It's time for Tampa

C.J. Spiller set yet another Clemson record when he returned Saturday's opening kickoff 88 yards for six points.

It was his seventh career kickoff return for touchdown, making him the only player in NCAA history to do so. The return also put him over 7,000 all-purpose yards for his career.

"(The touchdown) gave us a little momentum," he said. "We just have to sustain that. The main thing today is that we didn't quit. You have to keep fighting. We just came up short at the end."

Spiller and his teammates echoed the sentiments of their coach, Dabo Swinney, who said the Tigers have to quickly get past the 34-17 loss to South Carolina.

"It's been a long time since we've lost a game and that's a sick feeling," Swinney said. "It's just not a good feeling when you fail at something and we had an opportunity to achieve one our goals today."

With two of the first three goals successfully achieved, the sights are now set on goal four: winning the ACC Championship. The game is a rematch for Clemson, who lost 30-27 to Georgia Tech earlier this season.

Swinney expects that his team will improve during practice this week. The Tigers must play better next Saturday if they're going to win round two against the Yellow Jackets.

"It's still all about us. We've got to take care of the football…stop the run and everybody has got to do their job," he said.

Michael Palmer spoke of the ball control in the six games prior to the South Carolina game. Clemson had just nine turnovers since losing to Maryland. The Tigers fumbled twice and threw an interception on Saturday.

"We were moving the ball down the field and moving on their defense, and then we would kill ourselves with a fumble or an interception," he said.

Up 7-0 early in the first quarter, Jamie Harper fumbled at the South Carolina 25-yardline on a drive that started on the Clemson 24. On the Tigers' next drive, Kyle Parker was intercepted by DeVonte Holloman at the Gamecock 35. Spiller fumbled after making a catch on the team's first drive of the second half.

Brandon Maye said the struggle to stop the run was due to the lack of discipline in the gaps.

"We've got to sit in our gaps and don't let things distract us and the ball's going to come to us," he said. "If we play team defense, we're one of the best in the country. We didn't do that today."

The mistakes appear to be correctable. Now, it's just a matter of ironing them out over the next week.


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