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Clemson vs. Florida State Postgame Coaches’ Quotes

Nov. 8, 2009

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Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney

Overall Thoughts: “Well, I’m very proud of our players. I really appreciate our fans tonight. Our fans deserve this win, our players deserve this win, and the administration deserves this win. Championship teams find a way to win games, and that’s what we’ve been teaching these guys. And they found a way to win, despite many obstacles. This team rose up in the fourth quarter and refused to lose.

“You have to believe to be a champion, and these guys believed tonight. I’m proud of the seniors. They stepped up as leaders tonight. Durrell Barry caught a pass that was a critical momentum-changer for us. The defense produced five turnovers, which was great. And C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford are now the all-time all-purpose duo in NCAA history. Overall, these guys stepped up, made adjustments, and got the win.

“Were happy, but we’re not satisfied. We still have more games to play, so we still have to go back to work and get ready for the NC State game next week. We’ve come far, but we still have a ways to go.”

On the team’s play in the fourth quarter: “We’ve taught these guys to be a lot tougher. They are mentally and physically tougher than they were in the beginning of the season. During the fourth quarter, we used a lot of mental toughness to overcome the pressures of the game. We made mistakes, but we did capitalize on critical moments, and took the momentum in the fourth quarter.”

On the play of his defense: “We couldn’t stop them in the first half. We came in at halftime and made good adjustments, and these guys executed. Florida State throws the ball well, and I’m proud of our secondary’s efforts tonight. Chris Chancellor went out of the game due to a leg injury, and Byron Maxwell, Xavier Brewer, and Coty Sensabaugh stepped up and got the job done. Overall, I’m really proud of the defensive efforts from our guys.”

On the game atmosphere: “The atmosphere was great tonight. The fans really had the stadium rockin’. I’m happy for our fans, because they deserve this win. They really came out tonight and have been supporting this team all season.”

Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden

Thoughts on the Game: “I think that game is pretty easy to summarize. I thought that Spiller was the difference in the ball game. He is one guy that made the biggest difference. Our problem was turnovers. I was concerned last week when our quarterback was unable to practice, and when I was interviewed yesterday, I was concerned that he would lose his timing by not throwing much. I wouldn’t take a thing away from Clemson. They won. They deserved to win and made more big plays than we did. We hung with them for three and a half quarters and then Clemson won the ball game.”

On the play of C.J. Spiller: “I doubt if anybody is playing better than him in the country. I look at the running back at Alabama and he is mighty good, but Spiller is such a dynamic player. The happiest I was, was when he was off the field. I knew he couldn’t get the ball. We talked all week about the wheel route, and he runs it one time and it was about ninety miles per hour for a touchdown. That is why I say he is mighty hard to handle.”

Where would you rank him, having seen some really great players? “I would rank him pretty high. The people that recruit those kinds of guys, they are the ones that have a chance to win national championships because it is people like him that can get you in there. He is the kind of guy that can put you on top.”

On emotions in the ball game: “There were some critical errors. We probably scored on some of their errors too. We turned the ball over and they would go down and score and then we would turn it over and they wouldn’t score. The game kind of went that way. We felt very comfortable, but you know you haven’t won yet. Then of course the dam broke.”

On the Rashard Hall interception and lateral: “That was when we were ahead by three. He (Christian Ponder) hardly ever under throws that and he just under threw it. It is probably my fault I think I probably suggested it.”

On series between FSU and Clemson: “They have just played better than us and have probably been better. We have lost to some other folks too, though.”

On defense in the first half: “We played with fire all year, we just made too many mistakes.”

Clemson Player Quotes

Wide Receiver Xavier Dye: “I went out and had great practices this past week. It wasn’t anything special really, because I did what I had to do in practice. In the past, I’ve just been catching one ball here and one ball there. But tonight I scored and put us in position to win the game.”

Quarterback Kyle Parker: “Everyone is playing better in the system. We’re getting used to what plays were getting called. We’re getting used to executing together and getting on the same page. We scored three touchdowns and had two takeaways in the fourth quarter, and that was the difference in the game. I don’t know what it was, I don’t know what we did differently, but it just worked for us.”

Wide Receiver Jacoby Ford: “I definitely think we took a big step today. It just feels good to get over the hump because it’s something that we haven’t been able to do the last few years. This is a team that just really wants it and wants to go out there and get the job done.”

Linebacker Brandon Maye: “Coach (Kevin) Steele came up with a good game plan for us that we just had to go out and execute. We wanted to change the tempo of the game, and I think we did a good job.”