Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held his Sunday teleconference where he discussed the win over North Carolina and looked ahead to Georgia Tech.
Actually as you might think there are a lot of good things on this tape in all phases of the game but we also had a lot of things that we can continue to get better on and coach off this film. We played a lot of guys that is the best thing other than winning the game. We got to play a lot of people. There are a lot of guys that are making improvement in practice but they haven’t played a lot so it was good to be able to get some of those guys in the game. To coach off that tape is something that I think will be very beneficial for us.
I am proud of our team. To be only the fourth team in 115 years that is obviously something that has not happened very often. To be part of it is special. Our players have done a great job of trying to buy into what we are trying to do. We just have to keep trying to execute our plan to win. We are doing a good job with that from an effort standpoint, turnovers, big plays and creating some things on special teams as well.
Offensively Tajh and Nuke were our players of the game. 59 points, we took advantage of some turnovers. We spread the ball around. Our quarterback is lights out. We are snapping the ball a lot. I am not 100 percent sure but I think we have snapped the ball more than any team in the country or we are right there at it. I think that is one of the things that helps us in the second half is we just wear some people down. We still had some plays that we just didn’t execute on but I am really proud of all of our guys with how they are catching the ball and making yards after the catch. That was going to be our plan going into the game. We were going to try to attack them with the passing game. We had just enough running here and there to kind of keep them honest but really it was a day where we put it in the air.
Defensively we obviously made some mistakes. They scored 17 on our first team defense and none in the second half and that was good to see. 21 of their points were kind of, we had the kickoff return, we had a fumble down there and then the long pass on some of our backups. A lot of our starters played the fewest snaps they have all year defensively especially our guys up front. I thought that would help us being a little fresher next week as we get ready for Georgia Tech. The story of the game defensively was turnovers. Six of them and two for touchdown and the others we setup score. We stopped the run. This was a team that could run the football and they had a really good back that had been putting up 100 on everybody so we did a good job there. We got off the field on third down. We played a lot of guys and there were a lot of errors we will have to correct.
Now we turn the page to Georgia Tech. They are a really good football team. I hope nobody asks me about the polls and all that stuff. Like I have said that is a waste of our time. None of that matters if we don’t handle our business. We have to take care of Clemson and the task at hand and that is to get ready for Georgia Tech. That is all our focus is upon.
Q. As a coach on personal level how much have you reflected to loss to Georgia Tech in 2009?
I don’t think about it at all. That is all water under the bridge. I haven’t reflected on that at all. We started to look at the tape today to get ready for this weekend. We have had some battles with those guys and it is a rivalry game. Obviously that was my first game as interim head coach but I don’t sit around and think about any of that stuff. I just try to get ready for this week.
Q. So you don’t use that as motivation?
That has nothing to do with this team. A lot of these guys weren’t even here in 08 when we played them when I was interim and then in 09 when we played them. They know who Georgia Tech is. It is a rivalry game. It is important every year. Just because we beat them last year doesn’t mean we will beat them this year. That stuff is really irrelevant. It is about this team and how we prepare this week. The team that takes care of the ball and makes the fewest turnovers is usually the one that wins.
Q. Dabo you talked about playing a lot of guys that haven’t seen much time. Any of the guys catch your eye?
Offensively it was good to see McDowell get back in there. I think he is a guy that is really going to spark us. We got some of those young offensive lineman in there. Beasley, Reid, Kalon and all of those guys did something positive. Defensively our defensive tackles. DeShawn Williams is really a guy that gets the big picture. He really understands what it is all about. Barnes got in there and Grady. Those guys have a lot of potential but they still have to mature. DeShawn is a guy that has caught my eye because he really kind of gets it. I thought Justin did a good job in there. He got some opportunity to play in there some at SAM and did a good job as well. Corey Crawford has played but I thought he really showed up the other day.
Q. Bryant’s progress?
He has done really well. We knew he was going to be a guy that gets better as the season went along. Physically he was ready to go but he had a lot to learn still about the position, about the system and all of those types of things. He was kind of like a typical freshman. As he has gotten more reps in practice and we have gone over the game plan from week to week he has really, really improved. He is a really talented player. He is as talented as anyone we have. He is a little bit like Nuke was last year from a learning standpoint.
Q. Will Joe Craig be back?
Yes he will be back Monday. It was just very simple team discipline.
Q. Are you disappointed that you had another problem with Joe?
Yeah it was disappointing. It was just a maturity thing. He will hopefully learn from it and go from there.