Miami.

BlueRidgeBengal writes:

in response to TheTruth46:

Good luck with that my man. Seems as though I remember hearing and reading such boastful comments when WVU was the opponent. We all know what happened that evening, the massacre in Miami.

So you take the time to read others comments and post on a site about your archrival? Find a hobby, friend, or maybe learn to play an instrument. Your life may improve.

clemvol writes:

We have a game plan for another big game? Get outta here.

TigerFan95 writes:

in response to TheTruth46:

Good luck with that my man. Seems as though I remember hearing and reading such boastful comments when WVU was the opponent. We all know what happened that evening, the massacre in Miami.

CockloversCentral.com down today?

tigerrob44 writes:

I just think our defense has played well all year except for a few coverage breakdowns and a couple of missed assignments or overrun plays on the ground that cost us. They have played well and it will show in the Orange Bowl. We were not too good a couple of years ago on defense and our play or lack of play showed how poor we were. Our team is different this year on both sides of the ball. I don't know what happened against FSU to get beat like that but I do know their talent level is not any better than ours. Unless they fed them all something that made them great since last year. I do know what happened in the SC game. We turned the game over. Plain and simple had we not turned the ball over we would have won the game.

TheTruth46 writes:

in response to BlueRidgeBengal:

So you take the time to read others comments and post on a site about your archrival? Find a hobby, friend, or maybe learn to play an instrument. Your life may improve.

Oh but I do have several hobbies, many friends, and play several string instruments, one being the harp.Just how fitting is that? My life is terrific. But, this is fun as well, and I appreciate your input, but I got you covered. How about you??

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