Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney
“We’re undefeated in October. That’s five games in a row now.
“Very frustrating first half…we just were having miscues. The turnovers were critical. It’s not often that you’re minus in the turnover margin and still win.
“We just keep grinding it out. In the fourth quarter, we kept the ball the last eight minutes and 17 seconds.
“We keep finding ways. This is a battle-tested group. They’re tough minded. The seniors got their 25th ACC win tonight, the most ever by a Clemson class.
“As long as we have one more point than the opponent, that’s all that matters. We got it done.
“Physically, I’m going to give the team a couple days off here. We’ve got two road games coming up, so we need to get dialed back in.”
Syracuse Head Coach Scott Shafer
“Congratulations to Clemson and Dabo (Swinney) and Brent Venables. They did a great job. I was extremely pleased with the way our kids fought. I liked our toughness and resiliency throughout the course of a very difficult, physical football game. I thought our kids played physical. I was proud of the way our defense played. When we needed a stop, we stopped them in some crucial situations and kept giving ourselves a chance to get the win. I’d also like to point out what a great job Riley Dixon did in our kicking and punting game. Our punt team was really outstanding tonight. We challenged our kids to come out strong in that category. I thought Cole Murphy did a good job kicking, even though I know he wishes he would have had that one at the end there. I’m proud of our kids. We’re going ‘mano-a-mano’ with these teams that have a little bit more talent than us right now. But we’re gonna’ get there. We’re gonna continue to get better, but I love our kids and the way they fight. We just came up a bit short. We struggled a bit on offense. We had a lot of kids get hurt and push themselves in a very tough environment, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. I apologize to Syracuse faithful because we’re gonna get this thing right and we’re gonna beat these teams eventually. We’re just a little bit away right now, but we’re going to get this thing right.”
On improvements the offense can make:
“We’re going to keep fighting and just find a way. We played one of the best defenses again today. That team was special. They have some special talent on that side of the ball and they’ve been doing it to everybody. Hats off to them. I’m proud of our effort and we just have to keep fighting. I’m proud of the fact that we’re doing this thing together and with some really young kids. That environment was pretty special. They do a hell of a job here. I just want to keep fighting so that when we get them back in the (Carrier) Dome, the other coach can say, ‘That was crazy! That was hard.’ That’s my goal. And the only way we can do that is to keep getting better and keep our folks back home believing in tough times. We just have to keep getting better and finding a way.”
On the play of quarterback A.J. Long:
“He played his butt off. There were a couple times when he looked like an 18-year-old out there, but he’s a fighter. He had to slow the game down there for a minute. He had a couple instances, like where he dropped the ball, that were simple things that become hard in a stressful environment. I asked him at halftime about the best game of his life and I asked him, ‘Didn’t the game seem slow?’ and he said, ‘yeah it sure is, coach.’ So I just told him to slow this thing down and I told him we believed in him and that he’s going to be a great player here. Then I thought he came out and did a good job of that.”
Clemson vs. Syracuse
Oct. 25, 2014 * Memorial Stadium
Postgame Clemson Player Quotes
Robert Smith, S
“We can’t worry about what the offense does. Our job is to get the ball back. Ever since the NC State game, we really took on the mentality we are going to go out there and get the ball back.”
On recent play of defense:
“If they don’t score, then how can they win? That’s our mentality…to go out there and stop them from scoring. That’s what we are really thriving off of right now, and that’s a lot of momentum.”
Wayne Gallman, RB
Thoughts on offensive line:
“They just pushed. The first half was rough, but our offensive line is so tough and has the mentality to keep pushing back the defensive line.”
On 101 rushing yards:
“When I came out, Coach (Tony) Elliott told me I was at 80 (yards) and I knew I had to go back in. He let me go back in and I did what I had to do.”
Stephone Anthony, LB
“I’m just blessed to have an opportunity to make a play like that. I was trying to keep contain and he threw it close enough and I got a hand on it.”
On recent defensive dominance:
“If you ask us, we probably wouldn’t know. We live week-to-week and we are trying to pay close attention to detail. We are trying to be great.”
Stanton Seckinger, TE
“I’m just trying to be a versatile player and just play wherever the team needs me. I’m really just trying to know the offense in and out and just play where I’m most needed.”
On his touchdown:
“We were just watching their defense. We ran the play earlier in the game and it looked open, so we just decided to call it again.
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