When looking back and evaluating his wide receivers in the College Football Playoff, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney felt, as a group, they did not play well against Ohio State.
As a collective group, the Tigers’ receivers had their worst game in years in the Fiesta Bowl as Ohio State’s secondary was physical at the line of scrimmage and knocked off their timing with Trevor Lawrence.
Clemson’s receivers combined to catch 14 passes for just 159 yards, 11.3 yards per catch. Ross led all receivers with six receptions for 47 yards in the semifinal win.
“I did not think we played great against Ohio State. We had some good moments,” Swinney said.
Clemson’s head coach thought Clemson played much better against LSU in the national championship game. The receivers tallied 196 yards on 12 catches, a 16.3-yard average. Ross again led the receivers with 5 catches for 76 yards in the title game.
“I thought we played a lot better against LSU, but we just missed some plays that were there,” Swinney said. “We just did not make them for whatever reason. They did well. They were solid.”
Swinney said when playing teams as good as Ohio State and LSU, the margin for error is very small and the Tigers just had too many errors.
“We had some good plays. There was a tough break on Tee (Higgins) at the end of (national championship) game. That is a play that a lot of times does not get called but sometimes it does, and this was one of those sometimes,” Swinney said. “You just live with it. We just did not do a good job on third down. If we were 5-for-11 on third down, the game is different, the flow of the game. And even with that, we still had a shot. In the third quarter it is a three-point game. You get that touchdown to Tee and it is a 10-point game and a lot could happen.”
However, not much did happen for the Tigers and the end result was their first loss in 30 games.
“We just did not have quite the winning plays you have to have to win games, and they did. They made them,” he said. “We had plays where you could not be in better spots and they made the plays.”
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