Coach Dabo Swinney talks Georgia Tech, Team Nutritionist
Head coach Dabo Swinney spoke today at his weekly press conference and talked about the huge test Georgia Tech presents his No. 15 ranked Clemson Tigers who sit at 4-1 with 1-1 record in the conference. The Tigers suffered a tough defeat to No. 4 Florida State on national television but rebounded to beat a feisty Boston College team last week to draw even in the conference. With wins over Ball State and Furman and a slumping Auburn team out of the SEC, the Tigers don’t have any signature wins as of yet.
And Georgia Tech doesn’t promise to provide the greatest resume builder as they have lost two straight, last week to Middle Tennessee State. But nevertheless, Swinney and his team want to remain focused.
“We’ve got another big challenge this week with Georgia Tech. This is a rivalry game. We’ve had some knockdown drag-outs with these guys, and we haven’t won them much as of late. “This is a huge game for us. It’s a huge game for Georgia Tech. They’ve had two overtime losses. It’s a difficult thing to deal with. You work your tail off all year to try to go have a great season and you lose two games on literally the last play of the game. “We will get their ‘A’ game. We’ll get the best they’ve got, and our guys know that. This is a team that took Miami to the last play. Miami’s having a pretty good year. They took Virginia Tech to the last play at their place. That’s a hard place to go up and win, as everybody knows.
“They scored 56 points on Virginia. This is a team that’s capable of playing and beating anybody. Heck, last year, we were 8-0, fifth in the country, and fat and happy. Then we go to Atlanta, and they beat us.It’s a team we’ve got a lot of respect for. We’re going to have to play really well to win the game. “The big thing is it’s really good to be at home. We’ve played three of our five games this year on the road, and we’re 4-1. We all know it’s not easy to go on the road and win. “I know we’re going to have a great crowd, but we need to really create the best environment in college football this Saturday. We’ve got a 3:30 kick, and I hope everybody will show up early. We’ll make this a great environment because I’m telling you, the energy from the Valley is awesome.
Also coach Swinney answered questions about his new team nutritionist. Several FBS teams have delved into the food nutrition arena in order to gain an extra edge for the ultra competitive college football landscape. And with the unusual trip that star wide out Sammy Watkins took to the hospital this week (he’s fine and will play against Georgia Tech) all bases are covered with looking at every aspect of this team’s conditioning. Here’s what Swinney had to say about his new hire.
“I’m excited about it. I haven’t had a chance to spend much time with [Lisa Chan] since she just got here. I look forward to getting to know her a little bit. It’s a big step for us from a program standpoint in terms of trying to create another edge for our program. As far as the development of our players, it’s just become a big, big part of it. There’s so much education out there now of what’s good and what’s bad. To have a person here full-time is going to tie into our strength and conditioning program. When those guys leave there, when they’re gone, now they can take that element to the dining hall because they have a person that really understands that part of it. We’re helping people eat to be champions.
“That’s a big part of it. Sleep to win, eat to win, train to win—all of those things. We’re trying to develop a complete program so that when student-athletes come here, they’re going to get a tremendous education and they’re going to develop in every area of their lives. They’re going to have the opportunity to be the best they can be and maximize their potential. Nutrition is just a part of it. When I was playing, we ate whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. Nobody knew any of that stuff. It’s just a huge part of the total development of these guys. You see it on every level. You see it in the NFL. When you go to these NFL teams, they have their chefs and their dietitians right there.”
The Tigers welcome Georgia Tech to Death Valley at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.