Swinney says LSU was simply the better team Monday night
|Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 2:01 PM- -|
NEW ORLEANS, LA – Some nights are yours and others you run into a team that’s just better. Clemson and Dabo Swinney have seen both sides – last year in the 44-16 win over Alabama and Monday night against an LSU team with an unstoppable force in quarterback Joe Burrow.
Burrow threw for 463 yards in leading LSU to a 42-25 win over Clemson in the national championship in the Super Dome.
Swinney said LSU was simply the better team Monday night.
“But I thought LSU played a beautiful game,” Swinney said after the game Monday night. “I thought their quarterback was tremendous. Those receivers -- man, they made some incredible plays that were really well-covered, several of them, but they just made the play. And that's what you've got to do to win these types of games. You give them credit, I thought they played a heck of a game and deserved to win the game. They were definitely the better team tonight for sure.”
Clemson couldn’t make the play when it needed them most, especially on third down of which they were 1-of-11.
“Yeah, well, they were an awesome team,” Swinney said. “Again, it was -- I knew coming in it was going to be a game of a few plays, and we just didn't string enough opportunities. We had a little down-the-line screen that probably would have gone for a ways to Tee (Higgins), critical third down, and we just didn't make some plays that were there that we usually make, some routine stuff. When you're in a game like that, when you know that -- I mean, their offense this year was just special, and they did an amazing job. Again, I mean, they made some plays tonight that you just got to tip your hat to them because the ball was in the only place that their guy could catch it. I mean, we had great coverage, and that was championship football, and that's why they're the champions, because they made those type of plays, and that's what you've got to do.”
Swinney and Clemson know what it takes to win championships and this loss will hurt, but it will also show them what they need to get back to this very stage in 2020.
“But it was great. I mean, it was very competitive,” he said. “Our guys competed their tails off, and this will be a painful tape to watch, but one that will help us. It'll help us get back to work and build next year's team. You know, I've been on both sides of it. But we have, we've played so many great teams. That Alabama team last year was a great team, but we were a great team, and we were a better team that night. But this team, what they accomplished is really special. Beat a great Ohio State team a couple weeks ago that I thought was really, really good. But tonight this was LSU's night. I'm happy for their fans. This is a unique situation, to be -- to play a National Championship game basically in your backyard. What a unique opportunity for them, and I thought the environment was amazing. It was a great environment, great crowd, great energy all night from both fan bases. Just, again, they earned it and did what they needed to do to win.”