A frustrated Dabo Swinney held his Sunday teleconference where he discussed the loss to Boston College and looked ahead to NC State.
Well first of all it was a very disappointing loss from yesterday. Defensively in the first half we did not play as well as we would like except on the scoreboard. We didn’t give up a lot of points. They had the bust for the touchdown and the third and 26 penalty. But I think the first half was we really did not tackle well. We only had three possessions in the first half.
But the story of the game the missed field goals, the two turnovers and the bust for the touchdown.
In the second half the defense really played very, very good. Overall defensively we played well enough to win. I mean 16 points you have to win the game.
Offensively we did not play well. That is very disappointing. We missed some opportunities. We moved the ball. We only punted the ball twice. It was the redzone. You move the ball down there and miss field goals. We scored on defense and they got the bust. They were 3-3 on field goals and we were 1-3. Then we had a really, really critical play by Kyle that cost us another opportunity in the second half for a field goal. Just a poor job in the redzone and finishing drives. That created a lot of frustration.
Again it is not where we want to be, but it is where we are. It is very frustrating to have four losses by six points or less. But all of that is over. We can’t do anything about it other than get ready for this next one. We still control how we finish and that is really all that matters. We still have a lot of opportunity out there. Anything can happen. We just have to keep the players believing and keep them working to get better and see if we can have a really good November here.
The players will come in tomorrow and get ready for NC State. That is where we are right now. Again I am not happy about it but all we can control is how we finish.
Was there a common thread in why you struggled inside the redzone?
No, no common thread. We just missed on a couple of opportunities. They caught us on a cat blitz one time. We had a couple of plays that we didn’t execute quite as well. There was no common thread. We had a couple of plays that we really spit out and I thought we were going to break it, but they made a couple of good tackles that saved a couple of touchdowns. Again it was a couple of missed opportunities that we could have done a better job with. You have to come away with field goals. Then you have a chance to win the game or stay in the game. We have been a good team scoring touchdowns almost 70 percent of the time in the redzone. This game we moved the ball. We only punted twice, but we stalled out. We just did not get it done.
Any updates on the injuries?
We the bad news is we are a beat up football team right now. Daniel Andrews is out. Carlton Lewis is out for at least one more. We are hopeful we will get Carlton back for the Florida State game.
Kourtnei is a high ankle sprain but it is not as bad as Davis Smith’s was. He is definitely out for this week.
Jaron looks fine. He looks like he is going to be okay. His wasn’t just really bad at all.
Byron Maxwell is getting a little bit better with his turf toe.
Probably the biggest injury is Andre Ellington. We thought it was just kind of a turf toe. They did an MRI and looking at it he is probably going to be out for a couple of weeks.
It looks like he has a strained ligament in his foot there near his toe and it is creating a lot of pain for him. We have to let that thing kind of settle down and heal more. That is probably the biggest injury there for sure. I would say he is probably out at least for a couple of weeks.
The good news on Miguel is he did not show a fracture. We did an MRI on him. We will keep working with him and hopefully get him back soon.
What will the running back rotation look like with Andre out?
Well Jamie and we will get Hot Rod in there. He has been waiting for his opportunity and it is here. He will get an opportunity to show what he can do this week. He is a young freshman that has shown some good promise in practices and things. He will have fresh legs and I am excited to see him play.
With there be competition at kicker this week in practice?
Yeah, but my intention going into tomorrow is that Richard will be first. Hopefully he will perform well this week in practice. Catman is a young player and he has done some good things, but he just…I hate it for him because he won the job on the practice field. But he has just struggled a little bit so we have a senior hear that has been patient and we will see what he can do.
There were a lot of times where Kyle couldn’t find anyone open?
Well they spent a lot of time dropping eight. One of the things that we needed Kyle to do was run the ball. They were dropping everybody except three guys. When you have eight people back there you don’t have a lot of holes. Give them some credit. I thought they did an excellent job with it. We moved the ball and had some good drives we just came away with nothing.
Is it time to begin force feeding Tajh some more time on the field?
We have been force feeding him (at practice) every week and he has improved. He is getting better and better and we constantly evaluate our personnel. I think we have him ready to play.
We just have to put him in there when we get an opportunity.
Kyle did not play very well yesterday and he has to be held accountable for that. But I don’t want to create some notion that he is the reason that we have lost four games. There couldn’t be anything further from the truth. He isn’t the reason we lost the Auburn game. He didn’t play a good first half against Miami, but he came back he was actually going to be out of the game, but he played very well. In North Carolina he was the player of the game. We didn’t play very solid and we had six drops.
But yesterday he made just a really, really bad play and in a close game it was very glaring. He will have to play better. But he is certainly not the reason we have four losses. The quarterback gets way too much credit and he gets way too much blame.
KP loves Clemson and he gave up a lot to come back here. He has played hard. He certainly made a very glaring mistake yesterday, but he will have to play better. He will have to play better for us to have a chance to win.
As far as Tajh goes we have him ready to play.