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Clemson vs. Ball State Postgame Coaches’ Quotes

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney

On today’s performance:“We were coming off an emotional game last week. They did a great job setting the tone early with some great drives. We scored the most points in a half of any Clemson team since 1981.

“Later in the game we got in a situation where we didn’t want anyone to get hurt.  It was a great opportunity to grow the team.  We got to play a lot of guys and give them the chance to get some playing time.  I’ve told them at practices during the week, you may not be the starter or even the second guy, but you have to be ready when it’s your turn.  You need to practice like you would play.  Hopefully we can start off strong next week, and give a lot of guys some playing time again.

“I’m proud of our overall performance, but there is still a lot we can improve on.  It was a good game to grow on.  We can play to the standard we have set.”

On the play of Tajh Boyd:“He has been continuing to mature as a player.  During the spring and summer he was able to look at himself as a player, and has learned to operate within the system.  He has come in with the mindset to be a great quarterback this season.  We have talked about continuing to do well every week regardless of who and where we play.”

On Daniel Rodriguez‘s first action from scrimmage:“It took him seven years and two wars to get his first college reception, but he has no bigger fans than his teammates.”

Ball State Head Coach Pete Lembo

Overall Thoughts:“I’m certainly disappointed in how we played today. I didn’t think we got off to the kind of start we needed to. I think we’re capable of playing better than we did. I’ve got to do a better job of getting us ready to come into these kinds of environments. I’ve got to do a better job of figuring out our guys and making sure I can get them ready to play our best football because I’m not sure we played our best football. We had some guys that, I think, came out and performed well. We had some other guys that are capable of playing a lot better than they did. So, it’s my job and the staff’s job to make sure that we get every single guy to play at a high level, to play their ‘A’ game to have a chance against a really good opponent. We’re not there yet.”

On Clemson’s team speed:“They’re fast. They were fast on film, they were fast today, and they’ll be fast tomorrow. I don’t think we tackled great. We made them look faster than they are.”

On what the team has to correct in the future:“We have to throw and catch better. Penalties hurt us at times. When you go into games like this, you can’t afford to turn it over. I just didn’t feel like we were completely in sync, particularly early. I thought when we made it 13-7 that we might settle down. But we weren’t able to keep that momentum going.”

On the decision to try an onside kick in the second quarter:“It was my call, 100 percent. We felt like we had a chance at it. It looked good in practice earlier in the week. When you’re in a game like this, I think you have to be willing to be aggressive and try to take some chances to grab an extra possession and get your offense back out on the field. We felt like we had an advantageous look, in terms of our numbers there, to give it a shot. We actually got a pretty good kick, it bounced around, and we weren’t able to pounce on it.”

On how Clemson compares with other quality teams his team has faced:“I think they’re very good. I think they’re going to be very successful this year. I think they have some dynamic players on offense. I’m sure they’re going to go on and be very successful.”

Clemson Players

Placekicker Spencer BentonOverall Thoughts:“Last week we had an opportunity against Auburn, 55 or 56 yards and I went out there and it was my first attempt at a long field goal, and I hooked it left. I was thinking, ‘Man, if I could have another go at it I could make it.’ I just asked God to keep me calm and confident and trust my preparation. Great, great up-field blocking by my teammates. Michael Sobeski had a flawless snap. Chandler Catanzaro with the perfect hold.

Everything clicked, and it was awesome. I was just glad to see it go through and over. It was just ecstatic from there.”

Wide Receiver DeAndre HopkinsOverall Thoughts:“It just felt great to come out and make plays for my team. Coach (Chad) Morris trusts me to put the ball in my hands. I just wanted to come out for my team.”

On working well with Tajh Boyd:“It felt great. We’ve been working on a connection over the summer and it’s worked out so far.”

Running Back Roderick McDowellOverall Thoughts:“I’m very pleased. My offensive linemen did a wonderful job. Tajh (Boyd) did a good job. Wide receivers. Everybody did a good job. We came out with the W.”

On being a change of pace guy:“One thing about me, and this backfield in general, we are not just a running back unit. We each bring our own different things to the table.

D.J. (Howard) brings that spark. Everybody knows Andre (Ellington’s) that go-to guy. My job is to come in no matter what, catch a pass in the flat, run, screen, anything just to help my team.

Wide Receiver Daniel RodriguezOverall Thoughts:“I can’t be any happier being at Clemson, being a Tiger. Just being able to wear orange and come out here every day and practice is just a great feeling.

On the fans:“I try and go out there on the field and focus, but they’re calling my name and I’m trying not to smile. I’m back there about to return a punt, and it’s humbling. I’m very grateful to the fans, the staff, the ACC. It was unbelievable. It was touching.”

Defensive Tackle DeShawn WilliamsOverall Thoughts:“We’re getting there. It’s like Coach Venables said, we just have to keep going. We have to get ready for ACC play. I know we will. We have too much pride to let people run on us. We’ll be ready next week.”

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