Page turned, Tigers hit the books, while Swinney and staff hit the road

Clemson taking final visit with WR Josh Malone Monday night; he plans to announce on Wednesday

Clemson's Dabo Swinney communicates with the defense during the third quarter at Maryland.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Dabo Swinney communicates with the defense during the third quarter at Maryland.

Clemson's players will turn the page this week by hitting the books in preparation for upcoming academic exams.

Meanwhile, Dabo Swinney and his coaches are hitting the road, with an eye toward the future while putting the finishing touches on their 2014 recruiting business.

Swinney joined area recruiters Robbie Caldwell and Jeff Scott Monday in Tennessee, first for the state's Mr. Football banquet in Murfreesboro, and then for a final in-home visit with four-star, 2014 wide receiver Josh Malone in Gallatin. Malone is expected to announce his college choice on Wednesday from among Clemson, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida State.

Swinney and his staff will be checking in throughout the week on Clemson's 2014 commitments and remaining uncommitted targets, plus visiting numerous 2015 and 2016 prospects.

In the the only media availability scheduled this week, Swinney reviewed Clemson's 31-17 loss to South Carolina during his Sunday evening teleconference.

"It was just a very frustrating and disappointing loss," Swinney said. "I was very proud of how our guys fought to overcome some obvious critical mistakes we had in the game. Our effort was good. They played hard and we almost overcame the mistakes, but there were just too many. You just can't win with that many turnovers."

Swinney said bright spots in the game included the overall play of the offensive line, the running of Rod McDowell, the defensive impact made by Grady Jarrett and Vic Beasley, and the play of Tajh Boyd except for his critical second-half fumble.

The Tigers' secondary play was inconsistent, Swinney said, and he lamented Clemson's inability to stop the running of South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw.

"We got down 10 points and it was great to see our team respond on the road and to get momentum going and to come out and win the third quarter, tie the game up and have it tied going into the fourth," Swinney said. "So I was glad to see us fight back. But again, we just made too many mistakes in critical situations. The score and the finish aren't what we wanted, but there were some positives.”

Swinney said that in his meeting with his players on Sunday, he stressed the positives.

"We had two painful losses, and we can't ignore that," Swinney said. "But as we catch our breath, we need to celebrate our success and not magnify our failures. We're a 10-2 team that's had a very good season, still in the top 15 with a chance to win our 11th game and get back in the top 10.

Swinney said the Tigers, who came out of the South Carolina injury free, are hoping for the best possible bowl game against the best possible opponent.

"We're still one of the best teams in the country, and that's a fact," Swinney said. "We're one of the most consistent teams in the country. I wish we could win 'em all, but there are only a couple of undefeated teams, and we've got two really tough losses. And in those two losses, we've had 10 turnovers.

"We want the best post-season that we can get. I think we should be in the BCS. We were in the top 10 for 14 straight weeks this year, which is a school record, and we're just out of the top 10 now.

"Our losses have been to two really good teams, one of them probably playing for the national championship. We're a team that's exciting to watch and a team that can play with anybody in the country.

"We want to be in the BCS, and we believe we deserve to be."

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Comments » 6

Bigboots writes:

So I was wondering. If we play usc 10 times, how many do we win Dabo?
After the beating FSU gave us , you said we would beat them 5 out of 10.
FSU is better than usc and will be playing for the national title in January.
So back to usc, i gotta figure we'd win at least 6 or 7 out of 10 by Dabo's logic.
Recruit hard. We need it. Maybe mix in a good offensive lineman if you see one.

clemvol writes:

Recruiting time. Well lets talk about how easy it is for Florida State to go after the Tiger players: Clemson can't and won't beat us. We are playing for a NC and with many more to come. Come to Florida State where you will be a consistent winner with a consistent top 5 team in the country. Man, that was too easy. Now lets talk about the coots recruiting against the Tigers and going after the same recruits: Come play for SC and not Clemson because they have not beat us in 5 years and they are not going to beat us for the next 10 years besides they always chock in the big game. They are in the ACC and we know there is no competition there. Man, that was too easy also. This is part of why your rival game is the most important game you will play. It's a shame the coaching staff doesn't get it and passes that mind set onto the players. Clemson will never get back to being the team all fans really want until the tide is turned consistently against the coots. It's evident ( for 5 years and counting ) that this staff can't do the job.

tigerrob44 writes:

Here are the facts about our series with FSU and with USC. From 1998 thru 2008 we won 9 games and lost 2. We have now lost 5 in a row. Bad. For the last 10 games against FSU we won in 05,06,07, 09 and 11. They won the other 5 games. That's fairly even if my math is correct which it is. They got real lucky to beat us last year. We lead them by 14 points with 10 minutes in the 3rd qt. We got hammered this year as you well know. But don't hand me that crap of how much better they are because they aren't. We beat them 5 times out of 7 years not very long ago. And we will get to play them some more before the world comes to an end. I think.

TRUETIGER1 writes:

in response to tigerrob44:

Here are the facts about our series with FSU and with USC. From 1998 thru 2008 we won 9 games and lost 2. We have now lost 5 in a row. Bad. For the last 10 games against FSU we won in 05,06,07, 09 and 11. They won the other 5 games. That's fairly even if my math is correct which it is. They got real lucky to beat us last year. We lead them by 14 points with 10 minutes in the 3rd qt. We got hammered this year as you well know. But don't hand me that crap of how much better they are because they aren't. We beat them 5 times out of 7 years not very long ago. And we will get to play them some more before the world comes to an end. I think.

We have a different coach now. How has Dabo done ?

33dtb writes:

.."Swinney said bright spots in the game included the overall play of the offensive line."....

BigBud52 writes:

The O Line did play pretty good. Give USC some credit, we were not playing "Jerry's Kids", they are a good football team. We started out great until that STUPID trick play that costs us points and then the fumbled punt. Thats the things that got them going. If you want to fuss about a line, ask why the D line couldn't contain Shaw. It was the defense that gave up 31 points not the O line.

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