Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held his Sunday teleconference where he reviewed the win over Maryland and looked ahead to the final ACC game of the year against NC State.
Overall it was a really good game. From the opening snap I thought our guys were ready to play. As I said last night I thought it was a complete game in all facets. We got to play a lot of guys again which is a positive.
On offense we continue to get better. We did a really good job of protecting our quarterback. We had no sacks. I thought our offensive line tried to be physical. David Beasley was our offensive lineman of the week. He played well, very well. Overall a very productive day. Outstanding in third down once again. We threw and caught the ball well. Adam Humphries was our offensive player of the game. I thought he had an outstanding game. It was good to see him. He made a great catch for a touchdown. It was a really good day for him.
Defensively we played with attitude. We played with a lot of emotion and intensity. The thing that jumps out to you is fundamentally how much we have improved throughout the year. As a result we are just playing so much more consistent. We gave up the one long run. We had a season low two mental errors. We created three turnovers and tackled well. 1-13 on third down was tremendous.
We returned the ball better than we have all year. That was good to see. We are going to need to do a good job in that area to really make a run.
Again a really good win. I am proud of our guys for setting the winning streak record. That is something to really be proud of.
We have another big challenge. NC State is a very, very dangerous football team. We are going to have to play very well. It is a great opportunity for us. We have a lot on the line here. We haven’t won ten regular season games here in 31 years. We have a chance to do that.
If we win this week three out of four years we will be able to claim being the Atlantic Division champion. Heck I didn’t even know that until today to be honest with you. If we win this game even if Florida State win we get an trophy. By the tie-breaker we don’t get to go play in the game, but that is a big accomplishment for our guys. So hopefully we can find a way to win. It is going to take another good week of practice. I don’t expect there to be any dropoff or anything. These guys have been focused all year long.
I am looking forward to getting back out there. I appreciate our fans. I thought they were outstanding.
We are in pretty good shape. D.J. kind of twisted his ankle. Hot Rod kind of sprained his toe. Other than that I think we are okay. I don’t anticipate anyone not being able to practice this week.
Players of the Game
Offense – Adam Humphries
Defense – Corey Crawford
Special Teams – Corico Wright
Question – A good way to protect against your team being overconfident would be to show last year’s game against NC State?
Dabo – Yeah there is no doubt. They embarrassed us on national TV. Again NC State is capable of beating anybody. That is the only loss that Florida State has. This is a team that is very dangerous. They have an outstanding quarterback and they always have good skill. They are second in the league in scoring defense. They blitz about every snap. This is a big challenge for us. We will have to play very well. Again we are coming off a performance against these guys last year that was really poor.
Question – Do you play the revenge card at all this week?
Dabo – No, no you always look at last year’s tape when you are playing an opponent that you play every year when the coaching staff is the same. You always study that film because it is real tape of you verses them so you can see some match-up things and see some schematic things and you can compare that to what you have seen all throughout this year. And obviously we have a lot of film from this year.
But no, they know we went up there last year and I think we turned it over three times in a row inside the 20 something yard line and NC State did a great job of taking advantage of it. And with momentum and energy they just took the game over and we couldn’t turn it.
But that was last year and it has nothing to do with this year. It really doesn’t. That revenge stuff doesn’t get you very far. It is about how you prepare and how you execute.
Question – Have you ever been a part of a 35 point win and dropped the polls?
Dabo – Well I haven’t been coaching that long so I am experiencing a lot of first things. I am sure there are a lot of veteran guys out there that may have. All I know is we have 13 days left and if we take care of business we will have a chance to be in the top ten in every poll. I don’t know how may polls there are but we will probably be top ten in all of them.
That is when it will really matter. There is a lot of ball left to be played in these next couple of weeks. Our football team is doing everything they can and I am really proud of how they have played. They are focused on what we can control.
Question – Adam Humphries made his first touchdown catch a special one didn’t he?
Dabo – It was a great, I mean that was a highlight real catch. The funny thing about it is he really should have had two other touchdowns this year. People don’t know that but we had a couple of time this year, we had two calls where we were in Steeler motion and we bring him in in motion. We were suppose to pitch the ball to him on kind of a little shovel. On both of them were wide open. I mean walk in touchdowns down in the redzone. We had messups on both of them. One time we just forgot to pitch him the ball. On another time we had a little snafu and weren’t able to get it off.
It was fun to see him score a touchdown because we have been harassing him. We tell him all the time that he needs to get one of those wigs of dreads because the guys with the dreads get all of the touchdowns. The guys like to harass him all the time. He was threatening to go get a wig and put it under his helmet and maybe they would pitch it to him.
It was really sweat to see him not only score but to make a really, really great play to score his first touchdown. The guys were really happy and fired up for him.
Question – Considering the numbers Tajh has put up are you surprised he is not getting more national attention?
Dabo – There is no doubt about it. It just blows my mind to be honest with you. I don’t see anybody in the country playing better than Tajh Boyd. Ya’ll need to print that in big bold letters.
This guy is a great football player and great leader. He has gotten better and better and better. He is doing things that are just off the charts. He is just an unselfish guy. He goes about his business in a humble way. He doesn’t expect more from anybody than he is willing to give.
I don’t think there is any question that he is playing as good as anybody out there. There are other great players, but I don’t think there is anybody playing better than Tajh Boyd.