Third-ranked Clemson shut out S. C. State 59-0 to record the Tigers’ third win of the season on Saturday in Death Valley. Following the game, the coaches expressed they were very pleased with the way Clemson played on both sides of the ball.
Here is what we heard:
Head coach Dabo Swinney said he was happy Clemson played its best game on Saturday.
“The objective of today was to get better and that is what I saw today. I saw a team get better,” he said. “We obviously played our best game and our most clean game that we have played yet. The best part of the game, I think we played ninety two-plus people, but the best part of the game was that they continued to play well.
“We played a lot of guys, and I think that is great to see. It is fun to see the guys who do play a lot support the guys that were in there getting a lot of the snaps, especially in the second half.”
Clemson’s offense got rolling and racked up 555 yards of total offense on 78 plays. Swinney said it was great to see the unit get its rhythm back.
“It is amazing what happens when you catch the football. It is just amazing. The rhythm of the offense, the tempo of the offense, the confidence, energy, everything is affected by just a little cleaner execution,” Swinney said.
After Clemson had eight drops that would have equated to over 170 yards of offense against Troy, co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Jeff Scott really worked on the fundamental skills with the wideouts throughout the week.
“Last week we were a few drops away from playing really well. Our guys responded by going out and having fun today,” Scott said. “We really challenged that group. It is not an ability issue. It is a focus and a mental intensity and staying locked in and having great focus on the football. That’s really were drops come from. That was a big emphasis for us all week as we coach those guys up. Having great focus and being locked in and not getting distracted.”
Wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud led the Tigers with four catches for 60 yards and two touchdowns and said that the work the receivers put in with Scott and Swinney this past week really paid off.
“He really worked us hard at practice from catching the ball to finishing plays and handing the balls to the refs,” McCloud said. “That’s what we went out there and did today and we played like we are supposed to play. As a group, we had a great game.”
Swinney noted one of the best parts of the game was being able to get so many young guys playing time. Four of the eight touchdowns were career firsts for Diondre Overton, Trevion Thompson, Denzel Johnson and Tavien Feaster.
“I was amazed,” Feaster said about his first career touchdown. “I was just thinking about all the memories, and that I’m finally here after everything my senior year. To finally be here and score my first touchdown, it was amazing. I feel like I showed the coaches what I bring to the table, and what I can do for this offense.”
Overton said he feels more comfortable with the offense now that he has recorded his first touchdown with the Tigers.
“I looked at the people ahead of me, saw what I needed to do and I put in the hard work and dedication. I was just on my grind and I did what I had to do,” Overton said. “I feel a lot more comfortable than what I would have felt my first game.”