Dec. 31, 2010
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Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney
Opening Statement: “First of all, I’d just like to congratulate South Florida, they were well prepared and played well. They took advantage of some turnovers and capitalized well and you have to give them all the credit. The only thing really positive to say on our end is that we didn’t quit. They kept battling and kept competing until the end. We were half yard short of coming up with the other onside kick and who knows what would have happened. I’m proud of those guys for their “never quit” attitude, that’s a great quality and I told them that after the game. I appreciate our seniors and all those guys who will be moving on in different directions, I appreciate their contributions. We’re going to miss those guys. Obviously we’re very disappointed with the outcome of the game and the way we played but it’s about moving forward for me. I’m going to do everything within my power to make sure that I get us better as a football team and that this never happens again. We have to live with it and it’s nobody’s responsibility buy mine. We’re going to move forward from this point.”
RE: USF’s ability to avoid Clemson’s pass rush: “They got rid of it quick with a lot of screens and mixed in a little bit and went to the screens as well and had some success there especially early in the game. They didn’t hold the ball very long as well.”
RE: USF’s ability to stop the run: “Yeah, we couldn’t run the ball and that was disappointing. They were really good at the point of attack. We thought we got ourselves into a little rhythm there late in the second quarter, but it just never materialized. The interception that went for another score kind of changed the game and the style of play. It just wasn’t our day from that stand point. Again though, we did some good things, made some plays and gave ourselves a chance right there at the end.”
RE: Kyle Parker’s injury: “He was injured on the first and goal on the two. It’s worse than the Auburn game, they’re broken.”
RE: Upset fans: “I don’t blame them for being upset, they should be upset, I’m upset and it’s nobody’s fault but mine. If I was in the fans’ shoes, I would be questioning me and doubting me too. We lost our confidence somewhere along the way and it’s been a tough year, but it’s going to be a new year starting tomorrow and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that this never happens again. This is just a valley that we can all look back on and remember one day but we can come out of it and grow from it. I don’t blame the fans one bit for being ticked off, they should be ticked off. I’m going to do everything I can to get us better.”
RE: B.J. Daniels performance: “He’s a good player, he’s a runner and he did a lot of good things with his legs today. We were getting outside the containment a few times and he ran out a good draw play. On the first touchdown, he scrambled around and we came out of coverage and he found the receiver. That’s kind of his style and what he does best. I watched him in high school do that. He was a big difference for them today.”
RE: Possible coaching changes next year: “As I said earlier, I’m going to do everything I can to make this program better. That includes anything and everything within my power. I’ll speak any further on that at a later date.
Clemson Player Quotes
Quarterback Tajh Boyd: “We just have a lot of little things to work on. I think we have a championship caliber team. Hopefully, we can put all the pieces together and become that championship team next year.
“Losing like that has been the story for us all year. It was disappointing the way it ended, but things happen for a reason. I think this was a time to get some of our guys to grow up a little and let them know what kind of team we could be next year.”
Wide Receiver Brandon Ford: “I think my game has really improved. I need to work on blocking a little more, but it’s getting there. I’m working on it every day, even in the off-season. I’m just trying to become a better player.
“I thought DeAndre McDaniel had recovered that second onside kick. The first thing I said was `This is going to be crazy. I’ve never been in this situation before’. It looked to me like he had it but they measure it by the spot of the ball. I thought we had the game at the end. Things like that happen in life and you just have to deal with it.
“This has been a tough year. We expected to go back to the ACC Championship and things just didn’t go our way. We had players coming back and then we lost (Andre) Ellington early. Guys just had to step up and we just had to keep fighting.”
Quarterback Kyle Parker’s: “I think we had some high expectations this year, but we’ve had to learn a lot of lessons. It’s been a tough season. I’m going to miss Clemson. I enjoy playing football and that’s going to be the toughest thing for me to give up.
“I don’t think the one broken rib is going to really affect my baseball game; at least I don’t have to worry about taking shots from 300-pound guys anymore. I don’t think I’m going to be able to swing the bat for awhile.
“I thought at first it was the same injury that I had at Auburn where my whole side was just bruised. It felt the same. I was just expecting to get a shot at halftime, but after the x-ray, there was nothing we could really do.”
Defensive End Da’Quan Bowers: “This game really doesn’t have any impact on whether or not I decide to leave early (to go to the NFL). I’ve lost before; this isn’t the first time and it definitely won’t be the last. I just have to make the best decision for me and for my family. I’m going to sit down and think about it long and hard, and then come up with my decision.
“It’s really tough knowing that we were the first team to have a losing record since 1998. We really don’t want to be associated with that negativity. We really wanted to be able to get it done this season, and just weren’t able to. The coaches are going to sit down and analyze why we weren’t able to do what we wanted and we’ll start fresh in the spring.
“The main thing we have to do to improve is just have a great off-season. We have to get back in the weight room and have a strong summer. It starts then. We start back in about two weeks. We have to start the next season now.”
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