FILM REVIEW: After watching film of Saturday's 24-point win over a much-improved Duke team, interim head coach Dabo Swinney said there's plenty to work on in practice this week- and that includes several aspects of the game that have been mentioned in previous weeks.
"You never play the perfect game. You are always in search of the perfect game but you never play one," he said. "We played a lot of people. A lot of backups and they made a lot of mistakes. We missed a couple of tackles. We made some mistakes with a couple of decisions where we held the ball and gave up a couple of sacks.
"Couple of things in the return game I wasn't pleased with. Defensively we still have to work on the fundamentals."
"But it was good to see the team play well for four quarters. I was very pleased where we came out in the third quarter where the defense got a stop and the offense went down and scored and set the tempo [for the second half]. From a confidence standpoint, I think a lot of people should feel good and we won."
OL IMPROVEMENT: After piling up 140 yards on the ground, not to mention 326 through the air, Swinney said he was very pleased with the play of his much-maligned offensive line.
"I thought the offensive line played very well. In fact I thought it was one of our better games of the year offensive line-wise," he said. "Thomas Austin played a very very good game. Bobby Hutchinson. Lambert came back and had success this week which was very good after the game last week. Landon Walker is continuing to improve.
"Very proud of Antoine McClain. 24 snaps and graded out at 76 percent. Overall I was pleased with the offensive line. They are getting better and not many people are able to run the ball on Duke."
HARPER GETTING BACK ON TRACK: Swinney offered a good bit of praise for his starting quarterback Sunday, Cullen Harper, and he attributed his improved play to his footwork of all of things.
"He played outstanding. One of the biggest things we've emphasized the last few weeks is a scramble drill where we make a play off of broken plays. We had another really good one yesterday. Cullen has done an excellent job," he said.
"Yesterday was his best game of the year. 77 percent, 20-of-26 or something like that. He had one minus, I graded him out where he could have one post pattern he held onto. I think he's leading the league in passing and efficiency. As much maligned as he's been, he's starting to put together a run here."
COMMENTS ON SOUTH CAROLINA: Swinney was asked Sunday about South Carolina's performance Saturday. The Gamecocks were blasted by Florida 56-6 in The Swamp.
"They are a good team," he said. "One of the top two or three teams in the nation defensively. Looked like they had some critical mistakes early. Kind of like our Alabama game. We had run 24 plays and we were down 34-10."
Then he offered an intriguing comment regarding the rivalry.
"They are our in-state friend. I like those guys down there," he said. "I have a lot of respect for their coaches. I'm one of those guys who would like to see us both be undefeated when we play. That's better for our state and for the rivalry."
QUICK HITS: Each of Clemson's last two opponents have an off-week before playing the Tigers in Virginia and South Carolina. "Sure it's a plus for both of them. It will be very important this week for us to break tendencies," Swinney said. "Sometimes that can also backfire pending on how your playing." ... Clemson last played Virginia in 2004. Swinney said of that game, "Hopefully most of those guys are in the NFL now. They had players. ... I think of it like Boston College, to go on the road up there and win will be tough."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Regardless of who you play, you want to be more physical than your opponent. And I thought we did that yesterday on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. To physically take the game over was something I was proud to see." - Swinney on dominating Duke Saturday afternoon.
Sunday Swinney Teleconference
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