Dabo Swinney calls Notre Dame 'the most complete team we've played' this season

On3 imageby:Matt Connolly11/02/23

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Week 10 Picks: Notre Dame @ Clemson | 10.30.23

Clemson has already faced a team that is currently undefeated and ranked No. 4 in the College Football Playoff poll in Florida State.

Despite that, Dabo Swinney believes that this week’s opponent, which is a two-loss Notre Dame team, will be the most complete team the Tigers have played this year.

“This is a really good football team. I think they’re the most complete team we’ve played,” Swinney said. “I know they’re not undefeated, but I think it’s the most complete team we’ve played. This is a really, really experienced team. Very, very experienced. A veteran group.”

Notre Dame enters this weekend’s matchup with a 7-2 record. The Irish suffered their first loss of the season to Ohio State in late September on the last play of the game.

They also lost at Louisville a couple of weeks later.

Still, Notre Dame has a strong resume, including wins over top 25 teams Duke and USC, as well as beating NC State by 21 on the road. The Wolfpack beat Clemson last weekend.

“They really have all the pieces, everything you need. They’re sound. They’re well-coached on both sides of the ball and special teams,” Swinney said. “It’s going to be a big challenge. It starts with being able to stop the run, being able to be gap sound. Our linebackers and the secondary have got to tackle well. And then offensively, they’re going to challenge you. We’ve got to be able to get some run game going.”

Clemson suffered a 35-14 loss at Notre Dame last season and will look to avenge that on Saturday at Death Valley.

Doing so won’t be easy, though. Swinney believes the Irish have a team that can compete with anyone. Notre Dame was seconds away from beating Ohio State earlier this season. The Buckeyes are now ranked No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

“It’s a game we really stunk in last year, honestly. It was our worst game of the year. We played awful. Started out with a blocked punt. We bust an assignment… block punt, score. And really just terrible,” Swinney said.

“They should’ve won the Ohio State game, I mean that’s crazy how they lost that game. It’s a tough football team that they’re fun to watch on tape.”

Clemson desperately needs a win after dropping back-to-back games to Miami and NC State. The Tigers are off to their worst start in more than a decade under Swinney, and with four games left, reaching a bowl isn’t guaranteed.

Swinney would love for his team to find a way to win on Saturday.

“We’ve got to find a way, somehow some way, to grow up and grow through it and put our best foot forward. Looking forward to the fight, looking forward to the challenge,” Swinney said. “Hope everybody will show up in the Valley and get behind these guys. The season ain’t over. We’ve got four more games. We’re going to fight our butt off to finish the very best we can and grow our team.”