Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney wouldn’t have minded a few warmup games before playing No. 12 Georgia, but says playing one of the best teams in the country on Saturday has brought a sense of urgency to their fall camp.
“In college football, we don’t get preseason games like in the NFL. They get four of those things to kind of work out the kinks,” Swinney told The Jim Rome Show. “I think most coaches, if they were really honest would say ‘Boy, you’d love to have a couple of those preseason games’ to kind of warm up and get everything figured out, especially when you have a lot of changes. But that’s just not the reality for college football; you have to be ready right out of the gate. It’s exciting.”
Swinney still expects big results from an offense that lost quarterback Tajh Boyd, wideouts Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant among others.
“I think we’re going to be better offensively than people think,” said Swinney. “I don’t expect us to be perfect opening night, but I think as the season goes and by the end of the year, when it’s all said and done, I think we’re going to be as good an offense we’ve been the last few years.”
Swinney says senior quarterback Cole Stoudt has the demeanor to take over for Boyd, a 3-year starter who had a decorated career at Clemson.
“He’s a very confident guy. He’s easy going doesn’t really get to high or too low, very smart,” said Swinney. “He’s got a big sense of urgency because he knows that his career at Clemson is over in four months and he wants to make the most of it. I’m excited for him to get the chance to lead the Tigers.”
Swinney also said five-star recruit Deshaun Watson, the nation’s top ranked high school dual threat quarterback in 2013, is the whole package and soon everyone will know who he is.
“He has a great understanding of our system already. [He’s] big, fast, he can make the all the throws, high football IQ and a great leader,” Swinney said. “I don’t have any doubt if he stays healthy, everybody is going to know who Deshaun Watson is over the next few years. And I think he will have a bunch of good moments this year as well.”