Dabo Swinney Georgia Tech postgame press conference

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Position: Head Coach

Overall thoughts:
“I’m so proud of our guys. This was a great win. This is actually three great wins in a row. We’re playing our best football of the year right now. Our defense was awesome tonight. Georgia Tech got us on a couple of big plays, but overall, I thought our defense did a great job. We won the physical matchups tonight. Our special teams were great. The offense was in sync and every time they needed to respond and make a play, guys like Tajh (Boyd), Martavis (Bryant), Sammy (Watkins) and Mike (Williams) stepped up and made the plays. This was a great win. We’re 9-1 right now and we have Senior Day coming up. I like how we played tonight.”

On play of Clemson’s offense:
“At the end of the day, it’s about points. This is the most points we’ve scored against Georgia Tech since 2003. This is a rivalry that has lasted a long time and it’s always a tough game. It was great to see our guys rise up and produce. It’s also great to win the turnover margin. I’m so proud of our guys. It was good to get back on national TV in Death Valley, since we played like dogs the last time (vs. Florida State). We did a great job of creating momentum at the beginning of the game and the crowd was awesome. Thursday night is a weird game day because you don’t have people tailgating all day, but I’m really appreciative of our fans. I’m pleased we got it done.”

On the team’s run game:
“Rod McDowell averaged 5.5 yards per carry and he really ran well. Tajh had a few good runs and it was good to see Cole (Stoudt) and Chad (Kelly) get in there and run the ball. We needed to get the run game going against Georgia Tech and to do that, we had to run with attitude. Rod set the tempo.”

On the play of Clemson’s defensive line:
“Our defensive line owned the night. This was a dominating performance in the trenches. We had a lot of tackles for loss. To stop a team like Georgia Tech, you have to win at the point of attack, which is in the backfield. Our guys did their job. They got us on the pitch a couple of times, but our secondary was there to give us run support. We had a great plan and we were very prepared. We played a sound game. Georgia Tech is always going to get points, but we did a great job limiting them. This was a complete team performance.”

Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson
Opening thoughts:
“Well, the bottom line is we got our tails beat today. They beat us in all the phases of the game and we got off to a terrible start offensively in the first quarter. We started the game off kicking the ball out of bounds, and they go down and get three points just like that. The first quarter went downhill from there. You have to give Clemson credit because every time we would score they would go down and score immediately after. They have got a good football team and we would have had to play much better than we did tonight to win the ball game, but we didn’t do it. We now have to go back and try and clean it up and get ready for the last two games.”

On giving up the big play:
“You have to be able to play the deep ball. What did they throw, one deep ball that wasn’t a catch? We were in position to make a play and we just did not make the play.”

On progress of the defense:
“We obviously didn’t play very well tonight. You guys want to make our defense the Green Bay Packers one week and the next week you want to say they stink. It is a process to get better and it’s like you redefine our defense every week. We didn’t make very many plays tonight. If we make two or three plays on the deep balls then we have a chance, but you have to give their kids credit. They made plays, their quarterback threw the ball, and their kids caught it.”

On the play of Robert Godhigh:
“He had a great game and played very well. He made a lot of big plays and fought and played hard. He was one of the reasons we were in the game for as long as we were.”

On the play of Vad Lee:
“In all, I thought he did some good things. He made some plays for us. It was never really clean on the edge, but he made a nice play on the pitch to Robby (Robert Godhigh) for a long touchdown over near our sideline. He threw some nice balls and he converted a couple third downs scrambling. So overall he made some good plays.”

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