Tag:Dabo Swinney
Posted on: December 4, 2011 4:49 pm
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Ohio State, Houston eye Clemson OC Chad Morris

Posted by Chip Patterson

Before Saturday's ACC Championship Game, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney admitted that he had been contacted by as many as five schools with interest in speaking to offensive coordinator Chad Morris. At the time Swinney said that Ohio State, with new head coach Urban Meyer, was not one of those schools. After Clemson's dominating 38-10 win over Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game, things are heating up in the race for Morris' services in the future.

CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman reports there is "a potential bidding war" for Morris between Clemson and Ohio State. In Dabo's first comments debunking the Ohio State rumors, the Tigers' head coach added that he did not anticipate Morris leaving unless it was for a head coaching position.

That might be an option for Morris as well, who admitted after the championship game that he had been contacted by other schools. Bart Wright, of the Greenville (S.C.) News, reported that Morris was asked after the game about the possibility of the Houston job being vacant. With Kevin Sumlin rumored as a top candidate for Texas A&M, among others, the Cougars could be looking for a new head coach in the near future.

"Oh man, it's hard to talk about that with all this emotion going on," Morris replied. "Let's just say if that happened, things could get very interesting."

Morris would have the opportunity to return to the area where he rose to coaching fame in the high school ranks. His fast paced offensive style is similar in some ways to Sumlin's, and the Cougars are very familiar with Morris from his experience as an offensive coordinator at Tulsa.

Morris arrived at Clemson last offseason, after the Tigers struggled offensively during a disappointing 6-7 season. The new scheme and talented new additions like ACC Rookie of the Year Sammy Watkins have helped Clemson's offense improve into a unit that now ranks 29th nationally in total offense, and finished second in the ACC only behind Georgia Tech.

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Posted on: December 4, 2011 4:49 pm
 

Ohio State, Houston eye Clemson OC Chad Morris

Posted by Chip Patterson

Before Saturday's ACC Championship Game, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney admitted that he had been contacted by as many as five schools with interest in speaking to offensive coordinator Chad Morris. At the time Swinney said that Ohio State, with new head coach Urban Meyer, was not one of those schools. After Clemson's dominating 38-10 win over Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game, things are heating up in the race for Morris' services in the future.

CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman reports there is "a potential bidding war" for Morris between Clemson and Ohio State. In Dabo's first comments debunking the Ohio State rumors, the Tigers' head coach added that he did not anticipate Morris leaving unless it was for a head coaching position.

That might be an option for Morris as well, who admitted after the championship game that he had been contacted by other schools. Bart Wright, of the Greenville (S.C.) News, reported that Morris was asked after the game about the possibility of the Houston job being vacant. With Kevin Sumlin rumored as a top candidate for Texas A&M, among others, the Cougars could be looking for a new head coach in the near future.

"Oh man, it's hard to talk about that with all this emotion going on," Morris replied. "Let's just say if that happened, things could get very interesting."

Morris would have the opportunity to return to the area where he rose to coaching fame in the high school ranks. His fast paced offensive style is similar in some ways to Sumlin's, and the Cougars are very familiar with Morris from his experience as an offensive coordinator at Tulsa.

Morris arrived at Clemson last offseason, after the Tigers struggled offensively during a disappointing 6-7 season. The new scheme and talented new additions like ACC Rookie of the Year Sammy Watkins have helped Clemson's offense improve into a unit that now ranks 29th nationally in total offense, and finished second in the ACC only behind Georgia Tech.

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Posted on: December 3, 2011 11:38 pm
 

Clemson claims ACC Championship with 38-10 win



Posted by Chip Patterson


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Streaks, trends, and traditions. These things did not matter to a young Clemson team as they rode an explosive third quarter to a 38-10 win over Virginia Tech for their first ACC Championship since 1991.

After both teams finished an evenly played first half, the Tigers that emerged from the locker room after the break looked much more like the Tigers that knocked off three straight ranked opponents and was considered outside contenders for a BCS title.

Clemson's BCS dreams were crushed by losing three of their final four games in the regular season, but head coach Dabo Swinney will find plenty of consolation in the first conference title in 20 years and his first BCS bowl berth as a head coach. The experts had the Tigers as underdogs against the defending champions, who entered the game in a very different manner riding a seven-game winning streak.

Tajh Boyd shook off the "phantom pressure" from the last month and hung in the pocket to complete 20 of 29 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns. Most importantly, the Clemson offensive line only allowed Boyd to be sacked once. But Boyd wasn't the only the star shining bright in front of a sold-out crowd at Bank of America Stadium. Andre Ellington and Sammy Watkins, both limited during Clemson's slump with nagging injuries, looked explosive as ever against Virginia Tech's defense. Ellington ran 20 times for 125 yards and a touchdown while Watkins added 54-yard touchdown reception of his own as part of his 155 all-purpose yards..

