Sunday Dabo Swinney teleconference

Head coach Dabo Swinney talks about Saturday's 20-16 loss to North Carolina and this season's 2-3 start.

Less than a day after Clemson dropped the third game of the season, he admitted that Andre Ellington may not have had enough touches in the third loss of the season.

Ellington, who led the ACC in yards per carry before Saturday, ran only 12 times for 55 yards. This season, he leads Clemson in rushing with 435 yards on 66 carries and seven touchdowns.

"I do think that we've got to get Ellington some more touches. He's been our most explosive guy. We've got to make sure he's getting more opportunities, and we'll do that," Swinney said.

Four weeks into the season, there were questions at wide receiver. He said some of those were answered on Saturday.

"[DeAndre] Hopkins made a lot of plays. He missed a couple, and he looked like a freshman at times on film, with some things that we probably would see, and maybe the naked eye wouldn't," Swinney said. "He's really going to be a special player…Jaron Brown, same thing, and same thing with Bryce [McNeal]. They're guys that I think are answers for us."

Some of the offensive woes on Saturday were attributed to a lack of rhythm. The nine penalties, which were the most committed by Clemson in the last five years, contributed, particularly in the second half.

"We got away from some of our zone stuff. I thought we were more effective there…we've got to make sure that 23 gets more touches, because he's earned it," Swinney said.

The time of possession in the fourth quarter only made matters worse. Clemson had the ball for less than two minutes in the final period.

"I thought we got some things going in the third quarter, able to create a little momentum, and turn it in our favor," Swinney said. "Then, all of a sudden, you don't get the ball but 1:45 the whole fourth quarter, you kind of stand over there and don't really get any kind of rhythm—really played just one quarter of football in the second half, offensively."

Confidence is key moving forward.

"The last thing you want is guys uptight and afraid to make a mistake," Swinney said. "We've had mistakes across the board. It's not one guy or one thing. We just have to have instant accountability at practice, and make sure that we don't panic."

There's plenty to improve. But there's one that's painfully obvious.

Finding a way to win, that's the biggest issue.

"We're kind of finding a way to lose," Swinney said. "We've got to help them as coaches. That's what we're going to do. Three tough losses doesn't change who we are. I think we've done a lot of the right things. We've got good players, good coaches. We'll get this thing heading in the right direction.

"What we've got to do right now is just find a way to win a game. Then, we'll go from there. The main thing is, if we learned anything from last year, is to not panic."


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