Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was not entirely happy with the line of questions from the media following Saturday’s 47-21 victory over Syracuse.
Swinney thought the majority of the questions focused on the bad things the Tigers did instead of the good things they did in overcoming them to earn the victory.
“We won the game by almost four touchdowns. I think this is the right press conference,” Swinney said after being asked a question about his team’s energy level early in the game. “I just want to make sure because I am not getting any questions about ‘Are you proud of your guys for winning the game.’ There are a lot of negative questions. You are not going get any negative stuff from me.”
In all fairness, though, No. 1 Clemson did look sluggish at times on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw another interception, which was returned for a touchdown. Will Spiers had a punt blocked which set up another Syracuse touchdown, receivers dropped passes, the offensive line was again called for holding, the defensive gave up an 83-yard touchdown and a 61-yard run.
It was understandable why the media questioned the Tigers’ play considering how flawless they have played for much of the season and the fact they were a 46-point favorite, according to Vegas.
“I thought we got up 17-0. We went right down the field and scored on the opening drive,” Swinney said.
Obviously, Clemson (6-0, 5-0 ACC) did a lot of good things, too. Running back Travis Etienne scored three touchdowns and ran for 86 yards despite fighting cramps all day. Lawrence threw two touchdown passes, while Amari Rodgers caught eight passes for 91 yards.
The defense held the Orange to 4-of-13 on third down and forced four turnovers. Syracuse (1-5, 1-4 ACC) had just five turnovers all year prior to Saturday and led the nation in turnover margin.
But despite all of that, Clemson lead by just six points, 27-21, when the Orange got the ball with 2:23 to play in the third quarter. Two plays later, Bryan Bresee and Mike Jones teamed up to sack Rex Culpepper, striping the ball, which allowed Andrew Booth to scoop the ball up and run it into the end zone for six points.
After that Etienne scored two touchdowns to cap the Tigers’ 26-point victory.
“I just want to make sure I am at the right press conference here. We did win the game, I think,” Swinney said. “Let me make sure I am at the right spot. I am at the right spot? Okay, I want to make sure. I think we won the game. I think we won it.
“So, you don’t usually score 47 points if you don’t have the right energy. We made some mistakes. It is not energy if you don’t make a certain play or snap the ball over our head. We just did not execute. But at the end of the day, it is not easy to win. There are a lot of teams out there that would have lost this game with the amount of the mistakes we made.”
A great gift for any Tiger fan. Just one of many great items available from Clemson Variety & Frame