For Clemson - a team that plays at least 20 true or redshirt freshman on a weekly basis - Saturday's win didn't just end the school's conference title drought, it fired a warning shot across the bow of the Frank Beamer ACC Dynasty. The Hokies have appeared in five ACC Championship Games since the conference began holding the event in 2005. A Virginia Tech win would have been their fourth in five years, and third time defeating an opponent from earlier in the season.

But Saturday didn't feel like 2007, 2008, or 2010 for Virginia Tech fans. It felt like 2005. Florida State entered that inaugural championship on a three-game losing streak, and all the momentum was thought to be with the one-loss Hokies who had just arrived to crash the ACC's party. But after entering halftime tied, the Seminoles outscored Clemson 24-0 in the third quarter on the way to a decisive 27-22 victory. This time it was another longtime ACC member, Clemson, who started the second half with three straight scores on offense and three straight three-and-outs on defense. But the Tigers never let the Hokies get back into the game, and kept the pressure coming until the Oranges came raining down from the Orange-clad Tigers fans who stayed to savor every last moment.

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Posted on: December 2, 2011 4:19 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 4:33 pm
 

ACC Championship Game News & Notes

Posted by Chip Patterson

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Greetings from Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers and tomorrow home of the 2011 ACC Championship Game. Both coaches met the media on Friday, and each time was given time for one last walk through before Saturday night's title game. The afternoon began with Commissioner John Swofford's announcement that Charlotte will continue to host the ACC Championship Game through the 2012 and 2013 season.

"The Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game has seen tremendous success in Charlotte, and we're pleased to announce they will serve as the host city for 2012 and 2013," Swofford said. "The City of Charlotte has done a terrific job over the past two years and we continue to be appreciative of the enthusiasm and support."

Both coaches echoed Swofford's sentiments, and Saturday night's sellout was mentioned frequently throughout the afternoon. The 2012 ACC Championship Game has been set for Saturday, Dec. 1, and the 2013 title game will be held Saturday, Dec. 7.

More news and notes from Friday:

CLEMSON

- Offensive lineman Phillip Price is listed as probable for Saturday, and head coach Dabo Swinney makes it sound like the senior left tackle will get a chance to earn his time on the field. Price started against South Carolina, but was pulled from the game after position coach Robbie Caldwell "didn't feel good about the way he was reacting."

"[Price] has come back this week and he's had a really good week, and he's gone full speed pass rush and inside and all that kind of stuff," Swinney explained on Friday. "I feel much better about him, but he's got to go and compete and play four quarters tomorrow night."

- Of course Dabo Swinney could not escape Friday's media availability without addressing his response to the alleged comments from Steve Spurrier. Having found out the comments were from a radio broadcaster, not Spurrier himself, Swinney changed his tone significantly.

"I heard today that [Spurrier's comments regarding Clemson] wasn't said, and that's great. It's awful convenient on Thursday. I know this, that if my media put something out that I said and if it was nationally perceived that I said it, I promise you I would correct it.

"I said that last night," Swinney concluded. "I don't know if [Spurrier] said it or not, but there hasn't been any rebuttal. But that's it on that. We'll talk about the ballgame."

- One of the key players in Saturday's game will be Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen. The redshirt junior is one of 19 Tigers to be playing in their second ACC Championship Game, and his presence in the passing game will be needed to keep the Virginia Tech defense spread out and honest.

"Dwayne is a matchup-problem for people. I mean, he's a guy that you've got to know where he is from a defensive standpoint. He's almost 6-foot-4, 255 pounds and can run and jump and handle the ball like a wideout."

VIRGINIA TECH

- Facing an opponent from earlier in the season is not new for Frank Beamer and Virginia Tech. In 2007 and 2008 the Hokies lost to Boston College in the regular season and then defeated the Eagles in the ACC Championship Game. Virginia Tech fans are hoping the trend will continue, but Beamer knows there are no guarantees of avenging the 23-3 home loss from earlier this season.

"I hope we're a better football team," Beamer said. "But again, you know, it's happened to us twice, but that's no sign its going to happen three times in a row. I think we've got to play well. I guarantee they've got the ability to be really good and have been really good at times and just got on the wrong side of that momentum deal."

