When all was said and done, Dabo Swinney had a word or two for South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw.
It might have been 'good riddance,' but it wasn't.
"He just said he has enjoyed watching me play, and that I'm a tough athletes and he just told me I was a good player," said Shaw of his post-game encounter with Swinney, who sought him out in the crowd on the field after the game.
"Connor Shaw played tremendous, just tremendous," Swinney said. "What a great football player he is. I have all the respect in the world for him. 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."
As a sophomore, Shaw earned SEC player of the week honors after rushing for a career-high 107 yards on 19 carries against Clemson. After missing last season's game due to injury, he picked up where he left Saturday night, as he rushed 22 times for 94 yards (including 29 yards in losses from sacks) and repeatedly burned the Tigers with scrambles as called draws.
"It was very frustrating - it's not like we didn't know they were going to run the quarterback draw," said Swinney. "We worked really hard on defending it. I have to see the tape, but obviously they blocked us and we missed a few tackles.
"But he's got a great feel. Some of them were pass plays that he just took off, and some of them were called draws. It's just very disappointing that we didn't do a better job in stopping the quarterback."
"We tried everything," said Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables. "It obviously didn't go like we wanted it to. We rushed four, rushed five, rushed six - spied him and they continued to get through on designed plays and scramble plays."
Shaw seemed as impressed by Swinney as Swinney was by Shaw.
"Obviously, Dabo is a good guy," Shaw said. "He's a good coach. I'm grateful he came up and talked to me for a short while. I'm appreciative of it."