Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held his Sunday teleconference to review the win over Troy. A transcript follows:
There is really not a lot to add to be honest with your guys from last night. It was what I thought I saw during the game.
Offensively it was just a lot of poor execution. I was very encouraged with how we finished the game with three scoring drives and playing like I expect us to play. We made the plays that were there and hopefully that will be good momentum as we go into this week and try to get our team better. The bottom line is we are missing layups. That is just the bottom line. That effects everything. There were a lot of drops. When you are dropping the football at the rate we are that effects your rhythm, points, you name it, psyche and all that stuff. We will get it turned around. Our guys are too good and have too much pride in their performance. We will get back at it this week and try to improve in some of these areas.
Still as bad as we played offensively 400 and some yards of offense.
There were some positives in the game. We did play a lot of guys. I am very encouraged to see some of those guys that got their first action. Ray Ray even though he had some things. It was probably his best day and his worst day in the same day. I don’t know if that’s possible but I think he achieved that. He had 182 all purpose yards. I think he has a chance to be a real weapon for us as he gains his confidence. He just needs to mature and go through some growing pains.
Defensively we played 55 really good minutes of football. We did a lot of good things. We are up 17 points with five minutes to play. The next thing you know there is an onside kick. That is probably the biggest disappointment which overshadowed a great day. We played very well, three interceptions and dominated third down, 2-13, eight tackles for loss. We did a lot of good things but we just have to get that killer instinct to finish the game. 17 point lead with five minutes to go and they hadn’t moved the ball all day and then I think we had three or four penalties that allowed them to get good field position on the one drive. We couldn’t make the interception. Plays that were there to make that we have to make. We still have a lot of work to do as we develop our team.
There were a lot of positive on special teams. Field goals and kickoff coverage. We have five touchbacks and I think they had a seven yard return average. Ray Ray average 32 yards and showed some great flashes. Our punt coverage was very good. We hate to have to put the hands team out there but when you do those are big plays. Those guys executed well there. The biggest disappointment was the first punt return Ray Ray came running up because he thought we had blocked it but the ball went over his head. Again he has to stay dialed in on his job. Then obviously dropping the ball short of the goal line was an issue. And then we had two bad punts. I am really encouraged with that part of the game and some of the things I am seeing there, especially with kickoff coverage.
At the end of the day we are 2-0. We are a team right now that is not playing to our capabilities. It is on me to get all of that corrected. I am proud of our guys for finding a way to win getting to 2-0. We look forward to seeing if we can become a little more consistent this week. We are going to have to do that or we won’t have the season we are capable of having.
Ben, he feels a lot better. We are definitely going to hold him out this week. He thinks he can play but we are going to have a short turnaround next week so we are definitely going to hold him out of this game.
Other than that I think everybody is good to go for practice tomorrow.
Players of the Game
Kendall Joseph – Defense
Ray Ray McCloud – Offense
Greg Huegel – Special Teams
Question – Any chance that Ben would be in jeopardy of missing Georgia Tech?
I don’t think so. Not based on what he said last night and today. I guess anything is possible but I don’t think so. We think he is going to be okay. We definitely are not going to put him out there this week despite his wishes.
Question – I counted three of four different running backs and eight different receiver combinations. There is a lot of depth out there correct?
Well we are trying to develop it. It is a long season and I think the longer guys sit the more disengaged they get and you just lose a little something in development. We went into that game definitely wanting to get some guys in the game. We had some young guys that made some mistakes but they are going to improve from it. We missed a lot of opportunities in that game from our veteran players. I was encouraged by some of the things I saw from the young guys. We played a bunch of offensive lineman. I think we had ten or so that got in there. We have pretty much been playing six or seven guys at wideout. It was good to see Cornell Powell get in there for 19 snaps. Overton got some plays. It will kind of get the juices flowing for those guys. We think we have good depth and we are going to need it as we go.
Question – Could playing a lot of players on offense impact the rhythm or is that not really the case?
(Laughing) No. That had nothing to do with the mistakes that we made. Again it was our veteran guys. It had nothing to do with how many we played. We had seven or eight drops yesterday. Again we aren’t making the layups. It is just like in basketball. If you have a lot of layups and you are missing those and now you want to make three pointers then you are in for a long day. That is where we are right now offensively. We just aren’t doing the little things. It just kind of effects everything. We have always played a lot of guys at receiver. We have six guys that we have used that have played a lot of ball for us. That had nothing to do with a guy making a play. We practice every day and have practiced well. That is what is frustrating about these first two games.
Question – How much on the bubble were you about playing Diondre Overton?
We were close to holding him but we made the decision that we wanted to get him some experience. The biggest thing was the last couple of weeks watching the game kind of slow down for him. He improved to the point that we were like okay that gives us eight quality guys. We get one rolled ankle or something like that and you get thin pretty quick. He is a very talented guy. He hit a little lull there in camp and that is why he was on the fence. But the last couple of weeks in watching him practice and how he has responded especially as we paired the game plan down. We just made the decision that we are going to play him. Obviously we have some good players in front of him but he will get some experience this year that will payoff for him in the future.
Question – Gallman didn’t play a lot in the second quarter. Was that the game plan on an in-game decision?
Well he played 46 snaps. Day played 13 and Choice played 15. I think Fuller got ten. We want to get those other guys in there and get them some opportunities. Again the same thing. Adam had a couple of snaps down at Auburn but not many. We wanted to get those guys in there early and then the game just kind of changed a little bit on us. We are not worried about Wayne Gallman and he had a really good fourth quarter. He made some good plays for us in the passing game as well. He had three good catches. We know what we have in Wayne. He will be a work horse for us all year.
Question: What about Deshaun’s development. Two interceptions is not like Deshaun.
That is correct. That is definitely not like him. Like I said one of them is 100 percent on Mike. You can’t hang your quarterback out. And then the other one was on Deshaun. He just missed. You know he is human. He is not perfect. He is not a robot. Deon ran a decent corner route on a smash play and Deshaun just left that ball inside a little bit instead of putting it outside. Sometimes that is all it takes but there guy made a good play. Your right he doesn’t usually throw a lot of interceptions.
Question: Hunter was wearing a brace on his wrist after the game. Is he going to be practicing tomorrow?
Yes we expect him to. He came back and finished the game. He has a little area kind of below his thumb area that I guess they are going to check a little further tomorrow. But they don’t think it is anything that will keep him out of a game.