Dabo Swinney On Duke Loss: ‘Almost Indescribable’

Dabo Swinney met with the media following ninth-ranked Clemson’s 28-7 season opening loss to Duke in Durham, calling the game one of the weirdest he has ever been a part of.

What We Heard:

  • Swinney opens it up by congratulating Duke and head coach Mike Elko.
  • “I’ve never been a part of a football game like that. Period. Incredibly disappointing start. Incredibly disappointing.” Called it the weirdest game he has ever been a part of and said the Tigers self-imploded. Swinney said Garret Riley was probably as frustrated as he was but kept his poise. “I like how he responded to the guys.”
  • “It’s almost indescribable, what I just saw.”
  • Swinney said the Tigers have to finish and could not do it. First and goal from the one twice, and no points, “that’s disappointing.”
  • “We didn’t make the critical plays when we needed to. We had some critical mistakes and they took advantage of them.” Said ball handling has not been an issue in practice.
  • “I love this team. I see a lot of opportunity ahead. We just got to stay together.”
  • Swinney thought the defense settled in after halftime after some issues in the first half.
  • On the fourth down play where Cade Klubnik slid and was a victim of targeting, Swinney said “they made the right call.” It was a dead ball penalty after the play was over. Said Klubnik needed to finish that play instead of sliding.
  • Swinney talked about how many opportunities his team had that were not taken advantage of.
  • Swinney disappointed the defense missed on the two wheel routes. Said it is something the practice often.
  • Swinney said the game plan was to come in and run the ball but the offense just could not get out of its own way. “They held up and we didn’t. They finished. Critical, critical, critical errors.”
  • “I ain’t quitting. I plan on bouncing back.”
  • Said the short turnaround probably helps the team. “This one is going to sting for a while.”
  • “We have a tough schedule. We have a lot of opportunities for this team this year. We have a talented team, a team that cares, and we are going to find out.”
  • “I know the fans are incredibly disappointed, as they should be but I hope they stay with us.”
  • On Klubnik, Swinney said he just needs to learn and grow from tonight’s performance.
  • Asked about the team’s chances at making a playoff, Swinney said he needs to focus on just winning a game.

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