In Dabo's Words: 'We've been so close to just dominating an opponent'

'The drive that we had just before the half in 55 seconds was the tempo-setter for the rest of the game'

Clemson running back Roderick McDowell rushes for a touchdown after breaking a tackle by Virginia safety Anthony Harris in the second quarter at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.

Photo by Sefton Ipock, Independent Mail

Clemson running back Roderick McDowell rushes for a touchdown after breaking a tackle by Virginia safety Anthony Harris in the second quarter at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.

In Dabo's Words

“It was a great road win for us. I like how our guys showed up with great focus and energy and really had some clean execution tonight in all three phases. It was probably our cleanest game in a while as far as putting it all together. A big stat for me is the turnovers. When we win the turnover margin, we are a pretty hard team to beat. We had 21 points off of turnovers. We fixed some things from the red zone last week.

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“There were huge contributions from a number of people offensively. Tajh Boyd had a tremendous performance. I thought he played very disciplined within the system tonight, and hopefully that is something he can continue to do throughout the stretch as we finish this up. Sammy Watkins was awesome. We had good contributions from our backs in the passing game in particular.

"Defensively, there were three turnovers forced by freshmen, so it was great seeing those young guys get out there and make some huge plays. Jayron (Kearse) was a big spark for us with the interception. We held them to ten points and 200-something yards and that is a tough chore. Our punting was tremendous.

"It is our eighth road win and I think it is the first time we have been undefeated on the road in the ACC in a long time. The guys deserve all the credit because they have gotten themselves ready and have found ways to win games. Again, this is the most complete game that we have had. This team will be judged based on how we finished, but we had a good start to November.”

On Tajh Boyd: “The fun is in the winning. We always have fun when we win. He had a great week of practice. He has practiced well. Last week was big for him to get that win, finish the game like he did, and have the kind of practice that he did. We limited him in practice on Monday and Tuesday, but he was very engaged, jumped right back in on Wednesday, and took it to the game field tonight.

"I loved his demeanor. He was excited about being back here in Virginia tonight. Those senior guys know the end is coming and I think they all have a great appreciation for what they have been able to accomplish here at Clemson University. They want to finish strong, so it was good to see him have that success tonight. I have no doubt he will continue to do whatever he can to finish strong.”

On the 96-yard touchdown play: “That was really good execution. We work on that every week and change up the scenarios. It was good seeing those guys drive down the field, take what is there, not force anything, and manage the sideline like we did. We had a great sense of urgency with every first down we got. It was good that we had those timeouts left and punching that in right then really gave us good momentum coming out of the half.”

On playing substitutes: “It was to give the other guys a chance to play. I believe in playing people. These guys practice hard, and they deserve to play. That game was not over, but I had all the confidence in the world in Cole Stoudt and Chad Kelly that they would be able to go in there and run the offense. I don't have to have number 10 in there to execute the system. We thought that touchdown was a good way for him to call it a night and finish, but again I have all the confidence in our guys to play and perform. It was a great opportunity for Cole and Chad.”

On Clemson's offensive execution: "We cleaned up our execution, which was one of the things we talked about coming into this game. It's November, and we feel like it's time for our best football and to set the tempo for a great finish.

"We put all three phases together today. We've been so close to just dominating an opponent, but we hadn't been able to put it all together like we want. Offensively, we were just tremendous.

"The drive that we had just before the half in 55 seconds was the tempo-setter for the rest of the game."

On the team's accomplishments: "That's eight road wins in a row for this group. And tomorrow we should wake up and still be in the top 10 again, which will make 11 straight weeks. Nobody's done it better than this team. They'll be the all-time record holders for that streak. That's something, I told them after the game, that they may not appreciate right now. But one of these days, they will. Because that's the type of consistency that you have to have to be an elite program."

On the upcoming stretch run: "The schedule sets up good for us now because we've got a little extra time to get healed up and healthy, and get ready to get back in the Valley and play our best football game. We've got three days left. We'll be excited to play against Georgia Tech on Thursday night, and I know our crowd will be, too. We owe our crowd one, that's for sure."

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Comments » 1

DahlonegaJoe writes:

Dominant play for 50 minutes.
Best of the year.
Great focus and execution on the road.
GO TIGERS.

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