Swinney talks Tar Heel beatdown

CLEMSON - Head coach Dabo Swinney discusses Saturday afternoon's 59-38 win over North Carolina.


Overall thoughts
"I'm so proud of our guys. North Carolina is a really good team. We knew this was going to be a tough challenge for us. They have a lot of NFL-type guys on their team. We missed a lot of first half opportunities. Defensively, we didn't do a great job defending the double move. But, this is a four-quarter game. We were good defensively on third down the whole game. We scored 35 points in the third quarter; that was great to see. We had a lot of guys step up and make some big plays. If Kourtnei Brown is going to play like this every time he's a captain, I should make him a captain every week. He had a great game. The second team wasn't great today. We gave up some cheap points at the end that will make a defensive coordinator pull his hair out. Overall, today was a great day and now we have to turn our focus to Georgia Tech."

On today's offense
"Our plan was to spread it around today, and we did that. North Carolina has a good defensive front. We knew we were going to have to throw against them and win the outside matchups. We missed some big plays in the first half, but I'm proud of our wide receivers and Dwayne Allen. Tajh [Boyd] was fantastic. To throw a touchdown to five different guys – that's hard to do. Sammy [Watkins] had a good day today. [Andre] Ellington got banged up a little but he'll be ok. That gave D.J. Howard and Mike Bellamy a chance to play. We were bad on first down early, but that was something we made a good change on during halftime. We took care of the ball today. A lot of guys got to play and that gives us a lot of guys to coach."

On focus
"We've been working for two years to develop a mentality to handle adversity and success. There have only been four 8-0 teams in the history of Clemson football. It's a special time to be a Clemson Tiger. We have to learn from this tape and just keep doing what we do. We have to empty the tank this week in practice and then leave it all on the field at Georgia Tech."

On getting to the quarterback
"We kept getting close to [Bryn] Renner today and then there were some big hits as soon as guys caught the ball that ended up being pass breakups. What was disappointing for us was not defending the double move. We have a lot of improving to do on the back end."

On preparation
"We have to do what we do. We don't even get to half of our call sheet. We respond to the defense and get in a rhythm and just go. We like to spread it around. We had a lot of guys step up today and we can learn a lot from this film. We got to play a lot of the second string guys after we got up, which was good to see. We're going to be coaching the backups hard this week. They have to improve. Now, we're just going to practice hard this week and turn our attention to Georgia Tech."

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