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Dabo Swinney Addresses His Relationship With Mike Norvell

Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers signals to his players

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 07: Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers signals to his players in the second quarter against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on November 7, 2020 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Matt Cashore-Pool/Getty Images)

The last time Dabo Swinney and Clemson were supposed to play Florida State, the game was canceled hours before kickoff due to COVID-19. This decision was made in spite of the fact the Tigers had already traveled to Tallahassee.

In the immediate aftermath of the cancellation last November, Swinney raised eyebrows when he accused the Seminoles of using COVID as "an excuse" to cancel the game. In return, FSU head coach Mike Norvell responded with his own thinly-veiled shot at Clemson.

“Other schools can handle themselves however they want,” Norvell said at the time. “They can practice symptomatic players. But when it comes to our student-athletes and their well being, we're going to rely on our medical advisors to make the best call."

As of last summer, it looked like there might still be beef between the two programs, but Swinney downplayed that possibility when he was asked this week if he and Norvell had "buried the hatchet."

“I never knew of a hatchet," Swinney said, via 247Sports. "I’ve talked to him many times, whether it be on conference calls or saw him at Coach Bowden’s funeral. I will say this: He has done a great job. He has done a really good job of holding it together. Really challenging situation that he took over there. Not only taking over a challenging situation, but it’s COVID as well, and the challenges of the year. They’ve done a good job."

As for Norvell, he doesn't seem to be saying much about last year's back-and-forth, preferring to focus on the matchup ahead.

Clemson and FSU enter this weekend's game going in different directions. After starting 0-4, including a loss to Jacksonville State, Florida State has won three in a row.

Clemson, meanwhile, is coming off a loss at Pitt and is 4-3 on the season. The Tigers have been a mess offensively all year, and they've shown no signs of progress in that area either.

“This team has to re-learn how to win,” Swinney said on his radio show this week. “You’re not entitled to win just because you come to Clemson.”

The Tigers and Seminoles will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.