Clemson vs USC postgame press conference highlights

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Dabo Swinney postgame press conference, Windows Media

Opening statement

"No real earth shattering news here. We didn't do what it takes to win on the road. When you go on the road and turn the ball over and then you can't stop the run, it's hard to win. I don't care where you are, who you are or who you're playing. We had the opportunity get on to a fast start and create a lot of momentum for our football team with a lot of points early and we just turned it over. It's extremely disappointing. When you're negative in the turnover margin, it's hard to win. And then when you can't stop the run, it's really hard to win. And that's basically what happened, it wasn't anything earth shattering. We came out the gate, we go up 7-0 then we get a nice drive going. Then the next play we fumbled the ball and they went down and got a touchdown off of it. We get a stop. We gave up 17 points off of turnovers and that's just a hard thing to come over on the road. You have to give them a lot of credit because they capitalized on those opportunities. And when they put the ball on the ground, we couldn't get it. We had a chance to take the crowd out early but instead we energized them. The bottom line was that we couldn't stop the run."

"I didn't think we protected the ball well today. They did a good job at getting after us. After we became one-dimensional, I thought they did a good job of affecting our rhythm on offense. But I told the team it's still all about us. It's been a long time since we've lost a game and that's a sick feeling. It's just not a good feeling when you fail at something and we had an opportunity to achieve one of our goals today and we failed to do it and that's extremely disappointing. This is a very important game for our program. But it's still all about us, we've got to take care of the football, play your gap, stop the run and everybody has got to do their job. We will have to improve this week but we will turn the page. You start the season with the objective to be a champion and we are division champions but we have the opportunity to win the ACC. Our next goal is to try to win the ACC. We will turn the page really quick."

On responding to turnovers

"You have to give them credit but it's not like we weren't playing hard, the guys were competing out there. But those kids made some plays, they did a good job. They throw one up and their guy makes a play. They made a couple of big plays that created some momentum. They hit the flee flicker but they did a super job at capitalizing. But again we just couldn't stop the run. We just weren't consistent enough with stopping the run and that's the only way you really overcome turnovers. You've got to get stops or you have to get turnovers back and we didn't do a good job at that today. It's very disappointing."

On the mistakes made in the game

"It's nothing earth shattering, these are two good football teams. It's not like you're playing a team with 85 scholarships and is talented. It's a rival game and when you go on the road in a rival game and turn it over and you don't get turnovers, it's just hard to overcome it. These are certainly correctable mistakes."

On how Clemson played against Carolina's quarterback play

"We felt like they'd try to run it and they blocked us pretty good because we didn't do a good job of tackling the quarterback. I don't know what he rushed for but I know it was a good bit. It's disappointing, we've got to be able to stop the run and we didn't do a good job of that today."

RB C.J. Spiller, Windows Media

"Their guys just came out and played hard. When you're on the road, you can't turn the ball over. I put the ball on the ground. You can't do that. You have to be able to take care of the ball. Playing against a team like that, you just can't do it or you'll get the same results every time."

On the first touchdown

"It gave us a little momentum. We just have to sustain that. The main thing today is that we didn't quit. You have to keep fighting. We just came up short at the end."

"We have to realize what our mistakes were and get them corrected and get ready for the (ACC) Championship Game."

Clemson OC Billy Napier, Windows Media

QB Kyle Parker, Windows Media

LB Brandon Maye, Windows Media

Michael Palmer

"They have a good defense, but we did move the ball on them. First half we had a couple of drives, moving the ball down the field, then we had a fumble and interception, then another fumble in the second half. We just have to take care of the ball. I think we had some trouble pass blocking them at times. But they are obviously a talented defense, but we just can't turn the ball over. We have to take care of it."

"We were moving the ball down the field and moving on their defense, and then we would kill ourselves with a fumble or an interception. We haven't turned a ball over in the second half of the season, and we did today. It really cost us."

Thomas Austin

On whether South Carolina wanted the win more than Clemson

"I don't think that's the case at all. When you don't execute early on, it's frustrating and I don't think we responded to that. I don't think we came out flat. We prepared hard this week. We knew it was going to be a tough ball game. They just had more plays than we did the first half, and I don't think we responded well to that."

On whether the opening kickoff return for a touchdown was a negative

"It doesn't ever hurt to have a kickoff return. But we put a drive together and fumbled the ball, then put another drive together and threw an interception, and they scored off of both of those drives. So when that happens, when you're down 17-7 and then they score again, you have to start passing the ball."

"Didn't want to go out this way. We never want to lose to South Carolina, but they are a quality opponent. If we don't execute on offense and defense then we are not going to win."

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