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Clemson Football

Swinney: Roster construction 'didn’t have anything to do with us getting beat by Duke'

September 7, 2023

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Dabo Swinney

On the upcoming game: “Fast week. Thankful that we got the short week so that we can get back out there and get back to playing. I am excited about getting in the Valley this week. Excited to see our home crowd. Just a reminder we are going to open up the new Tiger Walk. I want to invite our former football players. If they want to be a part of that, we’d love to have them out there.”

On assessing the Duke game: “As I said the other night, it was a strange game. Incredibly encouraged-- the things that you need to see to win games, physicality, toughness, play good defense. We did all the things that we needed to do from that standpoint, we just didn’t-- there’s no gimmes in football. You’ve got to knock the 6-inch putt in. Those are painful lessons.”

On how Robert Gunn responded: He responded well today. The team rallied around him-- it’s easy for them to rally around him because they’ve seen him-- it’s not theory. It’s just a little bit of a mental thing and sometimes as a young player, you deal with that. He’s responded in practice, but you’ve got to do it with the lights on. We are hoping for the best, but he’s got to go do it.”

On Barrett Carter saying he needs to be in “game shape”: “I think that’s normal. You can be in the best shape. You can make every time. You can practice, you can do everything, but until you go play the game, you’ve got to get back in that ‘playing shape’ if you will. That’s the reason why people have preseason games and things like that.” 

Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports
Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik gets helped off the turf in Durham on Monday night.

On Cade Klubnik’s play: “I thought he made some elite plays and then he made some not as good plays. I thought he competed his butt off. He made a few plays that were pretty special. Again, I love his leadership. I love his demeanor. There were a few times that I think he got a little amped up. I think that’s a part of-- I mean that’s the first time he’s played football-- he hasn’t been hit. He hasn’t been tackled. That’s another reason why you have preseason games-- live, full speed, ball handling where he is a factor as well.”

On constructing the roster: “So that’s why we lost to Duke? Is that what you are asking? I don’t have any reaction to that. I think that’s ridiculous. That didn’t have anything to do with us getting beat by Duke on Monday night. What cost us the game Monday night was being first-and-goal on the one, twice, and getting nothing. Being inside the five a third time and getting nothing. Whatever narrative they want to create, that’s fine. We’re going to keep on keeping on.”

On Garrett Riley: “I’ll take it every week. 200+ rushing, 200+ passing-- take it every week. Not really much to improve upon when it comes to that. We were very balanced. We settled in. All of that got lost because-- we’ve won games when our stats were terrible and the focus was, well, yeah you won, but your stats were terrible. Well are stats were really good and we lost-- so we focus on the loss. We're dynamic there. It was awesome. I’d take it every week.”

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Discussion from...

Swinney: Roster construction 'didn’t have anything to do with us getting beat by Duke'

7,140 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 26 days ago by lukewinstel
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Not sure I agree here. It feels like a few more playmakers give this group more confidence. I haven't seen a wideout really make plays like Sammy, Nuk, Mike, Tee, and Justyn were making during that incredible stretch.

I think Beaux Collins could be that type player, but we've never seen it.
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Agreed… the explosiveness isn't there in the pass game. I think the offense would've looked a whole lot better with just one more piece that could allow the team to take the top off defenses.
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