- Virginia Tech looked much looser in their walk-thru than Clemson. Though that should not come as any surprise. Most of the Hokies' roster was right here in Bank of America Stadium last season preparing to take on Florida State. Clemson's approach and tone was much more serious, as Swinney and the staff are trying to refocus this young team after losing two in a row and three of their last four.

- PREGAME PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 28, Clemson 24

For more analysis on Saturday night's matchup, check out my Keys to the Game

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Posted on: December 2, 2011 11:39 am
Edited on: December 2, 2011 11:45 am
 

VIDEO: Swinney blasts Spurrier, Gamecocks

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It all started with this tweet, since deleted from what appears to be the official South Carolina football Twitter account

 

Why deleted? Because Steve Spurrier didn't actually say that on his postgame radio show, as @GamecockFB has since admitted (and apologized for). But a ripe, juicy Spurrier-style zinger like that one of course circled the whole Internet three times before the truth could get its boots on, and last night it came to roost in a post-practice press conference at Clemson, where Dabo Swinney was asked about it. Via TigerNet.com, here's his classic reponse: 



We can't provide a full transcript for those of you who can't watch the video, because it's basically four straight minutes of pure, undiluted verbal venom sent in the direction of the 'Ol Ball Coach and his Gamecock program. But we will provide our five favorite zingers from Swinney's (calmly delivered) rant:
1. "That is kind of a childish thing to put out there, to be honest with you ... I would have to say I agree with him. He is right. They aren’t Clemson and they aren’t ever going to be Clemson, to be honest with you."

2. "You are looking at the best era in South Carolina football right now. They just had their second 10-win season, they won a championship in 1969 and the 2010 SEC East. And this rivalry – this is a lot more about domination rather than a rivalry and that’s a fact. My kids and grandkids probably won’t live long enough to see this become a rivalry.”

3. "I have respect for their program, but South Carolina is not Clemson. There are a lot of differences. This is a place that has won a national title, 17 conference championships and now two division titles. Heck, we have won more bowl games than they have even been to. ... That is reality."

4. "Coach Spurrier has been there for seven years, but after five years he only had 35 wins and got a new contract and all that kind of stuff. After five years at Clemson, if I have only 35 wins they will be looking for a new coach and they should be."

5. "That is why Carolina is in Chapel Hill, USC is in California and the university in this state, always has been and always will be: Clemson. You can print that. Tweet that.” 
From a neutral perspective, there's really only one response to that kind of smack: Damn.

But unfortunately for those of us hoping to see the Ol' Ball Coach go flamethrower himself and seriously kick this war of misattributed words into high gear, Spurrier took the high road Thursday night, saying "As long as the story gets straight, that’s fine with me. I am not mad with anybody."

That means we're probably going to see the heat between the two coaches get dialed back down rather than continue to heat up, but that's OK. Swinney's already given us -- and fans on both sides -- enough material to keep the Gamecocks-Tigers rivalry (already one of the zestier ones in the nation) at a fever pitch as long as he's in charge at Clemson.
Posted on: December 2, 2011 11:39 am
Edited on: December 2, 2011 11:45 am
 

VIDEO: Swinney blasts Spurrier, Gamecocks

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It all started with this tweet, since deleted from what appears to be the official South Carolina football Twitter account

 

Why deleted? Because Steve Spurrier didn't actually say that on his postgame radio show, as @GamecockFB has since admitted (and apologized for). But a ripe, juicy Spurrier-style zinger like that one of course circled the whole Internet three times before the truth could get its boots on, and last night it came to roost in a post-practice press conference at Clemson, where Dabo Swinney was asked about it. Via TigerNet.com, here's his classic reponse: 



We can't provide a full transcript for those of you who can't watch the video, because it's basically four straight minutes of pure, undiluted verbal venom sent in the direction of the 'Ol Ball Coach and his Gamecock program. But we will provide our five favorite zingers from Swinney's (calmly delivered) rant:
1. "That is kind of a childish thing to put out there, to be honest with you ... I would have to say I agree with him. He is right. They aren’t Clemson and they aren’t ever going to be Clemson, to be honest with you."

2. "You are looking at the best era in South Carolina football right now. They just had their second 10-win season, they won a championship in 1969 and the 2010 SEC East. And this rivalry – this is a lot more about domination rather than a rivalry and that’s a fact. My kids and grandkids probably won’t live long enough to see this become a rivalry.”

3. "I have respect for their program, but South Carolina is not Clemson. There are a lot of differences. This is a place that has won a national title, 17 conference championships and now two division titles. Heck, we have won more bowl games than they have even been to. ... That is reality."

