Dabo Swinney: Clemson is ‘a pissed off team’

Clemson will seek its first conference win of 2023 and attempt to hand Syracuse its first loss of the 2023 campaign when the Tigers face the Orange on Saturday, Sept. 30. Kickoff at the JMA Wireless Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., is scheduled for noon ET.

Clemson is 14-4 under Dabo Swinney — and 13-3 since 2015 — against undefeated opponents that are 4-0 or better. Those figures include handing undefeated Syracuse its first losses in both 2018 and 2022. Clemson has not lost consecutive games in a single season since November 2011. Clemson’s 158 consecutive games played without consecutive losses in the same season are the program’s longest streak in school history and the nation’s longest active streak.

Clemson will attempt to extend that streak Saturday following a hard-fought overtime loss to No. 4/3 Florida State a week ago. In all, Clemson is 32-8 in games following a loss under Dabo Swinney, including season openers following a loss in the previous season finale.

Here is what Swinney had to say:

  • Syracuse QB Garrett Shrader: “He’s an explosive player that can do a lot of things. He’s a confident thrower. He will take his shots.”
  • “We’ve been horrendous when it comes to the type of turnovers. We’re lucky that we’re 2-2 honestly.”
  • “I’ve had a bunch of 4-0 teams around here that haven’t played as well as this group…”
  • A lotta times we’ve lost down here and people get the truth…But this is a situation where we’ve played really well for 4 games … if you play the game the right way, eventually things are gonna turn for you”
  • “You do it long enough, you’ll have a rough patch or two, but how do you play — if you play the game the right way, that stuff will turn.”  
  • We have played well over the last four games. We played great teams with Duke-FSU. We have made critical turnovers are hurt us.”
  • “(Clemson is) a pissed-off team because you only get 12 opportunities to play, and you work all year for it, and you feel like you’ve missed out on a huge opportunity.”
  • “Shrader is a great QB. He is a big QB and you have to wrap up and tackle.”
  • “We’re frickin’ good. This is a good defense. This defense oughta be 4-0.”
  • “What does get mentioned about him(Shrader) is he can throw the ball. You have to have great discipline and stay with your guy. Until he crosses the line of scrimmage”
  • On the decision to remove the redshirt from WR Ronan Hanafin: “Cole getting hurt. Cole being out for the year. Just kind of looking at the longevity of the season. We knew that Ronan could help us on special teams. He can run. He’s tough. But we needed another core special teams guy.”
  • On Troy Stellato: “If he stays available, I think you’re gonna see this kid soar.”
  • Tigers need to “tweak” their dream. “We all have dreams. Sometimes you have to get a new dream. We all make our plans in life but God orders our steps.”
  • “We’ve really played well four games in a row. Our record doesn’t show it, but we’ve played well outside of the greatest equalizer in football, and that’s the turnovers.”
  • Antonio Williams and Nate Wiggins are day-to-day, “getting better”
  • “This team is better than some of my past teams. If we can dream about beating Syracuse that’s all we need to do”
  • On Cade Klubnik: “Kid’s a winner, and when his career is over here, we’ll all look back and be like, ‘Wow, we had we had a special dude right there.'”
  • “Tyler Brown has the eye of the tiger. He is a tough tough kid. Most guys would not have come back in the game”
  • “I don’t think we lower expectations. You might have to get a new dream. We all make our plans in life, but God orders our steps. You just walk it out. I don’t always understand why things happen, but my life has taught me that.”
  • On last year’s Syracuse game: “We did very well again against the Syracuse defense. We had 300+ yards rushing. But we had 4 turnovers.”
  • “We’ve only got one senior on offense. They are learning a lot of lessons. They are learning that the difference in championship-caliber games is one play– literally– one play. These guys, without a doubt, are three plays away from being 4-0. That’s a fact. Being Top 3-4 in the country, and everybody is telling them how great they are. That’s how small the margin of error is when you are in championship-level football.”
  • Jonathan Weitz will kick from about 50 yards or fewer. “He still gives us our best chance from just a confidence standpoint.”
  • “Obviously disappointed in our record but proud of our guys and how they’ve played the game … the thing for us has been the turnovers.”

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