Brent Venables has been around the game long enough to know that nights like that are always a possibility, particularly against an opponent as good as No. 5 Florida State.
"You're always a week away from humility, in this game," he said. "You're constantly preaching and teaching and showing how to handle adversity and how to have character, how to win with class and how to lose with class."
After winning their first six, we now know this: The 2013 Clemson Tigers know how to lose.
"Failure is part of life," Venables said. "It stinks. Nobody likes it.
"Taking accountability and ownership in it is first and foremost to correcting things and getting better from it."
That shouldn't be an issue.
"I know our guys will. I saw it in their eyes," Venables said. "It's really, to me, rather easy. I know this, though.
"If we don't, they won't. So, I know how we will be as a staff."
Florida State scored nine different times on Saturday night.
After a performance like that, on a stage with that big of an audience, perspective is important. Venables offered that, but did take ownership of what happened on in the loss, a defeat that could be as bad, if not worse, than the one that cost his predecessor his job.
"This ain't the end of the world. The discouraging part is we didn't coach and play like we're capable of," Venables said. "The humbling part of it is they were the aggressor from the onset. We just never could get control of the game and kind of flow. They made all of the plays tonight."
Jameis Winston was responsible for much of the damage. He tossed for 444 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another 23 yards and a score.
"He's really good. All the praise we were signing him before hand, unfortunately, it was on display again for everybody in Death Valley to see," Venables said. "He's a great player, mature beyond his years. Really executed and managed their offense, obviously, in a great way tonight."
In so many words, Venables said it's time themselves off by their bootstraps and move on to the next one.
"Whether you won or lost, you've got a long season -- six, seven games still to play," he said. "What's on the line? Getting to that seventh win."
But loss No. 1 certainly does hurt. Mostly, frankly, because it isn't a win.
Implications, to him, meant nothing.
"That in itself, [it] is disheartening," Venables said. "And not playing as well as we're capable of playing and playing on their heels, not being the aggressor, not playing with the kind of assured-ness that we have, those are the issues that you have, as opposed to everything on the line.
"I don't coach like that. I don't think like that. I'm going to coach the next play and the next game like I would any game -- with everything you've got. Glad if it works and mad as hell if it doesn't. If you walk down that line of thinking, all is for naught. Might as well stop the season now, that's not how we think."
From Venables' perspective
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