THE GOOD: There were times when it didn't look so pretty on Saturday, but Swinney sure did love the result, a 31-7 win over Maryland, which was the most points and largest margin of victory against a Terrapin team coached by Ralph Friedgen.
It was the third quarter that Swinney called an "all-around effort."
"We got contributions at critical times from all three phases," he said. "I thought we grew up a lot by how we came out in the third quarter, getting a stop, then a punt return and the offense getting a score there.
"After one possession in the third quarter, it's a 24-7 game. At that point, you really want to take care of the ball and let your defense take over, because they were really in control."
The story, according to Swinney, was the Clemson defense.
"I thought our defense played tremendously well down the stretch," Swinney said.
Three turnovers were forced in the fourth quarter, including one for a touchdown.
Plus, the offense went turnover free. The special teams were solid throughout the day.
Along with the third-quarter punt return by Jaron Brown, Andre Ellington ran a kickoff back in the second quarter. The punt team covered Tony Logan well, too. The nation's former leading punt returner had three for 28 yards against Clemson, dropping to the second-place slot.
"The team played really hard and played together. They were excited for each other. That was good to see," Swinney said. "It's a lot easier to work on those mistakes after win, instead of coming off a close loss."
NEEDS TO IMPROVE: A midweek injury to DeAndre Hopkins upset the chemistry that had begun begin to build in the Clemson passing game.
Kyle Parker was 7 for 20 passing, but there six drops, including two would-be touchdowns.
The drops were spread out among running backs and tight ends.
"The running backs had a couple of drops. The tight ends had a couple of drops. I think we only had one," Swinney said, "actually, we didn't have a receiver with a drop."
With his 20-yard catch and 41-yard punt return, Jaron Brown continued to make a case for more touches.
"He's a guy that we've got to get involved more, and make sure that he's getting some touches," Swinney said. "We'll do a better job with that. Yesterday was kind of a crazy day, as far as how the game was played out."
Feeling in firm control after taking a 24-7 lead in the third-quarter, Swinney said the offense went "real conservative."
Clemson rushed 44 times for just 94 yards. Swinney said the 2.1 yards per carry average was a product of Maryland's heavy blitz.
"They were really selling out. They threw a lot of unusual things, and we knew that going into it," he said. "They had some new wrinkles...to be honest; we probably should have thrown the ball more, because there were some things there in the passing game."
THE TECH OPTION: The name of the game when defending the Georgia Tech option is assignment football.
"It's really not overly complicated. It's just a matter of being disciplined and doing your job. You've got to win the matchups. You have to win the matchups," Swinney said.
Even though the Yellow Jackets won two close games over the Tigers last season, plus the previous two meetings in the 2008 and 2007 seasons, Swinney is optimistic about Saturday afternoon's matchup.
"We've got a lot of guys back from last year. Our championship game wasn't very good, defensively," he said. "We didn't force a punt. They didn't force a punt either."
"We know what we're dealing with this week. They've had our number. We've got to continue to get better to have a chance to beat them," Swinney said.
Dabo Swinney Sunday teleconference
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