Swinney agonizes over the five plays that cost the Tigers a championship


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This first half interception was one of the critical mistakes the Tigers made
This first half interception was one of the critical mistakes the Tigers made

SUNSET – Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney doesn’t hesitate to tell his players or the media that five plays each game usually dictate who wins and who loses, and it didn’t take Swinney long to find the five plays that cost the Tigers the National Championship against Alabama in January.

Since day one, Swinney has preached to his players that they have to pay attention to the little things if they want to win big games. It’s all about attention to detail and making sure you do your job and trusting your teammate to do their job.

The lesson hit home in the aftermath of the loss to Alabama. As one offensive lineman removed his shoulder pads and ran through the game in his mind, he turned to me and said, “It was just a few plays that cost us. And I’ll be thinking about those plays all winter and summer.”

At Swinney’s golf outing last week, I asked him if he had taken the opportunity to pick out five plays from that game to show his team, and he said that’s how he began spring practice. He showed the team five plays that cost the Tigers a title.

The onside kick and kick return for a touchdown weren’t in those five plays.

“I already have. That is how we started the spring. I took five plays that really had nothing to do with the opponent,” Swinney said. “It was a message as we started in the spring that it's all about Clemson. It's all about what we can control. It's not about anything else and let's take care of us. And just so you know, the onside kick wasn't in that clip, and the kickoff return wasn't in that clip. Neither one. They (Alabama) made two great plays.”

Swinney said that coaches, players and fans have to realize that there are times when the other team simply makes a great play.

“Sometimes the opponent makes a play. They made a great play down the sideline where the ball falls out of the sky,” he said. “Sometimes other teams make plays. Other teams have good players. But it's the things that we do control, and that was the message in that video.”

He said he even used star quarterback Deshaun Watson as an example.

“I started with our best player (Deshaun Watson) because he had two plays in that game that were critical mistakes,” Swinney said. “They were critical errors. It was kind of an easy way to transfer into spring practice and make sure everybody had their mind right as we got back to basics. Because it was the little things that cost us in that game. We made a couple of mistakes. And when you're in a game like that and you're playing an opponent like that, it is a few plays.

“Yes, there are some games where we have a bigger margin for error. But when you're playing championship caliber football, and it's really good-on-good kind of even, it's really a few plays. And of the five that I presented, if you could change two of them the outcome is probably different. But you can't change them.”

Getting back to basics – and eliminating the silly mistakes – was a constant them during spring practice and Swinney said the team responded the right way.

“It's ball handling. It's fundamentals. It's executing the call. It's Cover 3, it's Cover 2 and supporting from the outside and not running inside a receiver,” he said. “It's little things. It's not big things at all. But it was a good way as we started over in the spring to re-focus them. But to be honest with you, with this bunch, they've been really easy and had a sense of urgency from day one and an eagerness to get back at it.”

