Swinney says Tigers will prepare, embrace the moment, and 'go have some fun'

'If we focus on playing to our standard, the results will take care of themselves. Then whatever happens, I can live with the results'

Clemson's Dabo Swinney in the closing seconds of the 24-14 win over Boston College at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Dabo Swinney in the closing seconds of the 24-14 win over Boston College at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C.

Bring on the 'Noles.

"This is what you do it for," says Clemson coach Dabo Swinney of the upcoming clash between his third-ranked Tigers and No. 5 Florida State.

Asked how he expects the Tigers to handle the hype of this week's nationally televised, prime time showdown, Swinney said he and his team plan to prepare like it was any other week and then enjoy the ride.

"I hope this becomes the norm - you just embrace it," Swinney said. "It's a huge danged game. It's just one game, and whatever happens, it's not over - you've still got a long way to go. But let's face it, the winner of this game is probably going to win the division, but for the loser, the other team has to lose twice, and that's tough."

Swinney said it's the goal of any program to "play in games like this that matter nationally."

"You go to work and you embrace it," he said. "I love it...The winner won't be crowned national champion, but it will certainly stay in that picture very strongly. It's a great opportunity. You go prepare, with purpose, and go play the game. What's the worst thing that can happen - you lose the ball game? Go play and have some fun and put your best foot forward.

"We've got a heck of a football team, and so does Florida State. It ought to be a classic. The best team's going to win."

Swinney said there is no magical, 'big game' switch to flip.

"It's not like we say 'we're really going to practice this week,'" he said. "We do what we do. Every game is the biggest game of the year. I know it's not that way for the fans, but for us to win, that's the way it has to be.

"If we focus on playing to our standard, the results will take care of themselves. And if we do, then whatever happens, I can live with the results."

Swinney described Clemson's offensive performance against Boston College as "a comedy of errors."

"It was like we couldn't get out of our own way," he said. "It was just little things, all correctable. We put four balls on the ground, three of them on exchanges. That can't happen. We had two holding penalties on wide receivers, and we had a touchdown called back because we had a wideout lined up wrong on a formation we've had in since Day One."

On the other side of the ball, Swinney said the Tigers' play was exceptional.

"Defensively, we were very physical, we did a great job on third down, and we had five sacks and six three-and-outs," Swinney said.

Clemson's players of the game on Saturday were Brandon Thomas on offense, Stephone Anthony and Robert Smith on defense, and Phillip Fajgenbaum on special teams.

Swinney noted that starting safety Travis Blanks, who suffered a knee injury against Syracuse, saw late-game action against Boston College and should be good to go against Florida State.

He declined to give a firm answer on whether redshirt freshmen Germone Hopper and Ronald Geohaghen, who were suspended for the BC game, will play against the Seminoles.

"It was two freshmen with really poor behavior - unacceptable behavior, not representative of who we are," Swinney said. "Hopefully they'll learn from it and grow up from it. We'll see how they act this week."

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