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Clemson vs. Florida State Postgame Quotes

Sept. 24, 2011

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Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney

Overall thoughts: “This was a great win. I’m so proud of our guys. They continue to show heart. We’re 4-0. That’s where we want to be. Our guys have embraced this tough schedule and really stepped up. Florida State is a good football team. They have talented players. They were the Atlantic Division champions until someone knocked them off, and we knocked them off today.

“We still have a lot of work to do. We had to overcome a lot of mistakes today. At Clemson, you’re expected to win. This is what you want. We have yet to play our best game and we’re far from satisfied. We made enough mistakes for three games today, and now we have to take this show on the road. I’m so proud of our guys. They refuse to listen to negativity. They believe.”

On maturity of the team:Sammy Watkins is a guy we’ve watched grow up through four games. He’s hard to handle. That 62-yard touchdown he scored was just a well-executed play. I’m very proud of our defense. We tried to put the nail in the coffin when we went for it on fourth down in the fourth quarter, but I have confidence in our defense. To win on defense is awesome. Florida State was only 3-of-10 on third down, but two of those were huge plays. We have got to improve. We overcame a lot of adversity and it was an awesome day here. I can’t thank our fans enough, again. It was so loud in Death Valley today and it’s hard for teams to come in here and get a win.”

On play of Tajh Boyd: “Tajh made a lot of mistakes today. That interception rattled him a little, but he learned from that play. He’s the first quarterback in school history to have four straight games throwing three or more touchdowns. He settled down a lot faster in this game than he has in previous games. He made some huge throws on third down today. As a team, we’ve been outstanding on third down. We were over 50% on third down today. Tajh has a lot of poise in this offense and he’s going to keep getting better.”

On defensive play: “We gave up some big plays today. Florida State is a good team with great skill guys. This was a game of plays and we just made more than them today.”

On control of season: “We’re supposed to be 4-0. We have to win at home, and that’s what we’ve done. We want to be a much better road team this year then we were last year. We lost four road games last year by 17 points, but this is a different team. Virginia Tech is going to be a hard place to play. We’re going to find out stuff about our team. We’re still trying to play our best game. Next Saturday is going to be won in the trenches.”

Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher

Overall Thoughts: “We just played another hard-fought football game. Give Clemson credit, they have a really good and talented football team. They did a great job making plays when they had to. They made a lot of big plays. We were our own worst enemy a lot of times today, leaving them on the field by not getting off the field on third-and-long. They hit about three third-and-12’s. We did a good job on first and second downs, so it was very disappointing. Some of our young receivers played extremely well. Clint did an excellent job of managing the game and trying to bring us back. He had some nice plays. We’re 2-2, and the off week probably comes at a good time for us to take a good, hard, deep look at ourselves. This can still be a very good football team, but it has to learn to stop doing the foolish things. It was in different spots than it was last week. It’s my job as the head coach to get that fixed.”

On the play of starting QB Clint Trickett: “Clint is a coach’s son. He has been a gym rat. He has been around it his whole life and understands ball. Kids who have grown up around that handle it really well. There were a few plays he wishes he could have had back, but he stood in there and led.”

On the difficulty of defending Clemson’s offense: “Clemson did a great job of keeping us off balance. They got to the edges, and they were able to run it enough inside to keep us off balance. The big thing was that they hit their big plays. They got the one-on-one matchups and beat our corners. They did a great job on offense.”

On roughing the punter before halftime: “I don’t know how he didn’t block the kick. He jumped over the kick. We really felt we could get a blocked punt today. We tried before the half there. I hope the kicker is okay. We didn’t mean to hurt him. But he jumped over it, and he kicked it under him.”

On how much this loss hurts compared to last week’s loss to Oklahoma: “It hurts because you wish you could have responded from adversity from a week ago. Like I told this team, I have been on championship teams that have lost two in a row. We still have a chance to be a very good football team. We have to coach them better. We have to get them into better position and get the details out of them.”

Clemson Player Quotes

Quarterback Tajh Boyd “It was great that the players we have on the field were able to step up and make plays. I think we should have scored more, but I do think that we took advantage of our opportunities. This team is really starting to come together and we’re realizing what this offense can do.”

On the play of Sammy Watkins: “He’s got the speed and it’s great to know we’re going to have that type of player on the field for three more years. I know he’s going to get the ball every time and run with it.”

Wide Receiver DeAndre Hopkins “We knew coming into this game that they were going to key on our receivers but as a wide receiver you live for that one-on-one. There was a lot of talking going on during the game. This is basically a conference rivalry, so there’s always a lot of back and forth with those guys. We played and were able to back our talk up. We weren’t satisfied with the Auburn win, we wanted to prove ourselves and really wanted this win as well.”

Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins

On deep routes: “I most definitely know I’m going to catch the ball. On that third-and-six, I told the coaches to call the play because I was so confident that we could get it.”

On playing his first road game: “I think it will be different in Blacksburg, but I’m ready. Our fans yell, but obviously it will be a different kind of yelling on the road, but I’ll get used to it.”

On handling individual attention: “It’s not hard to stay humble because I really don’t like the limelight; I like to stay low key and to just play my game.”