Notebook: Swinney loves his defense

Notebook: Swinney loves his defense


Notebook: Swinney loves his defense


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Dabo Swinney could not stop raving about his defense Saturday night.

His defense, led by defensive coordinator Brent Venables, dominated Syracuse in a 41-6 victory for No. 1 Clemson at The Dome in Syracuse, New York.

“I thought they were just amazing,” Swinney said.

Clemson (3-0, 2-0 ACC) held the Orange to just 187 total yards, including just 51 yards in the second half. They were just 4-of-19 on third down and 0-for-3 on fourth down, including one at the Tigers’ three-yard line.

In all, Clemson had two goal-line like stands, while sacking quarterback Tommy DeVito eight times.

The Tigers also posted 15 tackles for loss, tied for the fifth-most in a game in school history and the most under Swinney. It was Clemson’s most since recording 15 tackles for loss vs. Utah State on Oct. 16, 2004.

“I am just really proud of the defense and just how they responded,” Swinney said. “They never allowed them to get back into it. They could have gotten some momentum, but our defense just kind of stuffed it out. I am just really proud of those guys.”

The 187 yards allowed by Clemson were the fewest gained by Syracuse since Nov. 29, 2014, when Boston College held Syracuse to 128 yards.

“Just a shout out to those guys. For the most part we were in good position and we tackled well, and we pressured the quarterback all night,” Swinney said.

Here are some more game notes from Saturday’s win:

  • Clemson won its 18th consecutive game, dating to the start of the 2018 season. It represents Clemson’s all-time longest winning streak, surpassing a 17-game streak across the final three games of the 2014 season and the first 14 games in 2015.
  • Clemson’s 18-game winning streak now stands in sole-possession of the second-longest streak in ACC history.
  • Clemson won its 13th consecutive game by 14 points or more, which is now tied for the fifth-longest streak in the AP Poll era (since 1936).
  • Six of Clemson’s eight sacks came in the first half, Clemson’s most in a single half since a seven-sack second half against Auburn on Sept. 9, 2017.
  • Lawrence’s395 passing yards broke his previous career high of 393 against South Carolina in 2018 and represent the 11th-highest single game total in school history.
  • Linebacker Isaiah Simmonsrecorded a career-high two sacks among his 3.5 tackles for loss. Both sacks effectively ended Syracuse drives, as one came on a third down which led to a Syracuse punt and another came on fourth down.
  • Clemson earned its 100th win since the start of the 2011 season, the year that began Clemson’s active eight-year streak of consecutive 10-win seasons.
  • Clemson improved to 11-2 all-time in games as the AP No. 1-ranked team. Twelve of Clemson’s 13 games played at No. 1 all-time have come during the Dabo Swinney era.
  • Swinney improved to 36-17 all-time in true road games, tying Danny Ford (36-15-1) for the second-most road wins in school history. Frank Howard holds the school record with 77 career road wins.

Clemson Athletic Communications contributed to this story

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