Dabo in control as Clemson prepares for season opener

Dabo Swinney’s four-year tenure at Clemson has been marked by highs and lows, all of which could be credited or blamed on predecessor Tommy Bowden, depending on your perspective.

But as Swinney begins his fifth season as head coach of the Tigers, the team (along with the credit or blame) is all his. Gone are the holdover players from the previous administration, and any excuses that might be attributed to it.

Swinney is clearly in control as Clemson held its second preseason practice on Saturday evening. The Tigers worked for two-and-a-half hours in shorts, tee shirts and helmets as they continue to install offense and defense for the 2013 season.

“We had a really good practice today,” said Swinney. “We were better than yesterday because the energy was better. Yesterday was good for an opening practice, but today was better. We just looked faster and seemed to grasp more.

“This team has done well the first two days when it comes to the installation process.”

The Tigers need a smooth transition as they must hit the gridiron running from the opening kickoff. The Tigers are preparing for the season opener against fifth ranked Georgia on August 31 at Memorial Stadium – a game that will go a long way to determining the kind of season Swinney will have in Year 5.

The Tigers will have Sunday off, then will practice in shells and helmets on Monday and Tuesday. Monday will be a long day for most of the players as they will have final exams for summer school, then practice Monday night.

Three players were held out of practice on Saturday. Spencer Region continues to recover from hip surgery. Adam Humphries missed practice with a pulled hamstring. Mackensie Alexander missed practice with a pulled groin. Mike Williams suffered a pulled groin during practice and missed some of the work.

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