Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney
On today’s performance:“First, I want to give credit to Furman. They took advantage of so many opportunities and really came out to play today.
“We responded and our defense made some great stops and forced some turnovers. More players got some time on the field. We have been making improvements and can apply what we learned, but we are 3-0 and that’s right where we want to be.
“The season starts tomorrow. We can’t be looking in our rearview mirror. It’s all about the next game – and we have a long way to go.”
On the return of Sammy Watkins and his rushing touchdown:“It was like he just shot out of a cannon. It was a thing of beauty. He is a special player and it doesn’t take long to find him on the field. He is electric.”
On fan support:“It was a great environment to play in today. Furman brought good fans and even playing against a FCS opponent, we have tremendous fan support.”
On the play of quarterback Tajh Boyd:“He looks like an experienced quarterback, but I would be disappointed if he didn’t play as long as he did. He got a lot of playing time last year.
On other players who stood out Saturday:“Rashard Hall played well, and Tony Steward wanted to play and brought energy to the field. We can grow from there.
“Jaron Brown was clutch in the ball game. He kept drives going and opened up scoring opportunities.”
“In the kicking game, not many teams have two punters that can boot it over 50 yards. (Bradley) Pinion is only a freshman, and it will be so good to have him around. We could take 40-yard plays all day long.”
On next week’s game at Florida State:“This is going to be big boy football. It’s a tough place to go and win. This is an important week for us, and we need to play our best game of the season. It’s a big challenge, but I look forward to it. We have good things to improve on before we fly down to Tallahassee.”
Furman Head Coach Bruce Fowler
Overall Thoughts:“I thought we played pretty hard. It was something we progressed in, and we needed to, from our first two games. We played with a little bit more emotion and enthusiasm. I thought the whole game, particularly in the first half, we were into the game, but we got bogged down there at the end. We played a very good football team.
“Obviously, we kept the ball for a good bit of the time, partly because they scored quick and partly because we were able to control the tempo a little bit with the running game, particularly in the first quarter. I’m proud of the effort. There are obvious areas where we were in a position here and there to make a play, and then sometimes we weren’t in very good position. We lost a receiver once or twice in a coverage scheme. Some things like that, we’ll keep working at them. When you come into a place like Clemson with a freshman quarterback that’s playing his second game, I think that says an awful lot about our offensive coaches and the job they did getting him ready to play. I think it says a lot about him. I think it says a lot about the guys around him. We had a lot of holding penalties, way too many penalties. But I thought Reese did a pretty good job, and I was proud of the guys around him because that’s obviously not a one-man thing. That’s an encouraging thing.”
On trying to keep Clemson’s offense off the field:“That was our gameplan. We didn’t get any points in that first drive, obviously. In the kicking game, I thought we did some good things trying to keep the ball out of Sammy Watkins‘ hands. I thought Ray Early did a really good job with that. So our plan in some areas was effective.
“They’re hard to stop. It’s just the nature of the offense. Coach Morris, Coach Swinney, the whole bunch of them – they do a really good job of that. They get you out of position sometimes.”
On how his team established the running game:“I don’t know what the halftime stats were. In the first half, I would say that we had a pretty decent yards per carry. That’s a key part of it. We weren’t quite able to sustain it there in the second half. Some of those were in fairly predictable situations in the game. There at the end, it got kind of bogged down when score-wise, we were trying to manage the clock, and I think Clemson was too. I thought our running backs made some good runs and I thought we blocked them pretty well at times.”
On the difficulty of defending Clemson’s offense:“It’s a combination of things. They have a good scheme. They execute it well. They have a quarterback who seems to me to be really comfortable in what he’s doing. They do a lot of stuff with motion. You’re trying to find out where they are, and then they’re moving. Those are all things, from a defensive standpoint, that create problems before the ball’s ever snapped. Then the ball’s snapped, and they’re fast.”
Clemson Player Quotes
Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins
Overall thoughts:“They wanted to get the ball to me early. A couple quick touches and get me back into game speed. We didn’t really go out and run a lot of specific plays for me, but we went out and had fun. They were asking me what I wanted to run and and I just said to keep it natural. Just let the game flow and let it come to me.”
On his touchdown run:“That was a great play, my teammates had some great blocks downfield. I was patient on the run and it just opened up and it was great timing.”
Quarterback Tajh Boyd
On Florida State next week:“We’ve got a solid test next week, maybe one of the biggest tests of the year. We just have to be prepared for it. Like coach said earlier, we’re playing big boy ball now. Again, it’s a test for us and we’ll be prepared for it. Getting ready for the upcoming game, we have to have a great week of preparation, a great week of focus. We’re getting ready to head into a hostile environment, so it’s going to be fun.”
On Sammy Watkins‘ return:“Just his presence alone is a factor. Teams have to account for him and know where he’s at. In his first game back, he’s still getting acclimated to everything. We just have to keep building off that. I believe we did a lot of good things out there with him out there. We’re just ready to see this offense explode.”
Safety Rashard Hall
Overall thoughts:“We won. We have room for improvement, but that’s every game. I thought we played a great game, especially the second half. We just have to get better, that’s what it’s all about; all about just having a next-play mentality. Our red zone defense spoke for itself today.”
On Florida State next week:“We have to accept the challenge and be ready to go. It’s football. They’re a good ball team. They know that – but then again, so are we.”
Linebacker Quandon Christian
On the defense:“We’re still trying to get better. We did some things wrong. We’ll get in and get back to work on Monday. We have to get better on first down and take away the big plays.”
On his interception:“I think it was a game-changer. I ran and shuffled, and the guy stepped into my zone on a crossing route. This game is all about opportunities, seizing the moment. I told myself if I got the chance I would step in and seize the moment.”
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