Dabo Swinney Takes Responsibility For Another Clemson Loss, Discusses Shipley, Klubnik

Clemson suffered its first back-to-back loss since 2011 with a 24-17 defeat at the hands of NC State in Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday. 

Tigers’ head coach Dabo Swinney tried to make since of a team that’s fallen to 4-4 overall before Halloween. 

Here’s what he had to say about Will Shipley, Cade Klubnik, who is responsible for a .500 record, and a defense that gave up just 202 total yards but two big plays: 

  • Opening statement: “Congratulations to Dave (Doeren) and NC State. It was a tough loss and a good win for them. Biggest positive, our guys never quit. They played their hearts out. You saw the character of our team. They never quit. A ton of adversity all the way down to the last play. We’re a team making too many critical mistakes and that’s my responsibility. Big play and we get a hold out in space that we don’t need. It was a huge missed opportunity.” 
  • On the pick-6 by Payton Wilson: “Their guy makes a play and gets the ball. It’s kind of how our season’s gone. It’s a tip and in the hands of their best player and it’s a touchdown. It’s disheartening.” 
  • On another loss: “It’s just not going our way. It doesn’t get any easier. We’ve got tough games ahead. We’ve got to flush this one. Got to find a way to win a game. It’s just not good enough. That’s my responsibility.” 
  • On Shipley’s injury: Doctors did some x-rays on his neck. Swinney hasn’t gotten the results.
  • On the goal-line decision in the fourth quarter: “I’d rather take the field goal right there and get that out of the way. Felt like that was the best option. We had an opportunity, we just didn’t get it done. 
  • On Klubnik’s performance: “He made the right read on the tipped ball. He made the right decision. He missed a couple early. He gave us a chance. I thought he was seeing it well. We had one big drop that could’ve helped us there. That hurt, but not good enough by me, mainly.” 
  • On the defense: “When you score for them, it puts so much pressure on your defense. You’ve almost got to play perfect, right?” 
  • On injuries: “We don’t have any excuses. We’ve still got enough to win. It’s my responsibility to make it happen and we’re not getting it done right now.” 
  • On motivation for the rest of the season: “You can quit and lay down or keep moving and keep swinging. When you’re a competitor, that’s what you’ve got to do. The motivation is to try to win a game and have the best possible finish we can have.Their performance, their effort can’t be tied to a scoreboard. You’ve got to be driven by your performance…regardless of what your record is or who you’re playing.” 
  • On Notre Dame, next week’s opponent, last year: “Probably our worst game. We did not play well. We’ll take what we got and see if we can get it done.”
  • On moving Tristan Leigh to right guard: “We just felt like that was our best five. We’ve got to watch the tape and go from there.” 
  • On the final drive with four minutes to play: “We were trying to go as fast as we could go. With three timeouts you pretty much still have everything. We got behind the chains. We were trying everything we could do to win the game. I thought they really competed their butt off.” 
  • On the 10-win season streak of 12 coming to an end: We have to start a new one. There’s a reason there are only 10 teams in the history of football to do that. All streaks come to an end. You start a new streak. What a freaking run. Historic. Nobody wants to hear that right now.”

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