"Last night kind of epitomized our season, on the road, in particular," Dabo Swinney said during Sunday's teleconference.
"I've had some tough years over the years, but I can't ever recall being a part of a situation we have now," he said. "It's been really tough, because every loss we've had has been gut-wrenching.
After the 16-13 loss at Florida State, Clemson remains winless on the road.
"The film was just as excruciating to watch as it was to live through it live and in person," Swinney said.
"Our team has laid it on the line. I've been a part of teams that just weren't very good—you got your butt whipped and you went on back to the house. This team is in it to win it every week. We've just had some tough things go against us, and we've had some missed opportunities."
Missed opportunities "were the story of the game" in Tallahassee Saturday night.
Two missed field goals and an interception inside the red zone put an end to Clemson's charge for the ACC Atlantic Division title.
A win would have also made the Tigers bowl eligible.
"I will say this, I can't be more proud of our team and how hard they fight, and how they continue to battle," Swinney said. "We're going to have to draw on every ounce of that quality to get them back this week, because it's a really disappointed team, in not winning on the scoreboard last night."
Clemson won nearly every major offensive statistic, but didn't win the one that counts.
"There are some positives. There's always positives, even when it seems so negative," Swinney said.
Despite his two interceptions, Swinney thought Kyle Parker played well in Tallahassee.
Parker completed 28 of 44 passes for 239 yards.
"He played a heck of a ball game. He came to play. That's two good ones in a row, for him," Swinney said. "I'm very encouraged about that.
He referenced the wide receiver corps, which accounted for the bulk of those completions.
DeAndre Hopkins hauled in eight receptions for 106 yards. Jaron Brown finished with four for 33 yards and Bryce McNeal had three for 21.
"We're a work in progress there with two freshmen and a sophomore there, most of the time," Swinney said.
Once again, the offensive line was steady as well.
Jamie Harper was another bright spot, recording a career day with 143 yards rushing and a touchdown, and nine receptions for 54 yards.
But there still weren't enough points to top the Seminoles.
The Tiger defense continued to hold steady, allowing just one touchdown. Opponents have scored just five in the last five games, but E.J. Manuel's 8-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter proved to be too costly. In place of Christian Ponder, Manuel completed 15 of 24 passes for 210 yards and rushed for 71 yards.
"Defensively, two deep balls and the drive that they went to the option—that was the story of the game," Swinney said. "I thought our defensive continued to step up and play hard all night."
Although Tajh Boyd didn't play at Florida State, Swinney said they'll plan to play him in Winston-Salem.
"We wanted to play him the other night. It just didn't work out," Swinney said. "We'll definitely try to get him in there this week, try to script him early."