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October 9, 2013

Dabo Swinney

DABO SWINNEY:  Well, again, just proud of our guys for how they played this past weekend up at Syracuse.  Really good road performance, good to be back home this week.  Got another very tough challenge with Boston College, a team I'm very impressed with.  They're playing with a lot of confidence, got a lot of energy, offensively a bunch of guys back, defensively a bunch of guys back.  They're running the ball as good as anybody out there.  Their running back leads the country in rushing.  Their quarterback is a very efficient player, big, strong, physical guys up front, one of the best wide outs in the league.
Defensively they're different from what they've done philosophy wise the last several years, but bringing a lot of pressure, and again, playing very physical up front.
Got 16 sacks already, and some of the best special teams in the league, so this is a very good football team, tough, hard‑nosed team, and we're going to have to play very well.  But look forward to getting back in the Valley and hope our fans will show up and do a great job for us as they always do.

Q.  I'm looking at the fact that you hold the ACC record for home winning percentage in league games, and I was wondering from your perspective, what's the biggest advantage to coaching in Death Valley?
DABO SWINNEY:  Well, we just have such a passionate fan base.  I mean, it's a great venue.  Obviously everybody, most everybody out there has a better home record than they do an away record, just the nature of the deal there.
But our fans, the environment they create, it's very, very loud, and then we've got good players that have really bought into taking a lot of pride in playing here at home.  Not that you don't take pride in going on the road; you certainly do that.  But if you're going to be a consistent program, you have to be consistent at home.  You've got to win at home, and our guys have done a great job of that over the last few years.

Q.  How much does that atmosphere do you think actually helps you win games, whether it's making a key 3rd down stop on defense or big plays like that?
DABO SWINNEY:  Well, I think the biggest thing is just the energy that you gain from it when you do make a big play or something like that.  You know, and it can definitely affect a team that's maybe not quite as used to that type of environment or that type of noise, especially if they're a huddle type team, those type of things.  And then it always comes down to the experience of that team; is it a young team, veteran team, because going on the road is tough.  It's tough.  It's a tough thing no matter where you go.
But our fans have really created the type of atmosphere here that‑‑ and our guys, they play very hard and they're a tough out anywhere, but especially here at home.

Q.  Where do you think is the toughest place to coach on the road in the conference?
DABO SWINNEY:  Oh, man, they're all tough.  They really are.  It's hard to single out one spot.  They're all very difficult places to go.  Again, just simply everybody plays better at home.  You get some of these stadiums and they get a little momentum, it can crank up in a heartbeat.  But we've got a bunch of good places in this conference.  It's hard to single out, hey, this is the toughest.  There's a bunch of them that are tough.

Q.  Heading into play Boston College, how do you feel about your run defense at this point in the season?
DABO SWINNEY:  Well, that's an area that we need to improve.  Again, defensively we're just way better than we were this time last year.  The name of the game is scoring points, and we're 16th in the country in scoring defense.  If we can continue to be effective like that and we're one of the top scoring offenses, we can stay effective like that offensively and defensively, and we're going to have a very good season.  Again, the name of the game is scoring points, and I think that our guys have done a tremendous job.  We're leading the country in sacks.  We're one of the top five teams in three‑and‑outs.  But in particular our rush defense, we've given up a few big plays.  We had a couple the other night, but things that are very correctable that we've got to improve from.

Q.  Next year we go into a four‑team playoff for the national title.  How much do you wish that was in effect this year because you feel like Clemson would be a safe bet for this year but the ACC Champion could be out of luck this year if Alabama and Oregon keep rolling?
DABO SWINNEY:  I'm not worried about all that stuff.  I'm just trying to beat Boston College.  That's the only concern I've got.  I think if Clemson takes care of business, Clemson will be just fine, regardless of whatever situation there is out there, and I don't really spend any time worrying about that stuff that I don't control.  It is what it is; we've got a system in place, and everybody knows the rules.  Just try to be the best that you can be, and that's all we're trying to do, just be the best Clemson we can be, and whatever happens happens.

Q.  How are you going to keep this game focused for your players because I know a lot of teams don't want to have a trap game with Florida State coming up next week.  How do you get your players focused for this week's game against Boston College?
DABO SWINNEY:  Just like we do every week.  We have a daily focus.  We bring them in at 6:30 on Monday morning and we put the Syracuse game to bed and bring them back that afternoon and we get started on the next team, and the next team this week is Boston College.  That's all we work on.  That's all the film they see, so there's nothing else to focus on.  Obviously everybody knows we've got a big game next year, but they're all big.  That game next week isn't any bigger than this.  This is the biggest game of the year, right now, so we've got to put everything we've got into trying to get to 6‑0.  You can't take steps ahead.
I think the leadership and the experience of your team has to help safeguard against what you're talking about, because you've got a lot of media people wanting to ask those type of questions.  But I'm confident with our leadership and our experience, and then again, just the way we prepare.  We don't allow anything to creep in other than who we're trying to play, and that's all our practices are geared toward and our meetings, and if not, you're going to get beat because this is a good team we're playing.

Q.  Talk about their defense, what you see on film on BC's defense.
DABO SWINNEY:  Well, I'm impressed with them.  They've got seven starters back.  Really, really impressed with their defensive line.  Their No.91, he's one of the top sack guys in the league right now, one of the top tackles for loss guys, No.96, both of those men really good players.  No.91 did not play against us last year; he was hurt.  But I'm very impressed with those guys.  Two of their linebackers are two of the top tacklers in the league.  We've seen them the last few years.  They've got a couple guys back in the secondary that started against us.
But the biggest thing is they've kind of philosophy‑wise changed a little bit.  They kind of give you some different looks in the secondary, a little unusual.  They're bringing a lot more pressure than they have in the past.  So we've got to do a great job of really being prepared, not quite to the extent of pressure that Syracuse was, but a lot more pressure than what typical BC has been the last couple years.
Really impressed with how they're coordinated and coached and how hard they're playing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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