Two-Minute Drill: Dabo Swinney, Ryan Day Talk Allstate Sugar Bowl

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney

COLUMBUS – Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with the media on Sunday following the announcement of the College Football Playoff selections.

No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Ohio State will face each other in a semifinal game, the Allstate Sugar Bowl, in New Orleans on New Years Day.

Here’s a summary of what was said previewing the matchup.

Dabo Swinney

+ They are super excited to have a chance to be in the playoffs. It is a special opportunity for the team, especially this year with all that has transpired and all they have had to do to get to this point. He is very happy for the team, they had an amazing ACC Championship game which gave them this opportunity.

+ “We all know how talented they are and how well coached they are. I have a lot of respect for Ryan Day and Ohio State.”

+ They have a lot of work to do but they are excited about the challenge and the opportunity to play Ohio State.

+ The committee works hard to select the best four teams, and this is what they came up with. Players are talented on all four teams. The best year in and year out, there’s probably six or seven team who have a shot every year, certainly these four teams with what they have done.

+ The playoffs have been good and it has created a lot of opportunity for these types of games. He didn’t have a problem with the BCS, he still was ok with that, but this has taken that and made it better. College football is 130 teams, and it’s difficult to get to this point, especially being consistently in the conversation. Being a part of these games has been fun and it has helped them build their program by competing against the best.

+ Ohio State is absolutely a rival. “If we are playing Ohio State, it’s a playoff or BCS bowl, so anytime we play Ohio State it is some type of meaning. You know it’s a big big post-season game when you play those guys.” Ryan Day does things the right way, he does an awesome job. They recruit a lot of the same guys. Ohio State is definitely a team they compete with not only on the field but in recruiting.

+ The ACC Championship was their best, most complete game in all three phases. They had plenty of mistakes and things to improve on but they definitely played their best game. They are at their best right now and this is the healthiest they have been.

+ “To be where we are is amazing.”

+ The staff and team found a way to get better each week. After 11 games, they are battle-tested. They have been forced to develop depth, and that paid off for them.

+ The number of games matter, the physical and mental toll of a season, “there’s nobody out there that would say that somebody who played 11 games vs somebody who played six is better physically or something like that.” It’s a long season, we are going on week 21 and no breaks, it has been a grind football-wise and mentally and the sacrifices they have made has been incredible. “Anytime you step out on the field, that’s a lot, and it matters. In New Orleans, none of that matters, what mattes is who plays the best in those four quarters.”

+ When asked about expanding the CFP, Swinney said college football is so popular because every game matters. The more you expand, the less important the games become. There is a fine line, and he is more of a traditional guy. He was still a fan of the FBS. But nothing would surprise him.

+ He is grateful they have the opportunity to play. It has been good for everyone in general to have some sense of normalcy, “football brings a lot of joy to a lot of folks.”

Ryan Day

+ To get back into the playoffs and play Clemson is exciting. He has a lot of respect for Clemson. It will be a quick turnaround, only 11-12 days and Christmas is in-between, it will be a unique challenge, but he is looking forward to it.

+ To win the conference is the best way to get in the playoffs, he thinks it is very significant.

+ Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne are two of the best runners in college football. Lawrence is very athletic and when they need him to run, they are smart in how they do it. He was impressive last year, they had a very dynamic offense.

+ The good thing is that they haven’t played in that many games, so they are fairly healthy in terms of the physicality of it all, they have just had a hard time with a number of people testing positive.

+ Justin Fields will be fine.

+ This game has been fresh in their minds, they didn’t get over it in one day, it took time, and the goal was to get back in this situation. How they got back here is amazing. “To get back right here to have another chance to play Clemson in this game, some of the best storytellers in all of time couldn’t come up with this one.”

+ They have to play their best game of the season. They have not had their best game yet this year.

+ It’s going to come down to who executes better and plays tougher. Everything is on the line.

+ Based on the new Big Ten protocols, he doesn’t know where exactly guys fall on the timeline. He thinks guys will be really close, but he will find out once they get the final word.

+ Everyone has been on a different journey this year, that what makes this season so unique. To see all these different teams and young men overcome so much adversity, is amazing.

+ “We have an opportunity to write one of the greatest stories in all of college football.”

+ They have good protocols in place for players returning, but they differ based on position groups.

[Note: Photo is from the 2019 Fiesta Bowl]

2 Responses

  1. Funny to hear Dab-O-Shxt whining now. Last year Buckeyes had a tough schedule – Penn State was a killer game. Buckeyes limped into the semi final and Clemson needed some cheap calls by the refs to get an edge. This year Dab-O-Shxt is claiming that Wake Forest, Citadel, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Pitt, Virginia Tech are “tough games”. For that matter, I think Notre Dame is vastly overrated – but even if you think not, subtract those 7 games and tell me what the record is.

  2. “We have an opportunity to write one of the greatest stories in all of college football.” – Ryan Day

    Imagine a season canceled as a means to begin a winding journey to eventual national champion. That would be better than “2014”

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