Tag: Clemson

After FSU cancellation, Clemson shifts focus to Pittsburgh from Tallahassee hotel | Clemson

CLEMSON — Brent Venables did not wait to get on the plane. 

It was early Saturday morning, and Clemson had just learned its game scheduled for noon against Florida State had been cancelled.

As team officials searched for a pilot to shepherd the Tigers’ early flight home, Venables saw an opportunity. The defensive coordinator gathered his players. It was time to move on to Pittsburgh, he said. And so they did, from inside the massive multipurpose tent set up outside the Holiday Inn in Tallahassee, Fla.

Venables put on some film.

“There was a lot of uncertainty, probably anger, frustration, probably. You can kind of just feel it in the air,” Venables said. “Really just wanted our guys to take their attention to what’s literally sitting in front of them.”

Sapakoff: ACC ducking the Clemson-FSU, Swinney-Norvell spat makes a bad situation worse

That meant moving on from the Seminoles, whose administrators declined to participate in the scheduled game after learning a Tigers backup offensive lineman who had traveled to Tallahassee had tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday.

The Tigers learned of the positive test Friday after landing.

As the college football world attempted to parse through what had happened, Venables turned his group’s attention to Clemson’s game against the Panthers scheduled for Nov. 28.

“Very weird to be in Florida on vacation and watching film on Pitt,” defensive end K.J. Henry said. “But we had a focused group and did what needed to be done.”

Shortly after learning the news, linebacker Mike Jones Jr. reached out to his parents, who were driving to the game, and told them to turn around. Saturday was supposed to mark his first appearance since Oct. 24.

He put his phone down, gathered his thoughts and focused on the film.

“I was sitting right beside (Venables) so it was hard to not be locked in, right beside him,” Jones said.

Clemson's Dabo Swinney: 'COVID was just an excuse to cancel the game' for Florida State

Venables’ unit will not have a cakewalk this weekend against a Pitt team averaging 30.9 points per game. 

The Tigers last played Nov. 7 at Notre Dame in a 47-40 overtime defeat. The Fighting Irish compiled 518 yards of total offense, including 208 on the ground.

Stopping the run will continue to be a big point of emphasis for Clemson moving forward.

The workhorse of the Panthers’ ground game is sophomore running back Vincent Davis, who’s rushed for 366 yards and five touchdowns on 113 carries this season. Senior quarterback Kenny Pickett provides a steady veteran presence. 

That’s why Venables wanted to get a head start on preparation. It remains unclear what will become of the Tigers’ scheduled game against Florida State, but when Pittsburgh comes to Death Valley on Saturday, the Clemson defense will be ready.

“That’s kind of the mindset we have,” Jones said. “Ain’t nothing guaranteed. They could shut it all down next week, this week, we’d be done. So we take it day by day.”

Sapakoff: Clemson-FSU blame game shows a need to try harder vs. COVID

Follow Joshua Needelman on Twitter at @joshneedelman.


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Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence will travel to Notre Dame game but not play | Clemson

CLEMSON — Trevor Lawrence will be on the sideline for No. 1 Clemson’s primetime showdown with No. 4 Notre Dame this Saturday but won’t play, coach Dabo Swinney confirmed Tuesday.

As Clemson's Lawrence remains in virus isolation, teammates' recovery can be instructive

It was announced last Thursday the quarterback had tested positive for COVID-19. Swinney said Lawrence will have completed his 10-day isolation by this weekend but will still need to pass a series of cardiovascular tests before returning to the field.

Lawrence, a Heisman Trophy contender and the likely No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, has been participating in team meetings via Zoom. Freshman quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei started in his stead in a thrilling win over Boston College last Saturday and will get the nod again against the Fighting Irish.

7 takeaways from Clemson's close win over Boston College

Sapakoff: Clemson's D.J. Uiagalelei explains his jewelry, wristbands

Follow Joshua Needelman on Twitter at @joshneedelman.

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Syracuse receiver doesn’t travel with team to Clemson after making obscene gesture in last week’s game

Syracuse wide receiver Taj Harris, one of the ACC’s leading receivers this season, did not travel with the team for Saturday’s game against No. 1 Clemson. 

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Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney Defends Vacation During Coronavirus, Believes College Football Will Kick Off in August

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney insists he isn’t bothered by the criticism he received last week for flying to Florida on vacation while most of the U.S. was in lockdown, suggesting being under the microscope came with having a high-profile job.

Speaking with CBS’ Dennis Dodd last week, the 50-year-old revealed he had flown to his house in Florida with a private plane last month and was considering repeating the trip as a family holiday for Easter.

While South Carolina, where Swinney is based, isn’t among the states to have issued a shelter-in-place order, his admission went down like a lead balloon as millions of Americans have been told to limit their non-essential travel and adhere to social distancing measures as the country battles with the coronavirus pandemic.

However, speaking on the Off Campus with Mark Packer show on SiriusXM earlier this week, Swinney defended his actions and suggested criticism to him was the proverbial water off a duck’s back.

“The blessings are unlimited as far as the job I have and the things I get to do,” he said.

“But there are a lot of negatives that come with this job, too, and one of those is criticism and that is something that I’ve just accepted. It doesn’t matter what I say or what anybody says, there is going to be criticism. It doesn’t surprise me at all.

He then doubled down on going to Florida on vacation, suggesting his only mistake was to give an honest answer to the question.

“You answer questions and you try to be honest and transparent and you answer your questions, and then you get blasted because somebody might not agree with your answer or something like that,” he added.

“But I am not blasting somebody else out because they have a different opinion than me. it just comes with the territory. That’s the way it is.”

In the same interview with CBS last week, Swinney also suggested college football would not be affected by the coronavirus pandemic that has swept across the world over the last three months.

As this chart provided by Statista shows, by Wednesday morning almost 400,000 cases have been reported in the U.S., by far the highest tally in the world.

Almost 13,000 deaths have been recorded in the U.S. and over 22,500 people have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, which has been tracking the outbreak using combined data sources.

Over 83,000 people have died globally since the outbreak of coronavirus began in Wuhan, a city located in China’s central Hubei province, late last year. There have been over 1.4 million confirmed cases globally, with over 308,000 recoveries.

Coronavirus, update, April 8, Statista
The chart shows the spread of coronavirus cases across the U.S. as of April 8.

Sporting events across the world have been canceled or postponed because out of the outbreak, but Swinney maintained college football will be all systems go come August.

“I have

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