Highlights from Dabo Swinney's Sunday teleconference

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Dabo Swinney teleconference

CLEMSON – The good news for the No. 8 Clemson Tigers is that they are still undefeated following what Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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called the defense’s “worst game of the year.”

Swinney addressed the media during his usual Sunday afternoon teleconference, and said he was proud that his team won on what was definitely not its best night.

"That was definitely a crazy game that we had last night,” Swinney said. “But the bottom line is winning and we found a way to win in a tough situation. From that standpoint, it's a great win. I'm just so proud of the leadership of our team and the resolve they showed, getting down 18 not once but twice. Defensively, it was most definitely our worst game of the year. Their quarterback created a lot of problems for us. They had 80 yards on quarterback scrambles. We didn't do a good job on our rush lanes. We will get a ton out of this tape. It'll be some really good teachable opportunities. “

The offense was a different story, however.

"Offensively, outside of the difficult start there with Tajh, we really played well,” he said. “Our offensive line took the game over. Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
RS Jr. Running Back
#23 5-10, 190
Moncks Corner, SC

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had a huge game. Tajh definitely played poor early but fiinished great. Sammy [Watkins] played great. We had six different receivers catch passes. A lot of guys are making contributions. I like how we're spreading the ball around. Tajh recovered and hit 11 out of his last 12. He grew even more. Our guys just gain a lot of confidence. We've found ways to win. Sometimes it's the defense having to hold people and this week was the offense outscoring them. The biggest thing is that we had some self-inflicted wounds. When we pulled within three, I felt we'd have a chance to win.”

On if he had been a part of a game like that one

"I've not been a part of any games like that. We had one at LSU in 1998 and we were down quite a bit, 15 or 16 late, we scored a couple of touchdowns with two minutes or less to win. That was one I'll never forget, but this one, I don't remember being a part of one like this where we gave up so many points and were down 18 twice and overcome it.”

On the problem with the defense

"They had 80 yards on seven quarterback scrambles. We didn't do a good job in our rush lanes. We missed a few tackles. They did a good job with the zone tackle read. We eventually adjusted. They had two huge tight end screens. Those were the main things. All things that are correctable. The biggest problem was that we spotted them points out of the gate."

On Bashaud BreelandBashaud Breeland
RS Fr. Defensive Back
#17 6-0, 185
Allendale, SC

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’s interception

"It was the spark in the second half and gave us a chance to get the momentum back in the half. We got points off the turnover, which is always big. That's another thing, defensively. We've had seven different guys with an interception. You look at Breeland, Darius [Robinson] and [Martin] Jenkins, young guys out there playing a ton of snaps. Hopefully that'll give Breeland a lot of confidence. We need him to be a great player for us.”

On the crowd that met the team

“It was another great crowd. I left here at 4 a.m. They're enjoying it and they should. We've got a good football team that does not quit. Whether it's good or bad, they keep playing. We're 7-0 and we've found a way to win every game."

On the BCS rankings

“That's totally irrelevant to what we're doing. The only time I'll talk about the bowls is when December rolls around. You can fall a lot faster than you can climb. That's for people to talk about and get on the radio and discuss. We've just got to find a way to win this game. Whatever happens in the end will work itself out."

On a Sammy for Heisman campaign

"No Heisman campaign. We had a guy named David Palmer [at Alabama] who was pretty special at Alabama. But we were different offensively. We were an I-formation type of team. But he impacted our team in a similar fashion. He even played some quarterback for us. He did it all. This guy is just one of a kind. He's the best I've been around from a true freshman standpoint as far as the whole package. The whole package and maturity is just uncommon."

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