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Subject (Replies: 77) Author
spacer New Story: Swinney agonizes over the five plays that cost the Tigers a championship
TigerNet News
spacer Agonizes? Just a couple days ago he was laughing about it***
GWPTiger®
spacer I hope the pressure of missed opportunities & failed...
deadsolidperfect®
spacer Don't forget visions of a TE running wide open down the
GWPTiger®
spacer Dabo fired a DC for giving up 70, perhaps he should've
deadsolidperfect®
spacer Re: Don't forget visions of a TE running wide open down the
74TIGER
spacer Yep, it's unfortunate our D went soft at the wrong times***
GWPTiger®
spacer Re: Don't forget visions of a TE running wide open down the
oriyah10
spacer Re: Don't forget visions of a TE running wide open down the
oriyah10
spacer Re: Don't forget visions of a TE running wide open down the
tigersnake1954®
spacer Re: Don't forget visions of a TE running wide open down the
jsebe10®
spacer Re: I hope the pressure of missed opportunities & failed...
tigerinaiken®
spacer Signs of bipolarism?
CU2013®
spacer Re: Agonizes? Just a couple days ago he was laughing about it***
TigerMascot25
spacer this is the type of bi-polarism that could cost us a
Snowtown®
spacer Que the popcorn gifs...***
Rileyhound
spacer Re: New Story: Swinney agonizes over the five plays that cost the Tigers a championship
badb
spacer Curious Minds Would Like To Know: "...the five plays"
Uncle Bill®
spacer Re: Curious Minds Would Like To Know: "...the five plays"
Tigerman1978
spacer yep...the INT was #1, but what were other 4?
lightbulbbill®
spacer Re: yep...the INT was #1, but what were other 4?
Tigerman1978
spacer Re: yep...the INT was #1, but what were other 4?
ddclemson
spacer Re: yep...the INT was #1, but what were other 4?
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Re: yep...the INT was #1, but what were other 4?
ddclemson
spacer Re: Curious Minds Would Like To Know: "...the five plays"
clemson7024
spacer Re: Curious Minds Would Like To Know: "...the five plays"
smillsap1
spacer I thin perhaps if he directed our attention to the plays...
ClemsonTiger1988®
spacer Re: Curious Minds Would Like To Know: "...the five plays"
pugmarks
spacer I agonize about it. Some of the younger fans weren't alive in 1981. Many of us were and we know
Hi Cotton Tiger®
spacer Re: I agonize about it. Some of the younger fans weren't alive in 1981. Many of us were and we know
fjones
spacer Not "funny feeling"... it's a fact.***
SOLOS®
spacer Let it go boys. It's our time now***
jtiger1®
spacer Re: Let it go boys. It's our time now***
deroberts
spacer Sounds to me like it was 7 plays
PenthouseTiger
spacer Re: Sounds to me like it was 7 plays
Dugatiger®
spacer Re: New Story: Swinney agonizes over the five plays that cost the Tigers a championship
milerock®
spacer Lol, I doubt that Dabo elaborated in public about which 5...
ClemsonTiger1988®
spacer Re: Lol, I doubt that Dabo elaborated in public about which 5...
deroberts
spacer "It's all about what we can control. It's not about
cutigerbob®
spacer Exactly bob, Dabo's public quotes the last couple days
GWPTiger®
spacer He's starting to sound like a former Clemson coach which I
cutigerbob®
spacer Re: Exactly bob, Dabo's public quotes the last couple days
Topher
spacer Re: Exactly bob, Dabo's public quotes the last couple days
palmetto72tiger
spacer do you knot see the black mark being left on this program?
theclash®
spacer WOOSH!!!***
CU2013®
spacer "When a great team loses through complacency, it will
cutigerbob®
spacer Re: "When a great team loses through complacency, it will
Topher
spacer Well our posts are in writing, so not really
GWPTiger®
spacer The most successful coach we've ever had?
GWPTiger®
spacer potd***
theclash®
spacer Re: potd***
Topher
spacer Re: potd******
cutigerbob®
spacer call him elf one more time***
theclash®
spacer "Angry" fellow elf...?***
SOLOS®
spacer Re: potd***
GWPTiger®
spacer Dood
CU2013®
spacer C'mon Chris! You're Being JUST as Snarky as GWP!
Uncle Bill®
spacer Re: C'mon Chris! You're Being JUST as Snarky as GWP!
Topher
spacer Re: C'mon Chris! You're Being JUST as Snarky as GWP!
Uncle Bill®
spacer Re: C'mon Chris! You're Being JUST as Snarky as GWP!
tigerinaiken®
spacer Re: Exactly bob, Dabo's public quotes the last couple days
ddclemson
spacer excuse after excuse
theclash®
spacer Re: excuse after excuse
HJ4CU
spacer are you not entertained?***
theclash®
spacer TU for the Gladiator reference***
92MEGrad®
spacer Re: "It's all about what we can control. "
74TIGER
spacer Still concerned about special teams - Dabo in denial?***
tigeron®
spacer #1 was Alexander getting injured, and the other 4
Obed
spacer What?***
TigersAndCubs
spacer #1 was Alexander getting injured, and the other 4
Obed
spacer Did you mean Baker?***
TigersAndCubs
spacer Re: New Story: Swinney agonizes over the five plays that cost the Tigers a championship
MaukaTiger®
spacer Re: New Story: Swinney agonizes over the five plays that cost the Tigers a championship
bfhale®
spacer I hope none of yall are serious saying Dabo might not be the 1 we need
Hi Cotton Tiger®
spacer GWP to incorporate Sarcasm Meter Technologies... The
SOLOS®
spacer No kidding Coach - We conceded Special Teams all season
SocMan2®
spacer So, Saban was outcoached at the end of the Iron Bowl in 2013
76er®
spacer Re: New Story: Swinney agonizes over the five plays that cost the Tigers a championship
TennesseeLadyTiger®
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