Clemson players say they are looking forward to the bye week following the Syracuse game, but the Tigers have some business to take care of first.
Clemson travels to Syracuse for a showdown with the Orange on Friday night .
“You definitely want to go into your bye week sending a message and just finishing the game, playing a good, strong, complete game, because after this game no one’s going to see us for two weeks,” defensive end Christian Wilkins said.
Tigers coach Dabo Swinney has urged his team to play consistently well against Syracuse after being impressive at times but also going through some struggles last Saturday against Wake Forest.
“Coach Swinney’s challenge to our guys has really been to sprint through the finish line before the open week,” co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said. “We’ve really done some good things in the first six games, and really want to put an exclamation point here on the last game before we take a little break.”
Syracuse appears to be heading in the right direction under second-year coach Dino Babers.
The Orange won three games and four games the final two years of Scott Shafer’s tenure before winning four in Babers’ first year in 2016.
Syracuse (3-3) enters Friday’s game with losses to N.C. State and LSU on the road by single digits.
“Dino’s got a plan. There’s a clear identity of who they are. He’s going to do a great job there. He’s given them an identity that they need, and they’re playing with that,” Swinney said.
Syracuse trailed LSU 28-10 in the second half before rallying to cut the lead to 28-26. LSU went on to win 35-26.
“I can just tell by watching certain things if a team really believes in what they’re doing, and they do. It’s obvious,” Swinney said.
BIG MAN CARRIES
Syracuse freshman fullback Chris Elmore is listed at 280 pounds.
Clemson’s Wilkins, who is listed at 300 pounds, joked that he wouldn’t mind getting some offensive touches after learning about Elmore.
“It gives me ideas ... maybe we should incorporate me more into the offense carrying the ball and everything,” Wilkins said. “ I’ve been lobbying since my freshman year to go get more touches on offense. Our offense has been fine, fortunately, they haven’t needed much of my help, but I’m always ready to go whenever they need me.”