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October 24, 2010

Sunday teleconference

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CLEMSON, S.C. -- Dabo Swinney addressed members of the media Sunday as part of his weekly teleconference, where he looked back on Saturday's 27-13 win over Georgia Tech and also looked ahead to next weekend's matchup with Boston College.

Opening statement. "The film was what I thought it was ... a very well-executed game plan on both sides of the ball. We're starting to play smarter. That hurt us earlier in the year. They're starting to learn how to play smarter and it's paying off big time. I'm proud of the way they played. We have a lot of respect for Georgia Tech and have had some tough battles. To be able to win convincingly was a great accomplishment for our team. We'll watch the tape with them tomorrow. There are always things you have to get better at.

"We have to get focused on Boston College. It's a one-game season. Our season this week is BC. It's never easy going up there. We know they'll be very tough. They had a chance to beat Florida State and Maryland and didn't quite finish. Those were two really tough losses for them. We'll have to continue to play well, but do it on the road and we have yet to do that."

Q. Obviously Tech has given a lot of people trouble with their offense. You have to be encouraged by what your defense did.
Dabo. "Tremendous. We talked about doing a good job in the red zone. We held them to field goal attempts. We only had six missed assignments the whole game. Guys really played with a swagger. We contested just about everything and we tackled well. I just thought the defense set the tempo for the whole day. Our defensive line was dominant, just absolutely dominant. The player of the game was the front four on defense. They physically dominated them and that's what disrupted everything.

"Nesbitt isn't a good player. He's a great player. He came in averaging 95 yards a game. To rush the ball 15 times for two yards, that's pretty amazing. Another thing about our defense is that we're really starting to develop some depth and some confident depth. Malliciah Goodman … what a game he played. Meeks is starting to blossom into the player we felt he could be. Kourtnei Brown is a guy who showed up. Our linebackers did an excellent job. Quandon played well. Tig played well. Carlton went in there and did some good things for us."

Q. Could we see more of Andre Branch at linebacker?
Dabo. "I doubt it. That was kind of a (GT) game plan deal. He's much more suited for d-ened. Without him, we've only got three guys at d-end. Right now I'd anticipate him staying at bandit."

Q. How do you feel about where this team is right now?
Dabo. "We are where we are. We're 4-3. I'm not really happy with where we are, to be honest with you. I wish we could go back and change those plays. We're 17 points away from being undefeated. This team has shown up every week. They've learned how to practice and prepare. They play with great effort. We've been a team early in the year that found a way to beat itself. We made some criticial mistakes not playing smart. They continue to play hard and continue to believe. They continue to listen to the right things. Now they're starting to play smarter. We still have a lot of ball left to play. Every game is critical. We're just taking it one game at a time. We're just a 4-3 team trying to get better."

Q. Obviously your pass game took a step forward yesterday. You will have to lean on that more this week, possibly, given that Boston College is so tough against the run.
Dabo. "We want to have rhythm on offense and have balance. That was probably the bset thing about Saturday. It was a very good day. Our playmakers stepped up and made some plays. Nuke, Andre, Harper, Dwayne, Kyle had another solid day managing the game, no sacks, no turnovers … so we want to be able to do whatever it takes to win. The problem last week was that we had six drops. This week we threw and caught the ball better, which allowed us to have the rhythm that we needed on offense. We were better on first down, and that led to us being 60-percent on third down."

Q. Any other injuries?
Dabo. "I think Daniel is the only one - at this time - that I anticipate being out."

Q. How did Meeks grade out?
Dabo. "He played very well. 41 plays, 5 tackles and two pass-breakups. He's getting more confident and playing fast. He's starting to blossom a little bit. I'm really excited to see that. He started the game Saturday. I'd say based on how he played Saturday, I'd say that could continue. We'll see. But a lot of these decisions are made in practice. He performed very well, so he got the start. We're starting to develop accoutnabilty, competition and depth."

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