CLEMSON – Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney’s message to his team and the media this week have seemed to center around one theme: Yes, the Tigers had on-the-field problems last Saturday against Florida St., but now it’s time to move on.
Swinney met with the media shortly after practice Monday night, and said his meetings with the team were to the point regarding Saturday’s performance against the Seminoles.
“We focused on the mistakes we made,” Swinney said. “We had good meetings with both the offense and the defense, and looked at where the breakdowns were, the missed assignments and opportunities and missed tackles. We corrected them and now we have moved on.
“It is all about Duke right now, another game, another opportunity for us to win a game. Last week, we played a really good team on the road, and they were the better team. Hopefully, we will learn from our mistakes. Duke has an excellent staff, and they are very well-coached. They are playing with more confidence and better effort, so it’s not surprising what they have accomplished.”
Swinney said that the team has still not played what he would call a complete game this season, and he would like to see this be the week that happens.
“That (a complete game) is the ultimate goal, and I’ve been preaching to them to put it together one time,” Swinney said. “We went up to Boston College, and that was not a complete game, but we found a way to win. We went down to Tallahassee and scored 27 points on a very good defense, so we’re getting better offensively.
“We still have issues on the offense, but never would I have thought we would have given up 34 points on defense. Hopefully, though, we can get back to playing defense like we can, and play better offensively, and put a complete game together.”
Swinney also mentioned that he feels the season can still end on a high note.
“I think we do have the potential to do something special,” he said. “There is a lot left on the table to finish out the season. We still have the opportunity to have a winning season and a bowl, and we still get a chance to play in Death Valley this weekend in front of a homecoming crowd.”
Tigernet asked Swinney if he felt the loss to FSU was demoralizing, and he responded in the typical, fiery Swinney fashion.
"Demoralizing? Not at all,” Swinney said. “As bad as we played, with two minutes left we still had an opportunity to get a bounce (on the onside kick) right there and have a chance to go win the game. Demoralizing is drastic. Disappointing, yes.
"We've got life. We're still moving. And that's the mentality. We may still be in a rut, but man, we're still moving. Let's keep fighting."