Clemson fans and even Tigers All-American defensive end Clelin Ferrell have expressed disappointment in the fact that the team has yet to play a night game at Death Valley in 2018.
But Tigers coach Dabo Swinney isn’t worried about the kickoff times. Swinney said Clemson will be ready to play whenever the games are scheduled.
“Clemson fans, they don’t wanna hear me say it, but I always say I don’t care. Just tell me when to show up. I just don’t care. I just wanna play,” Swinney said. “We get seven home games and that’s it. And man, we’ll play at 6 a.m., noon, midnight. I don’t care. Just tell me when we’re going to play. My job is to get the team ready to play.”
Clemson’s home games have started at 12:20 p.m., noon, noon and 3:30 p.m. so far. The Tigers have played away games at 7 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
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This week’s game at Florida State is scheduled for noon, while next week’s home game against Louisville will also kickoff at noon.
“I don’t want my team worried about that stuff. It doesn’t matter,” Swinney said. “I think for a long time, that’s one of the first things when I got this job, it was like, ‘Oh my God, we only play good at this time.’ Or, ‘We don’t play good in this uniform.’ Or, ‘Oh, it’s going to rain today.’ Whatever. Who cares? Let’s play, you know. It’s the same for everybody. As a program, we don’t worry about it. It just doesn’t matter. Tell us when we’re going to play, and we’re going to get ready to play, because we love to play.”
Swinney said Clemson’s front four on defense is healthy and ready to go heading into Saturday’s matchup, despite the Tigers having already played seven games.
Clemson is loaded up front and has been able to sub consistently, keeping starters Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence and Austin Bryant fresh.
“We’ve got a lot of guys that we really believe in and guys that can go win the game for us so we’re very confident and it’s big,” Swinney said. “I think our depth will prove very beneficial for us. ... I just think we’re in a good place.”
Trevor Lawrence showed off his arm strength in Saturday’s win against N.C. State, making tough throws all over the field as the freshman passed for 308 yards and a touchdown in Clemson’s 41-7 victory.
“It’s just a thing of beauty watching him make, I had to stop counting how many throws he made from one hash to another. Just NFL throws left and right, right on the money,” co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said. “That makes us better offensively when defenses know they have to truly defend the entire field at any time.”