Looking both at the way the rushing game fits into the overall offense, and the fact that Clemson counts many of its horizontal passes as rushing plays, Swinney said this week that he's been generally pleased with the week-to-week production of what he considers a core element of the offense.
Clemson goes into the Virginia game averaging 174 yards per game on the ground, which ranks seventh in the ACC and 58 among FBS teams.
"I don't have very much concern," Swinney said. "We just rushed the ball for 250 yards at the other team's place, where they were only giving up 120 yards game. I think we're running the ball pretty good.
"We're a little bit off from where we were last year, but not much. But our passing is up a little. We've been a little inconsistent at times. But we're 7-1, and you don't get to be 7-1 without some guys doing some good things in the trenches."
Swinney took issue with popular perception that the Tigers' offensive line isn't holding up its end of the bargain.
"I know people sometimes like to say certain things, but I know what we have on this football team, and I know what we've done, good and bad," Swinney said. "Our offensive line has not been great, but none of us has been great.
"You're not one of the best teams in the country offensively, which we are, without having some guys do some good things up front. I think a lot of times they get a little too much blame."
Swinney said he's seen season-long improvement by the players manning the positions up front.
"Ryan Norton didn't have his best game last week - he got a little banged up early and tried to fight through - but he's been very consistent," Swinney said. "Tyler Shatley has been tremendous all season. David Beasley has been on and off, as far as being hurt and coming up, but Kalon Davis has quietly done a lot of good things for us, and he was a guy, coming into the season, that we were a little disappointed in, and hopeful that he might emerge. So that's been a real positive. And Brandon Thomas has just been outstanding."
After his career-best 161-yard performance against Maryland last week, senior running back Rod McDowell is now averaging 75.9 yards per game, which ranks fifth in the ACC behind Boston College's Andre Williams (144.3), Miami's Duke Johnson (117.6), Florida State's Devonta Freeman (80.1) and Virginia's Kevin Parks (76.8).
Backups Zac Brooks, D.J. Howard and C.J. Davidson are averaging 63.7 yards per game, combined.
Tajh Boyd's contribution continues to be an essential element in Clemson's rushing attack. Taking away sack losses, he's rushing the ball about eight times per game and averaging nearly five yards per carry.
Boyd's ankle and knee injuries forced the Tigers to go away from the quarterback run for a large part of the Maryland game last week, and the offense regained its footing when Boyd began rushing the ball again in the fourth quarter.
"That's what we do," Swinney said. "That's our philosophy. That's why I went to what we do. When Tajh is gone, with whoever the next guy is, we're going to run the football.
"I believe a running quarterback gives us a distinct advantage. When you get into short yardage and goal-line situations and everybody loads the box, you gain an extra hat when you have a quarterback who can run the ball. It's just a numbers game, and a philosophy.
"One reason that we've won a bunch of ball games is that our quarterback is a weapon. If our quarterback can't run the football, it's sort of a moot point with our system."
Looking ahead, Swinney said Clemson will continue to aim for elite-level recruits to man the running back position.
"Our running backs are always going to lead us in rushing, and we're going to get back to the place where we have some All-America type running backs here," he said. "That's going to happen."