Dabo Swinney was proud of the way the Clemson Tigers responded on Saturday coming off a loss in the previous week.
Swinney’s squad knocked off Syracuse 31-14 on the road, and the Tigers picked up their first ACC win of the season.
He credited senior defensive ends Justin Mascoll and Xavier Thomas on Sunday for making big defensive plays on turnovers, and he was thrilled to win the turnover margin and “good complementary football.”
“We did so many good things as far as big plays,” Swinney said during Sunday’s teleconference. “If we can create consistency in the turnover margin we can create some momentum. Good to see us respond to adversity.”
Here’s what else Swinney had to say Sunday evening:
Injury update: Clemson came through the game “in good shape. Hopefully we’ll get Nate (Wiggins) back and Antonio (Williams). We’ll work them out extensively tomorrow.”
On the bad things he saw at Syracuse: Negative plays, sacks, penalties, and missed FG in the red zone.
On earning his 100th ACC victory: “That’s a great team achievement. Have had a lot of great players and a lot of great coaches. It’s a blessing to be a part of something like that for sure.”
On how the guards play: “They played pretty good except I thought Mitchell (Mayes) had his worse game. He got caught on some spin moves sometimes. He’s much better than that and has played better.” Swinney thought backups Trent Howard and Harris Sewell played well.
On Syracuse’s defense taking away the run: Pretty early on we knew they were going to run blitz all game and mitigate the run game to see if Clemson could throw. Felt really good with how the passing game did and how Cade Klubnik handle it. He said there were some issues with a couple of missed blocks.
Evaluating Adam Randall: He is “a little too inconsistent.” Got to him to cut it loose. Just need consistency from him in a couple of areas. Need him to play at the needed tempo all of the time.
On freshman WR Tyler Brown: He has a maturity about him that most freshmen don’t have and it matches the talent. “We knew he could really, really run but we didn’t know how elite his ball skills are. It’s been fun to watch him blossom.”
On areas the defense can improve this season: Red-zone defense, cut touchdowns into field goals, wheel route still an issue, situational awareness, and clean up tackling.
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