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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

Clemson preps for the unpredictable

Photo by Courtesy

In a press conference Tuesday morning, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said preparing to face Texas A&M would not be easy.

It’s not every day a national championship-winning football coach admits to having a hard time preparing for their opponent. However, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney isn’t afraid to say that the mystique surrounding Texas A&M is creating some serious challenges for him heading into week two.
“We’ve got a big challenge this week,” Swinney said. “We just don’t know a lot about Texas A&M. Unfortunately, I think the unknown is a competitive advantage for them, and hopefully our experience can be a competitive advantage for us.”
As the No. 2 Tigers prepare to travel to Aggieland for the first time in 14 years, Swinney said he’s not sure what type of performance to expect under new head coach Jimbo Fisher due to the limited amount of game footage.
“This is a difficult game to prepare for us,” Swinney said. “We don’t have a lot of video evidence against these guys. It truly is like another season opener all over again, so [it will be] a huge challenge.”
Last week against Northwestern State, the A&M offense had 758 yards of total offense. The Aggies out-gained the Demons 503-25. The Aggies currently lead the nation in rushing yards per game.
Swinney said whether you’re up against a power-five team or not, it’s never easy to run for that many yards in a single game.
“I know the team [they played] didn’t match up really well,” Swinney said. “But it’s hard to rush for 500 yards. I don’t care who you play.”
Saturday marks the ninth game in which Fisher and Swinney have gone head-to-head. Both coaches have won four games each, but in recent seasons, Swinney had the upper hand, winning the last three games against Fisher.
Heading into the game, Swinney said he expects both sides to be very physical in their attacks. Swinney said A&M’s defense was the first thing that stood out while watching film.
“They’ve got a lot of guys back on defense that started at different times last year,” Swinney said. “I think their safeties are as good as we’re probably going to see. I’d say all four of their starters in the secondary are probably going to play in the NFL.”
Unlike Clemson, A&M can look back at game film to better prepare for the Tigers. However, Fisher said that doesn’t always make it a good thing.
“You know what they do and what they like to do and how they’re going to compete,” Fisher said. “Good news is you know. Bad news is you know.”
Texas A&M will host No. 2 Clemson Saturday afternoon at 6 p.m. at Kyle Field. The game will be televised on ESPN.

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