Swinney: Tigers Need to Learn to Put Teams Away


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Swinney offered praise and criticism for his senior quarterback.
Swinney offered praise and criticism for his senior quarterback.

CLEMSON -- A tired-sounding Dabo Swinney held the weekly coaches’ call with the media on Sunday, and while he sounded relieved to get a mark in the win column, he also made mention several times of the fact that the Saturday’s victory should have been easier that it was, and that his team has to learn to finish off the opposition when it has a chance.

The Tigers came away with a 27-21 victory at Boston College, but three costly interceptions, a blocked punt, missed tackles, and penalties made the game much closer than it should have been considering how well the defense was playing.

"We almost beat ourselves, and we’ve got to learn to put people away and quit having the critical mistake," Swinney said. "We’ve got to have that killer instinct on offense to finish people, to put them away when we have a chance."

Swinney also mentioned that the defense, which put consistent pressure on the Boston College quarterback, missed at least 14 tackles by his count, but was pleased with the play of the defense overall. Swinney said his defense was probably more physical than the Eagles, saying the Tigers “played physical.”

On offense, senior quarterback Cullen Harper had three critical interceptions, none of which were tipped – all appeared to be in situations where Harper locked onto a receiver and tried to force the issue when nothing was open.

Swinney, however, offered praise for the senior, along with his criticism.

"The three interceptions were just poor decisions," Swinney said. "Just as simple as that. We made a lot more good plays than bad at quarterback, but those were three critical errors that beat us. Don’t try to win game by yourself. Do what you're coached to do. We’ve got a good defense and we had a chance to absolutely put them away and we let them back in."

Swinney also had good news on the injury front, as the Tigers came away almost unscathed after the physical match up with the Eagles. Junior wide receiver Jacoby had to leave the game late, and Swinney said that Ford has a slight concussion but should be ready for this week’s game at Florida State.

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