Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held his Sunday teleconference where he discussed the Tiger’s tough loss to Florida State.
The film was just as excruciating to watch as it was to live through live and in person. I thought we had a good plan offensively and defensively. Our guys played extremely hard. Last night epitomized our season, on the road in particular. Four losses by maybe 17 points total.
I will say this. I can’t be more proud of our team about how hard they fight and how they continue to battle. We are going to have to call on every ounce of that quality to get back this week because we have a really, really disappointed team in not winning on the scoreboard.
We still have a lot out there. We are trying to get bowl eligible this week. That is what we have to focus on. That is still one goal out there for us.
The offense again was just missed opportunities. We moved the ball up and down the field. We had a couple of kicking miscues again that cost us some points. In the redzone for whatever reason that is where our miscues are coming. On the blocked field goal possession on first down we fumbled the handoff. On second down we fumbled the snap from the gun. Now you are backed. Then we kicked the field goal and we just kicked it low.
The next time we get down there we don’t make a play in the endzone we had a chance to make. We end up coming away with a field goal there. We get down there again where we missed the field goal and we have an MA (missed assignment) on first down. Then we have a false start and now you are third and 13. You play such a clean series and then you get in the redzone and that is where our miscues come from.
Then we had the interception down there where Nuke just fell down, he just tripped. Obviously that was a big play for them.
It was good to see us put a good drive together offensively at the end of the game when we had to have one. It was good to see Catanzaro make a big kick there. The story of the game was just missed opportunities on offense.
On defense it was just two deep balls and the one drive where they went to the option. That was the story of the game. I thought our defense continued to step up and play well. I think it was the fifth game in a row where we only gave up one touchdown or less. I am really proud of the effort those guys are giving over there on that side of the ball.
On special teams we caused a fumble. It was a great job by Byron Maxwell. That setup a score for us.
The blocked field goal was kicked low and the missed field goal was when our holder called for the ball before we were ready.
We have a lot to learn from. Our offense has to try to do better.
We will try to put this one bed. We will try to do that in the morning when they come in and get them ready to go back on the road. We will try to do something we haven’t done this year and that is win one on the road. I am certainly not happy with our record or where we are, but I do have an appreciation for the effort of this team. I just know that there are still good things out there for them.
The players of the game were DaQuan Bowers on defense, Jamie Harper on offense and Byron Maxwell on special teams.
We didn’t really see anybody that was injured Saturday that will be out for us. Hopefully we will get Kourtnei back this week.
Do you think you should have tried to run the ball more on their end with the success Jamie was having?
We tried. The second time we got down there the first down was a run call and we fumbled the handoff. Then on second down we dropped the snap. Then we were behind the chains. We got back down there where we kicked the field goal and we called two straight runs. We just didn’t execute. Then all of a sudden you miss points and then you start pressing a little bit. That is probably a little bit about what is going on right now.
You had to be happy with how Jamie played.
Oh man he played great. I am really proud of him. He stepped up for the second week in a row. He has played with tremendous heart. He was outstanding for us last night. He ran behind his pads. He finished with some tough, physical runs. He was a factor all night for us in everything we did. I am really proud of him.
Will Tajh see more playing time this week?
Yeah, we definitely want to play him more. I wanted to play him more the other night but it just didn’t workout. We will definitely try to get him in there this week. We will try to script him in there early.
Kyle Parker played excellent. He really played well. That is two good ones in a row for him. We are encouraged by that. There are some positives. Again offensively they played hard and had 25 first down. KP was 64% with 239 yards. We made 50% on third down. Our receivers continue to improve. We are a work in progress right there. That team led the nation in sacks. We really didn’t give up any. The one they counted was a bootleg when KP ran out of bounds.
We are not happy but we are not quitting on the season. We are not giving up. There are still some goals out there for us. One is to win the bowl game. In order to do that you have to get bowl eligible.
People don’t want to hear about being close but yet that is how things have been going. How do you keep positive going forward?
It is an emotional game. I have never been through a season like this to be honest with you. I have had some tough seasons, but I can’t recall being a part of a situation like we have right now. Every loss has been just gut wrenching. Our team is laying it on the line. I have been a part of teams that haven’t’ been very good and you got your butt whipped and go back to the house. But this team is in it to win it every week. We have just had some tough things go against us. We are going through some growing pains as a team and growing pains as a program. I know we have great things in front of us. I know we do. We just have to keep going forward and finish this year in the best shape that we can and get to a bowl and win it and get ready for next year.
We have a lot of good things happening in recruiting. We have some good kids that we have redshirted.
It is tough to lose a lot of games close. I am sure there are a lot of teams out there are in the same position we are. The only way to solve it is to win. That is what we have to go try to do this week is win.
More Q&A Coming up