When Clemson (4-3, 2-2 ACC) and Boston College (2-5, 0-4 ACC) kickoff in Chestnut Hill on Saturday, it will be 50 weeks since the Tigers' last road win—the 42-23 romp of N.C. State on Nov. 14, 2009.
A win Saturday is needed if Clemson is going keep hope alive for at second-straight ACC Championship appearance.
Clemson sits fourth in the ACC Atlantic behind N.C. State (2-1), Maryland (2-1) and Florida State (4-0).
The Tigers were able to keep pace in the division race for Charlotte with Saturday's 27-13 win—Clemson's first against Georgia Tech since 2006.
"I'm awful proud of the way we played. We have a lot of respect for Georgia Tech. We've had some tough battles. To be able to win, really kind of convincingly, it was a great accomplishment for our team," Swinney said.
But he isn't getting too far ahead of himself.
"It's a one game season," Swinney said. "Our season this week is B.C. It's never easy going up there. We know that it will be very tough.
"They lost two really close games. They had a chance to beat Florida State, but didn't finish. They had a chance to beat Maryland and didn't quite get it done—two really tough losses for them. They're playing good football. We'll have to continue playing well, but do the things that's helped us the last couple of weeks, and do it on the road."
A solid start by the defense paced Clemson in Saturday's win—the second in as many weeks.
Of Georgia Tech's five first half possession, the Yellow Jackets punted away the first three, committed a turnover on downs on the fourth and kicked a field goal on the fifth.
"The first half, I thought the defense set the tone," Swinney said.
Quarterback Joshua Nesbitt had just two yards rushing on 15 carries and Georgia Tech was held nearly 100 rushing yards below their season average.
"Guys just really, really focused on doing their job. They played with a swagger. We contested just about everything and we tackled well," Swinney said.
Attributed to that success is the "confident depth" that's begun to emerge on that side of the ball.
Malliciah Goodman made a team-high nine tackles. Jonathan Meeks started at safety and finished tied for third with seven tackles.
Andre Branch's appearance at weak-side linebacker is likely a one-time deal. He'll likely stay at the bandit end, which is a hybrid-position already.
"The things we asked our linebackers to do, he was much more suited," Swinney said.
Offensively, Andre Ellington had 178 total yards and three touchdowns.
"We were able to keep them off balance running and throwing," Swinney said. "It was a very good day. Our playmaker stepped up and made some plays. Nuke Hopkins, Jaron Brown, Andre Ellington, Jamie Harper—all those guys made plays for us. Dwayne Allen had a big third-down conversion. Kyle Parker had another really solid day. No turnovers, no sacks."
Parker went 17 of 27 for 167 yards and a touchdown to Ellington. None of the 10 incompletions were drops.
"This week, we really threw and caught the ball a lot better, which allowed us to have the rhythm that we needed on offense," Swinney said. "As a result, we were better on first-down, which led to I think our best game of the year on third-down. Sixty percent on third-down, you're going to be pretty good."
After last season's 2-3 start and 6-straight wins, he already knows where to go from here.
"I'm not real happy where we are. I wish we could go back in time and change a couple of those plays. You're 18 points away from being undefeated. That's where we are. That's frustrating.
"The positive is this team has shown up every week."
Dabo Swinney Sunday teleconference
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