Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held his weekly Sunday teleconference where he discussed the win over Wake Forest and looked ahead to game with NC State.
As you would expect there is a lot of excitement around her today as far as winning the division. It is a great accomplishment for our team and staff but it is back to work today as a staff. There were a lot of mistakes. You look at the film and we had three turnovers back to back and a punt return. At the end of the day we found a way to win. Our guys showed a lot of heart. They are showing they are learning to win. They are making plays in crunch time.
From a coaching standpoint we are looking at it as we are happy we are 9-1 but there is still a lot out there for our team. We have to continue improving.
Offensively we left a lot out there again, but we had 522 yard offense, rushed for 180 and didn’t give up any sacks. It’s frustrating because we didn’t play as well as we are capable. The same thing on defense. We have a lot of work to do to get better and that is a good thing. We are 9-1 and have not reached our potential. We still have our goals out there. We’re trying to win our seventh ACC win for the first time since 1983 and have a 10-win season for the first time since 1990.
Our players of the game were Rashard Hall on defense, Jaron Brown on offense and Darrell Smith on special teams.
On the injury front Sammy looked pretty good today. He is a little sore. He will be limited tomorrow and possibly Tuesday. We will hope to get him back out there Tuesday or Wednesday. It is not anything serious.
Price will definitely be out this week. The good news is his ACL is fine. It is an MCL sprain. He will be out this week for sure but we will hope to get him back for South Carolina. He will definitely be back for the ACC Championship game.
Q. Did Spencer Benton get injured again?
No we changed because he hit two duds in a row. We wanted to go with Cat and see if we could get a better kick. He had a great kick early then another really good one later. We’ll get Spencer back going this week. His first game back, I think he may have been trying to do too much out there.
Q. It is hard to be critical with Tajh but early in the game he really struggled. He was finding their DB’s more frequently than what you would like?
He is just pressing and trying to make big plays and not taking what is there. They dropped eight a bunch and we tried to throw into coverage instead of dropping it off. Some of that comes from the success he has had. He’s got a ton of confidence in his arm and his receivers. He’s not afraid to put the ball in some tight spots. The one interception he just overthrew the ball. They guy was open and he just floated the ball. The play on the screen that was just a great play by their guy. He certainly made some mistakes. When he’s going, the team is rolling pretty good. He can definitely play much better. He brought up back with two clutch drives at the end so I am really proud of him.
Q. Are you going to try to play Watkins this week?
We are going to try to play him for sure. That’s up to how he responds this week. If he’s ready to go we’ll play him. He looks pretty good today. He’ll be limited the next few days, but hopefully he will be ready to go Saturday. It will be a decision we will make later this week or possibly on game day.
Q. Were you concerned about Catanzaro’s confidence after he misses that first one and had to go back out?
When you’re a kicker you will have moments like that. He has made some big kicks for us and that was a huge, huge kick. It was what I told him. You don’t have any pressure. It is not like we are going to lose the game. We either win it now or we win it in overtime. He has been incredibly accurate from outside of 40 yards for whatever reason. Most of his misses come inside the 40.
I am really happy for him to make a kick like that to win a game. You have to remember he is just a sophomore.
Q. What is holding Charone and Martavis from having more opportunities?
I think Martavis played 16 snaps and Charone too. It is just opportunity, nothing more than that. The biggest thing is Jaron and Nuke. Jaron was our player of the game yesterday. He had a couple of games where he didn’t have a catch. Martavis and Charone talent wise are as talented as Sammy but they are just normal development freshman type of guys. They will continue to get more opportunities.
Q. Talk about being 9-1 and still having so much room for improvement.
It is remarkable considering the mistakes we have made. You look at the big picture and you don’t want to be negative. But you look at the film and go we can be so much better. We have to work on the things we can control. Sometimes you just get whipped. We have to work on the things that are in our control. The No. 1 thing we need to work on is ball security. I am really disappointed in ball security the last two weeks. We have to take care of the ball. We have to use the right technique. The quarterback has to take what is there. Defensively we had a good plan, but we have to execute the plan. Our defensive tackles have to play the technique that we call. Our linebackers have to fill the gaps. There are a lot of things we can improve on.