Sunday night news and notes


by - Senior Writer -
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Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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says his team didn’t “handle the storm” late in Saturday’s loss to Florida St.

Swinney, speaking to the media during his Sunday teleconference, said the coaching staff has had a chance to study the game tape of Clemson’s 49-37 loss to the Seminoles, and he was disappointed in how the team responded to FSU’s third and fourth quarter flurry.

"Obviously a disappointing loss last night. We've had an opportunity to study it. We've played hard and had a very good team on the ropes at their place, but we just didn't finish,” Swinney said. “We had three or four really critical plays that lit a fire for them, momentum-type plays. I thought us coming back with a field goal putting us up by 10 was a big answer, then we give up a 90-yard return.

“We go out offensively but didn't respond. We had opportunities to respond but didn't. We didn't handle the storm when it came. We have to give credit where credit is due. I thought that their depth was a definite factor. They're a very good team. I thought their speed definitely showed up late in the game. Really talented team, but we've got an opportunity to rebound this week.”

Swinney said Clemson has a lot to improve on before heading to Boston College next weekend.

"We've got a bunch to improve upon. We didn't play well defensively,” he said. “We did a pretty good job the first half, but we had about 15 to 20 plays that were disappointing, big plays and poor against the run. We did not play with a lot of confidence at corner in particular, just a lot of basic things.

"Offensively I felt Tajh [Boyd] played with all his heart. He played hard, with great effort and competed well until the end. I'm very proud of our offensive line, especially Giff Timothy. I thought he battled hard and played well. That'll be great for his confidence. Dalton [Freeman] and Brandon [Thomas] played well. There were some positive things.

"Overall a disappointing night. We have to refocus on Boston College. It'll be a difficult challenge. We're just starting a process of studying them. We have not played well up there. We have to get to 4-1 and get back here to the valley. Injury-wise, we don't really have anyone who's questionable for the game. We have a lot of bumps and bruises, but I don't see anyone missing the Boston College game."

Other notes

On why Clemson struggled last trip to BC

"We couldn't score, which happened in all of our losses that year. We missed kicks. We got in the red zone and turned it over. We got Andre hurt on the turnover. They only had one touchdown, same thing at Florida State two years ago. That's what I remember about that trip."

On if he foresees any personnel changes, especially at corner

"Anything is possible. We need to challenge some guys this week. We've got some guys who have to play better, guys who have played better. We definitely have to challenge a few guys to perform better or we have to give someone else an opportunity. We just don't have a lot of depth there. We have some guys who are coming but we're not quite where we need to be. We have a couple of guys at corner who for whatever reason aren't playing with a lot of confidence. Bad things can happen at that position but you have to have a short memory. We have to be more aggressive and finish tackles better and compete for the ball better. Anything is possible as far as personnel. We've played four games. We've got a whole season in front of us. We've got to go back to work and challenge these guys."

Will Travis BlanksTravis Blanks
Fr. Defensive Back
#11 6-1, 190
Tallahassee, FL

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get a shot at corner?

"No. I don't see him at corner right now. He's really doing a good job. You'll eventually see him at safety. You'll probably see him starting at safety next year and playing some this year. He's doing a good job in the role we've got him in. He competes his tail off. He had some mistakes last night, but he plays hard and he gets better. It's important to him. He tries to play with technique and a ton of energy. I see him just getting better and better. I think he has a bright future."

On if he can keep the team motivated after an emotional loss

“We're not a great team in September, but we could be in November. There are plenty of examples out there for that. We just got beat by a very good team at their place. We had our opportunities. When you're on the road, you can't give a team like that momentum. I think our guys understand that we have a chance to be a good team if we keep on improving. We have a lot of guys that we need to continue to coach and correct. We're going to get there. I don't have any doubt about it. We have to do a great job of coaches to make sure that game does not beat us again. We have to focus on what we can control. We certainly still have a chance for a great season. Anything can happen in this conference. There is no telling what will be going on in November. That ball bounces funny sometimes. People get hurt. You better control what you can control and be the best you can be. That's where our focus is. We're just trying to get to 4-1."

On if Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
So. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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had to convince him to get another chance to throw the football

"No. We've been working on that for a couple of weeks. I was proud of him for coming back. It was a nice play, well-designed and executed well by Sammy. Good to see Andre be very involved in the passing game, too. We need that from him."

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