CLEMSON, S.C. (WIS) - A year ago, one of Clemson’s toughest challenges on their way to 15-0 came when visited College Station to take on Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M.
The Tigers were able to leave Kyle Field with a 28-26 victory that ultimately helped them earn a spot in the College Football Playoff. This year, Clemson faces a similar challenge when Jimbo Fisher and company come to Death Valley.
“I’m excited to see how our team is going to respond to a group like this,” Swinney said. “Early in the season, it’s great for us. They’re definitely one of the best teams in the country. Regardless of what happens in this game, I think that’s going to play out and the same thing for us. It’s a great opportunity early for us to grow our team. Win or lose the game, we’re going to get better from this game.
The Tigers will be tasked with stopping quarterback Kellen Mond. Last week, Mond was 19-of-27 for 194 yards and three touchdowns last week. Swinney is well aware of the challenge that Mond provides for his team.
“He is a really good football player,” Swinney said. “Big-time player. And he’s bigger, faster, stronger, smarter, more confident than he was this time last year. That’s the biggest thing that I see in watching him.”
Mond will have Quartney Davis and Jhamon Ausbon as targets on Saturday. The pair of Aggie wide receivers each had six catches last week and combined for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, the Aggies can present several problems as well. Second-team all-SEC defensive lineman Justin Madubuike leads an Aggies defensive line looking to disrupt the Tigers’ offense. In the secondary, Myles Jones leads Texas A&M with two interceptions. Under the leadership of defensive coordinators Mike Elko, the Aggies hope to stifle the speedy Clemson offense.
“He really does a good job mixing things up,” Swinney noted. “He attacks your protections. He’ll get up and challenge you and play man coverage. He does a good job. They’ll play a lot of catch technique. They do a great job with their eyes, flat-footed reads, and will break on balls, and as a result, they get their hands on a lot of balls. They usually get a lot of interceptions.”
Clemson hosts Texas A&M at Death Valley on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.