The number one thing Dabo Swinney wants to see his team clean up are the mistakes.
In each of the last three games, Clemson has allowed a non-offensive touchdown, the first time that has happened since 1972. The Tigers also gave up a non-offensive touchdown against Miami earlier in the season.
Turnovers and penalties have been big issues over the last few weeks and Swinney acknowledged how they played a big role in Clemson’s first regular season loss in three years last Saturday at Notre Dame.
“We have to get better and we have to improve on things, and it is nothing we can’t improve on,” the head coach said. “They won third down. I knew that was going to be a huge thing. They won field position and we said, I told our offense, ‘If we can just end every drive with a kick, we would win the game. If you just don’t change anything else in the entire game, and we would have ended every drive with a kick, we would have won the game.”
Instead, the Tigers (7-1, 6-1 ACC) ended two drives with a turnover. Running back Travis Etienne fumbled a ball on toss sweep, which went right into the hands of a Notre Dame defender, who returned it for a touchdown.
On the next possession, wide receiver Amari Rodgers fumbled after picking up a first down. Notre Dame kicked a field goal a few plays later. Though Clemson recovered and came back to take the lead with 3:33 to play, in the end the Irish’s 10 extra points came back to bite the Tigers.
“We gave them ten points. We gave them a score off a dropped ball there and then came right back and fumbled it again. That is ten points,” Swinney said. “That is three games in a row where we have scored for the other team. That is the first time since 1972. So, I was three.
“That is going to change. That will turn. That is a fluky thing.”
The Tigers will try to get things fixed next week when they travel to Florida State.
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