Corey Crawford

A win with an asterisk would be just fine with Clemson’s Swinney

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Florida State will open Saturday night’s home game against Clemson without starting quarterback Jameis Winston. Winston will not play until the second half of the key ACC Atlantic Division battle due to a half-game suspension. This seems to give Clemson an advantage at the start of the game, but nothing is guaranteed. If Clemson does return home with a win over the top-ranked Seminoles, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney will not care if anyone chooses to place an asterisk next to the result.

“Georgia beat us,” Swinney said referring to Clemson’s season-opening loss at Georgia, per per TigerNet.com. “Did we put an asterisk by that? We didn’t have three senior starters.” Clemson was without  defensive end Corey Crawford, offensive guard David Beasley and defensive back Garry Peters for the week one road game at Georgia. All three were suspended (as well as offensive tackle Shaq Anthony) for violations of team rules.

“Heck, no. They beat us. Period. There’s no asterisk by that. Give me a break.”

Swinney also made reference to Alabama’s 2010 BCS Championship Game victory over Texas to prove his point further. Texas lost starting quarterback Colt McCoy to an early injury in the game, leaving the Longhorns having to turn the offense over to a young and inexperienced Garrett Gilbert.

“I don’t think there’s an asterisk on that crystal ball down in Tuscaloosa,” Swinney said. “I think we’ve got a national championship trophy [at Clemson, referring to the 1981 season] where we beat Nebraska. I don’t think they played Turner Gill in that game but it still says national championship.” Gill did not play in that season’s Orange Bowl due to a leg injury.

The bottom line is pretty straightforward. Clemson can only worry about whatever they see on the other side of the field. The game still lasts 60 minutes and there is more than enough talent for Clemson to prepare for coming at them from the Florida State sideline. Florida State will give the start under center to Sean Maguire. Maguire’s parents already gave their tickets away. If Clemson benefits from Florida State being without Winston for 30 minutes, that is not Clemson’s problem.

Of course, if Florida State does lose, we then can entertain the arguments from Jimbo Fisher about how a fully-equipped FSU would split 10 games with Clemson down the road. Right?

Clemson suspends four players for season opener at Georgia

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Clemson will open the 2014 season on the road at Georgia, but at least four players will not be making the trip. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has suspended four players for the season opener for violations of team rules. Offensive guard David Beasley, offensive tackle Shaq Anthony, defensive back Garry Peters and defensive end Corey Crawford will miss the season opener due to a violation of team rules.

“I am disappointed to announce that these young men will miss the 2014 opener at Georgia,” Swinney said. “A huge part of our program is teaching accountability, responsibility and that there are consequences for your actions. These are four good young men, but they broke a team rule and as a result, they will each miss a game. I am hopeful that they will learn and grow from this and have a great 2014 season on and off the field.”

Crawford and Beasley were starters for Clemson last season, and thus would have been projected starters for the 2014 season. Crawford started all 12 games during the regular season for Clemson last season. Peters and Anthony were expected to compete for starting jobs in 2014 as well, and may have been considered favorites for those starting jobs out of the spring.

None of the players have been arrested, according to The Post and Courier.