Dabo Swinney: 'I loved to go to Baton Rouge and see grandmas flick you the finger'
Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday October 01, 2013
Clemson heads to Syracuse for their first meeting as ACC opponents, and Dabo Swinney is hoping to see some elderly folks flip him the bird.
At his weekly press conference, Swinney was asked about the long travel for specific road games and if it could affect his team. The coach said it shouldn’t.
“Sometimes, it depends who those teams are, the maturity of the team, experience of your team, all those factor can make a difference as you measure teams,” he said. “The biggest thing is, it’s hard to win on the road. That’s just a fact. It’s hard to win on the road in any league at anything you do. You go in, and everybody’s more comfortable at home. Your surroundings, it’s what you’re used to, your fans all pulling for you."
Swinney says he loves road games, both as a coach and player, and he reflected on some of his favorite memories.
“I loved the hostility of it. Growing up in the SEC, I loved to go to Baton Rouge and see grandmas flick you the finger riding in on the bus, people pull their shirts up,” he said. “I was like, ‘Man, this is wild.’ People talk about you, used to call me 'Skinny Swinney' and all that stuff. I love that. I thought that was great. To me, it was a lot of fun to be a part of. You just embrace that. (Syracuse) is one of those environments that I’ve always wanted to check out, because it’s a tough place to play. All you have to do is look at their track record there at home. Just like Death Valley’s a tough place to play. My objective, when I got this job, was, let’s make this a hard place to win. I think we’ve done a good job of that and our guys have taken a lot of pride in playing at home. Most teams do.”
As for the keys to winning on the road, Swinney said it’s no different than being at home. You just have to block out that outside environment.
“The formula doesn’t change,” he said “If external factors, if they’re a part of your performance, then you’re never going to be a great football team. I believe that. If the plane ride goes a little longer, or you’re playing at noon, or you’re playing on the road, or your uniforms, if all that stuff is a determinant to your performance, you’re never going to be a great team. As long as it’s 100 yards, 53 1/3 (across) and the rules are the same, it comes down to execution, playing physical, great effort, doing the things you have to do to win football games.”