Practice Report: Tigers inching towards Orange Bowl trip

Football - Dabo Swinney

Photo by Mark Crammer

Football - Dabo Swinney

Clemson, SC—Clemson returned to the practice fields Friday for the first time in six days. It was a spirited workout that concluded with a physical one-on-one blocking drill that set the tone for the style of play expected when Clemson faces Ohio State a week from today at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, FL.

Tigers can see 'mountain top'

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The Tigers had not practiced since the morning of December 21. The team had five days off to spend with families during the holiday season. The team gathered on Thursday night and did some conditioning runs, but Friday was a full pads practice.

“This was our last practice in full pads until we get to Miami,” said Swinney. “We will have a Thursday style of practice tomorrow (Saturday), then have our normal Monday practice on Sunday.” The Tigers face sixth-ranked Ohio State on Friday, January 3rd at 8:30 PM.

Swinney reported after practice that all travel squad players are eligible for the bowl game. He also said there were no new injuries and he expects everyone to be ready physically unless someone is hurt in practice between now and next Friday.

“Today was a good practice. We had some good competitive work and there was a lot of enthusiasm, “continued Swinney. “When we get to Miami we will be ready to polish off the preparation.

“It was good to get some physical work in today. It was good to see Carlos Watkins and Kevin Dodd able to get some work in." Watkins and Dodd both are recovering from injuries suffered earlier in the year, and have not been involved in the physical aspect of practice since September. The plan is to red-shirt both players.

Boyd ready to go out on high note

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Swinney talked about Ohio State junior quarterback Braxton Miller after practice. “We have not faced one like this guy. He has great instincts. He is not a quarterback running the ball, he is a legit runner. He can change direction. He is fast and runs away from people. He turns broken plays into positive plays for them. He can scramble and find the guys down the field. He is one of the best players in the nation. If he did not miss some time this year due to injury he would have been in New York.”

Swinney also talked about the importance of this game. “Everyone talks about your last game for eight months. It leaves an impression. From a momentum standpoint you can carry on a good vibe into the off season if you win that last one.

“This is not just any bowl game, it is the Orange Bowl against Ohio State. We haven’t won a BCS Bowl, and haven’t won a bowl game of this magnitude since 1981. It would be a big win. “

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Comments » 2

CUNo1Fan writes:

I don't know that I agree with the comments that it is the biggest since 81. If we win then sure, it would be one of the biggest.

People (including Dabo) need to remember there weren't 35 bowl games back in the 80's nor was there the BCS or all the bowl tie in's like there are now. There were plenty of times when Clemson and didn't get an automatic invite to one of the "big 5" bowls even though they were highly ranked and the Conference Champion. It didn't work that way back then and just getting an invite to pretty much any of them required a minimum of 8 wins in an 11 game season. I would consider each of win's in the Tigers streak of wins over some of the top programs in the country (at that time) from 1986 to 1991 just as big. That streak included Stanford, Penn State, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Illinois.

We were actually pretty good in the big games back then with Danny's teams being 7-2 in bowl games overall and having an overall record of 12-8 in the bowl games at the end of the 91 season. Since then, not so much having gone 5-10 over the last 15 bowl games to currently have a losing record in bowl games of 17-18.

TigerNE writes:

CUNo1Fan - Which bowl appearance since 1981 was bigger? Just like any game that is nationally broadcast, a loss is just as damaging as a win is helpful to the team's image and all that leads to. Since every article written about this game brings up the WVU massacre and since nearly every article or discussion includes the mention of "Clemsoning" if not defining for the billionth time, this game is a big one for our reputation. It may be the media's doing (fault), but it is what it is.

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