4. "Coach Spurrier has been there for seven years, but after five years he only had 35 wins and got a new contract and all that kind of stuff. After five years at Clemson, if I have only 35 wins they will be looking for a new coach and they should be."

5. "That is why Carolina is in Chapel Hill, USC is in California and the university in this state, always has been and always will be: Clemson. You can print that. Tweet that.” 
From a neutral perspective, there's really only one response to that kind of smack: Damn.

But unfortunately for those of us hoping to see the Ol' Ball Coach go flamethrower himself and seriously kick this war of misattributed words into high gear, Spurrier took the high road Thursday night, saying "As long as the story gets straight, that’s fine with me. I am not mad with anybody."

That means we're probably going to see the heat between the two coaches get dialed back down rather than continue to heat up, but that's OK. Swinney's already given us -- and fans on both sides -- enough material to keep the Gamecocks-Tigers rivalry (already one of the zestier ones in the nation) at a fever pitch as long as he's in charge at Clemson.
Posted on: November 30, 2011 2:45 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Virginia Tech vs Clemson

Posted by Chip Patterson

VIRGINIA TECH WILL WIN IF: The Hokies can get pressure on Tajh Boyd and force turnovers. The Tigers are one last-second field goal away from a four-game losing streak, and turnovers have been the glaring difference in the team's play. Clemson has turned the ball over 12 times in that four game stretch. Only 2-10 Maryland has turned it over more down the stretch of the regular season. Logan Thomas has gotten stronger as the season comes to a close, serving as the perfect dual-threat compliment to ACC Player of the Year David Wilson. The offense should be able to find success against Clemson's defense, so winning the ACC Championship will come down to Bud Foster's unit containing the likes of Boyd, Andre Ellington, and Sammy Watkins. Offensive coordinator Chad Morris said Boyd has been hurrying throws because of "phantom pressure." If Virginia Tech can get real pressure on the sophomore quarterback, they might be able to force a game-changing turnover (or two).

CLEMSON WILL WIN IF: They can establish the rushing attack early. One of the reasons Boyd has been feeling this "phantom pressure" has been a drop-off in Clemson's rushing production. Andre Ellington has been banged up, and just started to look healthy again in the loss to South Carolina. Freshmen Mike Bellamy and D.J. Howard have looked good in spurts, but neither have been able to hit the home-run play they relied on earlier in the season. Forcing Virginia Tech's secondary to commit a player to the run will create single coverage opportunities for Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins. But Clemson needs to get that running game going to avoid becoming one-dimensional down the stretch.

X-FACTOR: Sammy Watkins. The ACC Rookie of the Year has been obviously limited by his shoulder injury, suffered in the Tigers' 31-28 win against Wake Forest Nov. 12. Watkins missed the NC State loss, and was held to just 39 yards on four catches against South Carolina. When Watkins was healthy his presence on the field was game-changing, but the freshman phenom was invisible for stretches of Saturday's loss to the Gamecocks. Tigers fans are hoping Watkins will be back in September/October form on Saturday, when he was averaging over seven catches and 100 yards per game.

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Posted on: November 29, 2011 2:42 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 2:47 pm
 

Swinney: Ohio State has not called for OC Morris

Posted by Chip Patterson

As the coaching carousel continues to turn, many top programs have begun to target the most prized coordinators in the game to inject some new life into their team. As more teams are finding success with a faster offense, coaches like Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris have become household names on the wish list of many college football fans. Morris' spread scheme has made him a possible candidate to join new head coach Urban Meyer at Ohio State. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney debunked that rumor on Tuesday, but he did confirm the interest in Morris' services.

Swinney told the media he has been called by five schools interested in talking to the Tigers' offensive coordinator, and Ohio State is not one of those schools. CBSSports.com's Travis Sawchik reports that Swinney does not anticipate Morris leaving Clemson unless he it is for a head coaching position at a power program.

Morris is a student of Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, who is currently a name in the mix for many BCS jobs including Ole Miss and North Carolina. The idea that the Tigers' offensive coordinator will one day be in the same discussions is not unlikely, though it does seem a bit soon for Morris to be making another jump. The offense was humming through the first half of the season, and the lightning-fast ability to score was one of the key factors in Clemson's 8-0 start.

But now Morris, along with Swinney, have the task of refocusing their reeling team before Saturday's ACC Championship. Clemson is a last-second field goal away from a four-game losing streak, and the offense has only put up one touchdown in each of their last two games - both losses. They'll meet Virginia Tech in Charlotte with an Orange Bowl berth on the line. If Clemson can turn things around this week and knock off the Hokies, the memories of their late-season struggles will begin to fade from the minds of Tigers' fans.

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