Swinney talks Orange Bowl loss

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney talks about Wednesday night's 70-33 Orange Bowl loss to West Virginia.

Well, obviously we're a better football team than how we played tonight, and you know, it is what it is.

The season is over, and the biggest thing I said in there is that I love them, and we've got to live with this the whole offseason.

They'll play again in September, those guys that are coming back, and certainly not the finish that we wanted. Just too many mistakes.

But I talked to our seniors in particular. Just thanked them for a good year and getting us where we've wanted to be for a long time. We're going to miss those guys. Love every single one of them and thanked them for all they've done. We got a taste of it tonight, and we'll be back. We'll be back. It won't be 30 years. We'll be back, and hopefully these guys will play better next time. Simple as that.

But this was a game that we had too many mistakes. We got off to a fast start, but we could not sustain the momentum on defense, and then all of a sudden we're getting ready to go up 24-21, looks like it's going to be a shootout and we're getting ready to go up 24-21 and it's a 14?point swing, a 99-yard touchdown, which all of a sudden that just opened the door for ... it's just like a virus with turnovers. Four turnovers, three of them that they got touchdowns off of. And you just can't give a good offense those type of opportunities, easy scores, field position. It just snowballed from there. It's probably as bad a defensive performance I've seen in a long, long time. It's incredibly disappointing.

But again, our players have gotten a taste of where we want this program to consistently be, and I think it'll be great lessons for us as we move forward in trying to continue to build our program into the type of program that we want it to be.

You alluded to it on the 14-point swing on the Ellington carry and all that. Did you sense at that point that the air was just coming out of the sideline, such a dramatic swing? You had kids celebrating what they thought was a touchdown, and for it to change that quickly, did you sense it was going to be a particularly huge moment?
Swinney: Well, it was a pretty huge moment. They hadn't really stopped us. We were scoring, but they were matching us, and we couldn't get a stop. We'd get momentum and lose momentum, get momentum, lose momentum. That was going to be a huge swing for us. Like I said, it was going to put us up 24?21, we're right back in this thing and still searching for a stop. But that was huge. I mean, that was a big, big play because now all of a sudden it was 28?17, and again, all of a sudden we continued to have another turnover here and there, and it just snowballed quickly. And you've got to give them a ton of credit. I'm telling you, we still haven't tackled No. 1. He's as good a skilled player with the ball in his hands as I've seen all year. I mean, he's special. He is a special, special football player. He's second in the country in all?purpose, I believe. You saw why tonight. Very, very talented player. Their quarterback was outstanding. What was he, 31 of 45? Do the math on that. And 10 of 16 on 3rd down. They had the ball 36 minutes, we had it 23. It's just hard to win.

Again, just very, very disappointing how it got away from us. But that's how quick things can snowball on you, especially when you start turning it over against a team that can score.

You know, it is what it is from that standpoint. This is obviously a very, very disappointing finish for us. But at the end of the day, the season is over, and you've got to look at the big picture. We didn't play well in this game, but we had a good season. And again, accomplished a tremendous amount, and so much for us to build upon, and we can't let one game get our eyes off of that. We've got a good football team coming back, and we've got to focus on closing this thing out with our banquet, and sending these seniors off the right way and then refocusing on finishing off a really good recruiting class and getting back to work. And our goal will be to get back here. That will be our goal. That will be our objective. You know, there's a lot of things out there. Tonight is a bitter taste. Really disappointing for our fans, especially those that traveled down here. Just so disappointing for us to play like we played. But we'll be back.

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