Transcript: Dabo Swinney, CFP Semifinal Joint Press Conference
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All four head coaches of the programs participating in the College Football Playoff held a joint news conference in Atlanta on Thursday afternoon.
Check out what Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney had to say about his team and their opponent: the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Q: Opening statement.
DABO SWINNEY: “Yeah, thank you. Yeah, it's an honor to be back here and represent our team and our staff. This is something that we have a great appreciation for and what it takes to get here, but congratulations to these teams and these coaches, as well. We're excited about going to the Cotton Bowl. I've never been to the Cotton Bowl, and I think it was Clemson's first bowl ever in 1939, so it's been a long time since Clemson has been there, and obviously to have the opportunity to compete against one of the most historic programs in all of college football with Notre Dame and Coach Kelly. Just look forward to a great match-up and just hopefully a great experience for our players, and appreciate all that the College Football Playoff people do in putting this on. I know there's an enormous amount of work that goes in to making this a great experience for everyone involved, so I appreciate that, as well.”
Q: This is for all four coaches. What is the X factor you've seen in your opponent?
SWINNEY: “I would say they're battle tested. They've been in some great venues this year, some unique places that they've had to go play. They've played some excellent teams, and they have -- they've had a lot of different challenges. I'm just kind of really diving in deeply into their season. “But they've handled adversity.
"They've played with leads. They've come from behind. They've done a little bit of everything. So I think just that overall experience that they've had this year, you can see a very confident football team. They're incredibly well-coached. They don't make a lot of mistakes, and I think the balance that they have really presents some problems. This quarterback and the change we went through, kind of a similar thing that they did, and their quarterback has just grown and grown and grown as the season has gone.
“I would just say the confidence and the fact that they're battle tested and from the experience that they've had this year gives them every reason to be confident going into this postseason.”