Once all the dust settled, Florida State walked out with a 51-14 win.
"We know we're better than we played tonight, but nobody cares about that. We know we're better," said Dabo Swinney. "But, tonight, we weren't. All you can do is tip your cap to Florida State, take your medicine, learn from it and go get better."
The bar wasn't set very high.
Florida State rolled up 565 yards of offense and limited Clemson to 326. The Seminoles also won the turnover battle, 4-1.
The Tigers' 14-point output was the team's lowest since the 2011 loss at N.C.
"Just [a] really poor job of trying to get the momentum, we never – they were getting momentum from the opening play," Swinney said. "Our crowd was awesome, but we didn't do our part."
The letdown"Obviously, everybody is disappointed. This was a huge game from a division standpoint, conference standpoint, national standpoint and we missed a great opportunity. But the season's not over. I know everybody is hurting, just like I am and just like the team is." - Swinney
"It hurts, because of the investment and the commitment that our guys have made. Nobody likes to lose. Certainly, nobody likes to get humbled like that." - Brent Venables
"We've just got to stop reading clippings of ourselves. We got complacent tonight, if anything. We just didn't play like Clemson tonight. We just didn't execute like we usually do. We didn't follow our plan to win. We just had a sloppy game on offense, defense and special teams." - Crawford
"When you start the game off with a first-down and a fumble, you lose the momentum pretty quick." - Chad Morris
"It was a disappointing loss and we did some uncharacteristic things which you can't do against a team like that. We couldn't bounce back and rebound like we thought we could." - Tajh Boyd
"It's very disappointing. But, at the end of the day, we still control our own destiny, in terms of how far we go. We just have to continue to go out and play Clemson football and find our swagger back on offense." - Roderick McDowell
"As a Clemson player, it really hurts, but we still have more at stake. We have a lot of games left and the only thing we can do as leaders is to lead the young guys. We play Maryland next and that's the biggest game for us. We just have to lift our heads up and keep playing." - Sammy Watkins
"Any loss hurts. It's just nothing good about any loss. We just have to keep going. Anything can happen. We've just got to keep playing." - Crawford
Turnovers"You can't give a team of that caliber many opportunities as it is. You can't play perfect, but you can't give a team those opportunities, just free gimmes." - Morris
"You're not going to beat many average teams with four turnovers, but they only had one. We're minus three in the margin, that's the number one thing with us…that's why we lost the game." - Swinney
"We just had a rocky start and [thought] we were going to come back. Florida State, they just played a heck of a game on offense and defense." - Crawford
The struggles at QB"I just didn't perform the way I was capable. As a leader, it's my job to go out and lead and perform, and I just didn't do that tonight. There were a couple of moments that I would like to have back, but you just have to keep working." - Boyd
"He just didn't have one of his better games, unfortunately. I wouldn't trade Tajh Boyd for anybody. None of us coached very good. It's all on me. It ain't on Tajh Boyd. Tajh Boyd's won a heck of a lot of football games here. I'm sure he's disappointed." - Swinney
"He just never looked comfortable, never looked like he was in a rhythm, thought he ran the ball well, at times." - Morris
"It's not just one thing. It's not just one player. Obviously, we all know what Tajh is capable of doing. We've seen him play here at a very high level. It was one of them nights." - Morris
"I wouldn't trade No. 10 for anybody. I'm not going to let one night change that, that's for sure." - Swinney
The bounce back"It's dead tonight. You have to end it tonight. The season starts tomorrow. This game won't affect us going into next week." - Grady Jarrett
"We've just got to look at ourselves in the mirror and come back next week." - Crawford
"I know the leadership of our team, I know the heart of our team, I know the character of our team and I know how we'll respond. We'll come in and flush this thing. There will be a lot of meetings the next couple of days, trying to get back on track, put everything into going up to Maryland and see if we can get to 7-1." - Swinney
"The psyche in sports is so undervalued. I think we do as good of a job in continuing to prep your guys in how to think, how to handle adversity, how to handle tough times, the emotional stability that it takes to play and compete at a high level, to have a sense of humility about you all the time, and show character. Now, all of a sudden, we don't reverse course, whether we won our lost." - Venables