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Clemson vs. Middle Tennessee Postgame Quotes

Sept. 5, 2009

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2  |  Photo Gallery 3 

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney

On Victory: “The goal was to win tonight, and we achieved this win. Middle Tennessee played strong throughout the game. They will be a very competitive team in their conference. Our kids had a solid game. Our defense was solid tonight, until the end of the game. Special teams showed up today as well. C.J. Spiller had an impressive 170 all-purpose yards and only played in one half. The kickoff coverage was great as well. These guys showed great leadership tonight.”

On Kyle Parker: “He was outstanding today. He missed one throw all night, and there were about four big drops from the receivers tonight. He was dead on all night. He made big plays with his feet, showing a lot of poise. I was really proud of him tonight. He has a good presence and great instincts in his ability to make big plays.”

On Defense: “Overall, the defense played solid. Brandon Maye and DeAndre McDaniel stepped up tonight. They are both passionate players. They show a sign of the season we are going to have. We had great collisions tonight by the guys in orange, which is always a good thing.”

Middle Tennessee Head Coach Rick Stockstill

Overall thoughts: “Obviously in the first half I thought we shot ourselves in the foot. We got killed in the kicking game in the first half. The plan was to kick out of bounds on the punts and sky kick it on kickoffs, and we didn’t do a very good job of that. We tried to kick it out of bounds and couldn’t get it out of bounds, hopefully we can kick better than that. They are explosive. We had some drives and started going. We had some dropped balls that went in and out of hands that they got interceptions on. We just had self inflicted wounds the first half. The defense played well, they were on and off the field an awful lot in the first half. I am extremely proud of our team and the heart and passion they played with. They never quit, and got down there and had a chance to make it a two score game and just couldn’t finish it out. I thought we played with a lot of effort and got a little bit better in the second half offensively. We just need to be a little more consistent overall.”

On the play of Dwight Dasher: “I thought Dwight played well. You will see three interceptions when you look at the stats, but I thought he played well. The first was on a screen and that wasn’t really his fault there. I thought the played well. He threw the ball well and ran extremely well and showed a lot of leadership and toughness. He never gave up. He hung in there under a pretty fierce pass rush and pretty dang good defense.”

Coming back from big opening play: “I told them we were not going to win or lose the game on the first play, first series, or first quarter. They came out jazzed up and we just had to withstand the pressure and we did I thought. Our defense stopped them down on the two yard line and forced them into a field goal. We stopped them late in the game on fourth down and inches and those boys couldn’t knock us off. We just shot ourselves in the foot too many times. We had a big play early in the third quarter and then had a bad snap and that really ended that drive. I am not concerned at all. I thought we showed improvement and I think we have a chance to have a good football team.”

On the Clemson defense: “Those guys were 16th in the country last year. Two first round draft picks, two All-American corners, two All-American linebackers they are pretty solid on defense.”

“We didn’t run the ball much in the first quarter and that was our plan going in. We really wanted to try and spread them out, we knew it was going to be hard running so we thought our best chance to win was to spread them out and then as the game when along try to establish the run. That is what we did and we ran it better in the second than the first.”

Clemson Player Quotes

Thomas Austin: “I thought we got off to a little bit of a slow start offensively. I thought we adjusted well and started picking up some stuff. Kyle definitely got better as the game went on. He made some great plays. The defense played outstanding in the first half. We’re happy to get the win.”

Kyle Parker: “We definitely had some plays that we could have made. We always strive to play the perfect game, and we haven’t yet. It seemed like everything went well for the most part. I got pretty comfortable in there after the first series. I got a feel for how fast the game was and the pace, so I kind of settled in.”

Brandon Maye: “Any time you get a victory, you’ve got to enjoy that, because it’s so hard to get victories. We’ve got to continue to work hard. We gave up a couple of plays, but we played our butts off. Coach Steele told us to get some turnovers, get some takeaways, and give the offense a chance, and things would work out for us. We knew we had to come out and strip the ball, intercept the ball, get after the quarterback.”

DeAndre McDaniel: “I go out there every time and I want a big hit. (On the Tigers’ first kickoff), he came straight to me, so I knew it was over for him. The defense was going to be ready regardless, but with that hit, it set the tone. We had a great first half. We have to come out next week and finish. We let up a little bit in the second half. We’re going to look over the film and make some adjustments.”

C.J. Spiller: “I was very surprised they kicked it back there (opening return for a touchdown). My teammates did a great job getting their blocks and I just tried to read it the best way I could. I just tried to make a play and it gave us a lot of momentum from the beginning to the end. We’re seeing how explosive we can be when we don’t beat ourselves.”

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