In Dabo's Words: 'We missed a great opportunity tonight, but I love our team'

'It's actually a miracle that with all the turnovers we had that it's a 17-17 game at the start of the fourth quarter'

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney disputes a call in the second quarter.

Photo by Nathan Gray

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney disputes a call in the second quarter.

Clemson's Dabo Swinney

"It's obviously very disappointing, just a very painful loss. I thought our guys fought really hard. The first half we were very disappointed they were 8-for-11 on third downs. We had a couple turnovers, and they kept the ball 20 minutes to our 10 as a result. It was a one-score game at the half.

"I thought we played much better in the third quarter, kind of got the momentum back. At 17-17 in the fourth quarter, we had a chance to win the game, and we had critical mistakes. We really fought hard, but we didn't play smart. We had some critical penalties, but the story of the game is the turnovers.

"You can't turn the ball over and beat good teams. We had four turnovers in the fourth quarter. Four of our turnovers, two were in plus territory and two were on punt returns. So, that's the difference in the game, there's no question about it.

"Give all the credit to South Carolina, because they took care of the ball. Connor Shaw played tremendous, just tremendous. What a great football player he is. I have all the respect in the world for Connor Shaw. He's a great runner. There's a reason why they're undefeated at home and why he has never lost a game here at home. He is a tremendous competitor, and I have a lot of respect for him.

"Obviously, our locker room is hurting greatly and so is our fan base. This is a game that everyone wants, and it's nobody's responsibility but mine, period. We didn't get it done.

"Again, our guys played very hard, but we did not do the things that you have to do to win the game. You're not going to beat anybody. It's actually a miracle that with all the turnovers we had that it's a 17-17 game at the start of the fourth quarter. It got away from us with a couple of series there, and we could not get it back. Very disappointing, and it's one that we're going to have to live with for another year, and it hurts for everybody.

"The bragging rights stay with South Carolina, and they've earned it. I give them all the credit and congratulate their staff. We'll see what's next for us in the postseason. We missed a great opportunity tonight, but I love our team. I love everybody in that locker room, and I know that we all wanted to win, and we didn't get it done. It's been a very disappointing run against these guys, no doubt about it.

"It's been a very good season for us. We'll see what we have in the postseason and try and get our 11th win. That's what we have to do. We have to pick ourselves up. Again, our heart goes out to our players because I know how much they're hurting in that locker room. I love every one of them, and I appreciate every one of them. I wish the outcome had been different, but it's not."

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Comments » 9

TigerFan95 writes:

"Obviously, our locker room is hurting greatly and so is our fan base. This is a game that everyone wants, and it's nobody's responsibility but mine, period. We didn't get it done". Probably the best comments I've ever heard Dabo make, but the last part about responsibility and not getting it done are just empty words if he's not held accountable for not meeting his responsibility.

waran writes:

He gets a bonus when he goes 12-0. He gets a bonus if he wins ACC Championships or a bowl game. Does he lose anything if he keeps losing to USC?

Werewolf writes:

Normally, I'd be all over Dabo for this but we all know he's been riding them since Boston College about turnovers. This isn't his fault. Our players caved under pressure and didn't hold onto it. Boyd played for South Carolina in the fourth quarter. We beat ourselves again. Even Spurrier said so, though not in those exact words. Without those turnovers, they come home with a win. Inexcusable high school mistakes that veterans should have no problem avoiding. Next year should be better. Watson doesn't cave under pressure.

33dtb writes:

from what I saw and what I know and understand, a big key would be to go down there with a better attitude and an O-Line.........

I am sooo embarrassed......I had felt like we should win this year, but after watching the 1st quarter, I KNEW we would lose,,,,, but certainly not so badly.....

DABO, DOES IT SEEM LIKE "JUST ANOTHER GAME" NOW ???????????????????

kimpots writes:

Well Clemson thats what happens when you play real teams like Florida State and South Carolina. Maybe you would do better if you played a realistic schedule each year rather than high school and junior college level teams.

putter2 writes:

The best team didn't win but we made mistakes and poor decisions,simple as that. Tajh presses too much in big games. A spotter should have been on Shaw.

Bigboots writes:

Dabo wears a headset. He had to hear the play call of double pass on the first series. A wise head coach would veto such a juvenile call in that circumstance. No need for such a risky call. Clemson was moving the ball down the field without much resistance, and Morris makes a monumental mistake to let Sammy give the ball away. Simply a desparation call when we were not needing anything but 4 and 5 yard plays (patience).

Secondly, what the $@// was Bryant doing hauling butt directly at Humphries as Humphries tried to field a punt?
Unbelievable. Undisciplined. And poorly coached, whatever it was.

Dabo is such a likeable guy. I would wish him well in his future endeavors. Shake hands, pay him what you owe him, and part ways.

radtiger writes:

in response to kimpots:

Well Clemson thats what happens when you play real teams like Florida State and South Carolina. Maybe you would do better if you played a realistic schedule each year rather than high school and junior college level teams.

you are so right,I try to tell them but they dont listen.

33dtb writes:

....."but the story of the game is the turnovers" ......

No the story of the game was attitude....Is it "just another game" now Dabo ??????????

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