Swinney talks ACC Championship Game, loss to South Carolina


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Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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told the media Sunday afternoon that his Tigers have to turn the page quickly if they want to have a chance at playing in the Orange Bowl.
The Tigers play Virginia Tech this Saturday in Charlotte in the ACC Championship Game, with the winner advancing to the Orange Bowl, and Swinney had a conference call with ACC media to discuss this week and Saturday night’s loss to South Carolina.
"We are excited about representing our division in the ACC Championship Game,” Swinney said. “We're playing for an opportunity to play in the Orange Bowl. We're coming off a tough loss and we're disappointed with how we played. We have to turn the page quickly. Big picture-wise we're a 9-3 team and we have a chance to win the conference. It'll be a big, big challenge because Virginia Tech is a great team that's had a great year."

On the sack problems against South Carolina

"I think we had five sacks. Three were on the line, two were on our
quarterback. It's a combination of technique, fundamentals, injuries and
also the quarterback doing what he needs to do. It's definitely a tough
way to win a game when you don't protect your quarterback. Give them
credit, they did a great job. But we also had some missed assignments. We
just didn't win the matchup sometimes as well."

On where the team is struggling

"It started with turnovers. That's been the biggest thing. The first
eight games,, we had six and won eight games. The last four games we've
had 12 turnovers and we've lost three of those four. That's where it
starts. And then we've just not done some of the things well that we were
doing well. We're missing some plays. We're not protecting quite as well.
We have a few guys who aren't playing quite as well as they were early in
the season. But again, big picture-wise, we didn't finish the way we
wanted to but we've earned the right to play for the league title. We're
focusing on Virginia Tech. We both know a lot about each other. We've just
go to get our team's confidence back and get our focus back on execution
on fundamentals and tecdhnique. We have to get back to playing football."

On how well Va. Tech has played since losing to Clemson

”I've seen them a couple of times. I saw the Miami game right after
us. And then I saw the Wake Forest film because we played them. I saw the
Georgia Tech game. They've really improved. They've gotten better. Their
quarterback is playing at a high level, running and throwing. That game
seems like a long time ago. They have won all their games on the road.
We've won all of ours at home. But again, you play your whole season to
jockey for the best postseason opportunity you can have. We've both earned
the right to be in this game. At this time, it's irrelevant what we've
done. It's about this game Saturday night."

On Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS So. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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’s confidence

"I'd say he's not playing with the confidence he was playing with
then. He's a first-year starter and everything was going perfect for him.
He's had some mistakes and he's got to fight his way through it. I'd say
the turnovers and the protection problems have contributed as well. We
have to do a good job this week of making sure we give him a chance. I did
think we ran the ball better last night. That was good to see. We need to
be able to do that to help us in the passing game. We have to do some
things to get his confidence going. Right now he's just in a little bit of
a slump. But he's a really good player."

On Price’s status for this weekend

”I anticipated him playing the whole game last night. After the
first series, Robbie didn't like what he was seeing. He didn't like the
matchup. But certainly I expect him to be much further along, but we'll
have to see how the week goes."


On how the team can recapture confidence

"That's what we do. That's why they call us coach. We have to come
in and we have to teach. That's the bottom line. We have to teach, learn
and we're a 9-3 team that's learned a lot of valuable lessons that will
pay off for us at some point. I don't have any doubt about that. I think
we've played 29 freshmen and there's only one other team in the country
that's played 29 freshmen and that's Southern Cal. Really, we have to
focus them on the task at hand. The regular season is over and we didn't
finish the way we wanted. But it's about the next game. We need to try to
win this game. If we win this game, the better it gets. That's what we are
focusing on. We need to try to get back to being the team that I know we
are. But it'll take everyone being accountable, coaches and players. I'm
sure there will be a ton of negativity out there with people telling them
this and that. You have to listen to the right things and live in reality,
not in perception. Come to work every day with a will to win. That's what
we have to get from these guys."

On Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Fr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 200
Fort Myers, FL

View Full Profile
not returning kicks

"We felt like Andre was the better option of the two just because of
the nature of kick returns with Sammy's shoulder. We didn't want to have a
direct hit on it if we could avoid it. Andre's kick return was one of the
bright spots. We'll evaluate that this week and see what direction we'll
go."

On first matchup with Va. Tech

"We played our best game of the year defensively against those guys.
We were gap sound and didn't give up big plays, while also creating
turnovers. We tackled well. We played our best game. These guys have
really improved. They're playing with a lot of confidence. It's always a
challenge when you play a team twice. Their quarterback looks very confident. Tajh got out of the gates fast
and it looked like Logan didn't get as fast a start, but he has really
come on. Coach O'Cain has done a great job developing him and using him.
He's a big, strong guy who can move the chains with the ball in his hands.
They're mixing it up. He's really throwing the ball with a lot more
confidence. That may be the biggest difference I see with him now."

Rebuilding confidence

"The biggest thing is that you have to look at the practice tape,
see the things you're doing well, learn from mistakes and then you look at
your game film. When you have a bunch of good film to look at, that should
build confidence. We don't get caught up in what other people are saying.
It's really just a weekly formula of preparation. Guys have to do their
jobs. We've got some things on tape where we're getting a lot of good
practice reps, but we're not quite transferring that to game day. It's a
matter of applying it at the right time. That's our job as coaches to get
them confident and right now we're not doing a great job of that. This is
where you have to have leadership step up - players, coaches, trainers,
everybody. I don't have any doubt that they believe in themselves. They're
just frustrated right now, as they should be. But we can't let that beat
us this week. We just have to focus on these next four days of
preparation. We have to have good practices and good meetings."

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Subject (Replies: 31) Author
Front Page Story: Swinney talks ACC Championship Game, loss to South Carolina
Crump®
quack quack quack****
tiger6
still playing the turnover card eh..we only had one last nig
tgrfan42069
well it may be a bit much...
tiger6
Re: well it may be a bit much...
74TIGER
Re: well it may be a bit much...
cljones1984
again the thing here is..we are getting WORSE...
tgrfan42069
Re: again the thing here is..we are getting WORSE...
ClemsonJay®
Re: again the thing here is..we are getting WORSE...
sgt tiger®
Re: again the thing here is..we are getting WORSE...
ClemsonJay®
Re: again the thing here is..we are getting WORSE...
Dugatiger®
I agree and not only that by a team without their starting
lamb
Re: well it may be a bit much...
ClemsonJay®
Ahh yes, convince fans to stop caring. Priceless.
Wosco
Re: well it may be a bit much...
sgt tiger®
so dabo when are going to pull out the
dago44
Re: so dabo when are going to pull out the
ruatiger®
In coach talk we are going to do the same things....
scjaw54
Re: Front Page Story: Swinney talks ACC Championship Game, loss to South Carolina
garrick3270
Re: Front Page Story: Swinney talks ACC Championship Game, loss to South Carolina
tiger2K
Please Dabo, be a man of your word and just go away
AllTimeClemson
Well the spin has already started
AllTimeClemson
USC has 29 frosh & IMPROVED. VT IMPROVED. CU REGRESSED.
Razzmatazz
Re: USC has 29 frosh & IMPROVED. VT IMPROVED. CU REGRESSED.
snowtiger®
Re: USC has 29 frosh & IMPROVED. VT IMPROVED. CU REGRESSED.
Dugatiger®
Re: Front Page Story: Swinney talks ACC Championship Game, loss to South Carolina
rundahill
Cant blame turnovers in the USuC loss. there was only one
AllTimeClemson
Re: Front Page Story: Swinney talks ACC Championship Game, loss to South Carolina
mping
Re: Front Page Story: Swinney talks ACC Championship Game, loss to South Carolina
clemsonjody
Re: Front Page Story: Swinney talks ACC Championship Game, loss to South Carolina
manatis®
Re: Front Page Story: Swinney talks ACC Championship Game, loss to South Carolina
jrtyger
well i feel better now cause....
theoriginaltiger

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