Even when his team was on the brink of losing as NC State kicker Kyle Bambard lined up or his 33-yard field goal with two seconds to play on Saturday, Clemson defensive back Marcus Edmond still had faith they were going to win the game.
“At the same time, we still had to play that down. We played it. They did not play it so well. They missed it and we came back and won the game,” Edmond said.
It is that never-quit attitude is why No. 3 Clemson is 7-0 and still in control of the ACC’s Atlantic Division as it heads into the bye week. Bambard missed the 33-yard field goal as the Tigers ended up winning the game, 24-17, in overtime.
Edmond sealed the victory with an interception in the end zone – his first of his career.
“We knew if we had a fighter’s chance. We knew we had another chance to win,” Edmond said.
So what is it about this Clemson team that has allowed it to stay undefeated despite losing the turnover battle to both No. 7 Louisville and NC State? How have they been able to win four games already this year that were decided by seven points or less?
“This is the easiest team to coach that I have ever had. This is the fun-est group that I have ever been around. This is the most committed group, with zero drama,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said during his weekly radio call-in show on Monday. “We have zero drama on this team. I mean, zero. These are the most low maintenance guys, and the easiest group to coach, that I have ever been around.”
Swinney admitted earlier in the day when speaking with the media that they were very fortunate to win the game with all the turnovers and critical mistakes they made. But in the end, they once again found a way to get the win.
“I’m proud of our never-quit attitude. There’s just something special about that,” the Clemson coach said. “These guys, there’s something about knowing how to win.”
Clemson is 15-2 since 2011 in games decided by seven points or less, with the two losses coming in overtime at Florida State in 2014, and in the national championship game last season.
“These guys know how to win, and they believe. It’s special. Most people quit, most people pout, most people do this and that — these guys keep playing, and they just have this never-quit attitude and absolute belief that they can find a way to win, and that’s pretty dang special,” Swinney said. “Going 15-2, that ain’t getting lucky. That’s mentality, and that’s a lot of toughness mentally and physically.
“I cannot tell you how proud I am of our guys and how much I appreciate who they are and their will to win.”
The Tigers will not play this Saturday as they get the weekend off, but they head to Tallahassee, Florida on Oct. 29 where they will visit No. 15 Florida State. The game is set to begin at 8 p.m. and will be televised by ABC.