Transcript from CUTigers is edited from the audio version on TNet. For the most part, I thought the press conference was much better than a Tammy we're-one-play-away/they-have-85-schollies-too presser.
Highlights in his opening statement on MTSU:
Defensively, it always has to be stop the run. I know Coach Franklin is their coordinator and he'll spread you out and run the football. He did against us after only taking over 10 days beforehand. Us being able to stop the run is critical. They want to be able to run the ball if they can.
Their quarterback has played running back for them. He wasn't the starting quarterback last year but he's played it before. We have to contain him defensively. We can't let their quarterback do what he wants to do.
They don't give up a lot of sacks because they throw the ball so quickly...You look at how they beat Maryland last year they created a lot of turnovers and had a big play with a fake punt.
It's going to be a big test for us.
Some things I thought were notable:
Have you determined when and how Willy will play Saturday?
Swinney: No. That's not something we are going to pin down, its based on the flow of the game.
Which you would expect, I wouldnt tell the other team when he's going to play either. He didnt give any hints whether it would be for every 3rd series or the 2nd half or anything. But, I still think he could be in the game anywhere from a quarter to a whole half.
Looking at Middle Tennessee, they run a high-risk, high-reward defensive package. Do you expect to see some of your guys, especially Jacoby Ford in one-on-one matchups as they try to stack the box?
Swinney: They bring all that stuff. They have a lot blitzes. that's easy to figure out. If I'm going against C.J. Spiller I'm putting 10 men in there and seeing who else can make a play. But that's what football is about. That's why it's important to be a balanced football team. No question, everybody is going to challenge us- our quarterbacks and wide receivers and tight ends early. The beautiful thing about C.J. is there are a lot of ways to get him the football without lining up and turning around and handing it to him. That's all the game within the game. Certainly they are going to try and stop the run and make Kyle make plays with our wide outs.
The questioner also referred to Gut-X, which is an inside pressure from a 3-3 or other Stack defensive look where the Nose and Weakside End shoot to their right, and the strongside end shoots toward the TE. That leaves the inside free for both MIKE and SAM to double-blitz the strongside Guard. Its a Cover 1 blitz, and usually a WILL becomes the Robber.
Are you worried about Jacoby Ford? Are you being cautious with him at practice with that hamstring?
Swinney: He hasn't been cautious. I guess in the back of your mind you always worry about it skill wise but he's practiced well. He's making all the cuts. I was leaving last night and him and Chancellor and Butler were working hard on him getting extra release work.
-Richard Jackson is kicking FGs, Benton on Kickoffs.
How do you know Coach Stockstill?
Swinney: I used to see him all the time on the road recruiting. He's one of the good guys recruiting. Met him for the first time in Augusta recruiting in 95-96, but he had been to Alabama before, he knew Woody (McCorvey). Really really good guy. We had a lot in common. A good family guy and I'm proud of what he's accomplished. He did a really good job here for a long time. When he moved on to East Carolina it gave me an opportunity. It was a good situation for him and me. He energized his career. I'm sorry he ended up at South Carolina for a couple of years after that. He's done a great job with that program, from an APR standpoint and generating excitement.
How much do you need Xavier Dye and Brandon Clear to step up for you on offense?
Swinney: Well we need them. Dye has had a good preseason. We had him back yesterday after a tweaked hamstring. Brandon Clear has had a really really ... the light has gone on for him. He's positioned himself to be a factor now. Brandon Ford has great ball skills but still a little bit away from being a complete ball player. Dye and Clear need to come through. You won't get all answers to all questions in one ball game. You could see us with a lot of different combinations at receiver this year. Guys could be anywhere. Jaron Brown is a guy before this season is over - people are going to be talking about him. Same thing with Marquan [Jones].
Napier went on to say that Clear is really gaining on Dye, now that Dye is out. I really believe Marquan and J. Brown will be great receivers before they leave Clemson, maybe surprise players this year.