DAVIE, Fla. -- Coach Dabo Swinney said before practice Saturday that everybody on his team was ready to go, it was just a matter of getting legs fresh in preparation for the Discover Orange Bowl against West Virginia.
“We’ve been getting them in the cold tubs and we won’t condition or anything today and didn’t condition yesterday, he said. "We’re really just trying to get them game-ready now. The physical part is behind us, now it’s just mentally tying it all together.”
Among other notes:
Though West Virginia lost starting running back Dustin Garrison, Swinney said that will not change what the Tigers do. "They play three guys and have all year," he said. "(Garrison's) a really good player. A very powerful back and had been really productive for them from a yards-per-carry standpoint, and you never want to see that. It’s such a shame to get hurt down here in this environment, but that’s just the nature of the game. They’ll go and get the next guy ready. They’ve got some good players. They’ve got some freshmen they’ve been playing all year, so it won’t change who they are.”
On winning the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award: "Hopefully I can coach 20 more years or so and I’ll never receive an honor greater than that. [The] Bobby Dodd Award is a special award because it represents a lot of things. As I said last night, it’s just an honor to accept it on behalf of our team. You show me a coach of the year and I’ll show you a great staff and a bunch great players. I’m just the name they put on the trophy. It’s these guys and this staff of coaches and support staff and then our players are the ones who get it done. They’re the ones that made a decision to buy in and to believe and put the work in. It’s a real honor and complement to our program and the direction we’re headed, and it caps off a good year for us. I’m just really humbled and honored by it.”
Swinney said of all the bowl festivities, he was most excited to go to tonight's Miami Heat game. "I'm so pumped up about seeing D-Wade and LeBron and all those guys," he said. I'm fired up about it." When asked whether his team would get a chance to meet those players, Swinney said Sammy Watkins had been tweeting James. "He's been trying to tweet him to see if he would try to tweet back, however you do that," Swinney said. "I'm not sure we made that connection yet, but we went with Sammy. We felt like he might be the one that could maybe get his attention. I don't know if he'd know who Dabo was. I don't know how to tweet anyway. Sammy's been Twittering him. I don't know where we are on that. I sure hope so. That'd be great to meet those guys."