Day vs. Dabo: The second part is about to end.

We’re about 36 hours away from Ohio and Clemson is starting to bring it back from Triumph Tigers ’29 -23 Fiesta Bowl in 2019.

Ryan Day and Dabo Swinney stepped onto the virtual podium Thursday morning for a joint press conference prior to the College Football Playoff match.

Bullet point summary of what the lead coaches said:

Ryan Day

  • Despite being underdogs for only the third time since 2016, Day says this does not provide any additional motivation for Ohio State: “Our guys are excited about this game no matter what.… You’re in CFP and playing in a national championship. We don’t need an incentive. much more than that “.

  • Day says last year’s loss to Clemson was “new in our minds” and used as a catalyst, but he says the motivation behind that loss has become a bit less important as Buckeyes’ season has come into question during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Dai: “The most important thing for us is to have the opportunity to tell a great story.”

  • A day in Ohio is going healthy and in full force for the game: “Full strength is a floating goal.” He said players who took part in the Northwestern match “are making their way again … but let’s say 100 per cent, it’s different this year.”

  • JK Dobbins was the bell cow in 2019, so the split between Master Teague and Trey Sermon “was different,” says Day. After a choppy season for both of them, Dai thinks they are getting into a rhythm: “Seeing the way (Trey) ran in his last game was amazing.”

  • With Sweeney ranked 11th in Ohio in the coaches poll, Day admits he is happy that Sweeney was not a member of the College Football Qualifiers Selection Committee, but he did not respond directly to Sweeney after he ranked them out of the top ten.

  • He thinks winning the melee streak is very important for Ohioans to have a chance to win.

  • Being out of the daily routine in such an exercise routine, Day says it has hurt the program for not being able to “look into the men’s eyes and tell them what will happen next.” He says they no longer take anything for granted and that “they still have a lot to be grateful for.”

  • Buckeye’s defense is sure he’s figured things out since the Indiana game: “It’s a great question. How do you know you’ve only played six games? The only way you can figure it out is to play. … But we go against each other in practice every day … There’s been an improvement.” Great in this regard, but the real test will be tomorrow. ”

  • A day on being the vulnerable: “These are people’s opinions. What matters is that we go out and play.”

  • On the importance of Justin Fields in recovering and playing his best game against Clemson: “I don’t think we as a team played our best game yet.… I’m not sure Justin played either, but that’s the challenge. But that is everyone. He says it’s going to be a team effort, but Fields “has to play well, for sure, and he knows it.”

Dabou Sweeney

  • Sweeney says Clemson is “motivated by winning as much as losing”. He says winning a national championship makes him want to go out and win another, just like losing in the national title game as it happened against LSU: “We definitely learn from our memories.”

  • Sweeney on attack coordinator Tony Elliott unavailable for Sugar Bowl: “We’re definitely going to miss Tony,” but how will that affect Clemson? “You can ask me that after the match.”

  • Sweeney says Clemson only misses two players who haven’t made the trip, one for one walk and one player for scholarships. Case reports for Clemson and Ohio will not be released until Friday.

  • He says the Tigers have been forced to make a lot of adjustments during an uncertain season “but we found a way that still found joy in the journey.” He says Clemson “started out more men than ever.”

  • Clemson’s recruitment was also “very, very different” this season. Sweeney says the Tigers have a couple moving to campus next week and that he “has never met in person.

  • CG Speller deals with back-rotation with Tony Elliot’s exit, while Sweeney and assistant coach Brandon Streeter will coach the midfielders in tandem.

  • Tigers are rarely underdogs. Whether preferable or vulnerable, he says, “they remain as focused as we have always been.”

  • On Trevor Lawrence: “He’s as good as he’s ever been, that’s for sure. He’s the greatest winner of my life. He’s a 34-1. He’s been amazing.”