Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney
“It was a great week. This was a great opportunity for us to respond and inspire other people to bounce back.
“We actually played better last week and lost. We weren’t very good offensively in the first half but the defense played outstanding. We still have a lot to improve on.
“There were some real positives on special teams. (Ammon) Lakip had a lot of pressure on him and he did really well. I’m really proud of him. Special teams as a whole had a real impact on the game tonight.
“Our young guys played great. Six touchdowns by freshmen and sophomores is very encouraging.
“(Deshaun) Watson played well but he had some things to work on. He will learn from this game.
“We did what we had to do to win. It was great to be back at home. The crowd was awesome. We have another big week coming up and we’re going to have to play well against NC State.
North Carolina Head Coach Larry Fedora
“We had a bunch of guys who played hard. We gave up too many big plays defensively. We played much better against the run, which was really good and gave us a chance. Offensively, we didn’t make enough big plays to win a football game.”
On the issues on offense:
“We have a lot of issues. We’re still working on a young offensive line as part of a unit that’s still a work in progress. We have a long way to go. They’re not the only problem though…we have a lot of problems. We’ve got to see much more consistency. I thought Marquise (Williams) did a nice job under a lot of pressure. I thought he made a lot of plays when we needed him to.”
On the play of quarterback Marquise Williams in the second half:
“The thing was, we tried to run the ball and we weren’t successful in the first half. When we started to throw the ball, we were able to run, which started to help him out because he wasn’t seeing quite as much pressure.”
On the play of the defense:
“We made mistakes in the back end. We were letting people free and that’s just a mistake. We just didn’t execute.”
On the defensive gameplan:
“We wanted to stop the run and I thought our guys did a really good job of that. We tried to make (Deshaun) Watson beat us with his arm and I didn’t foresee that we would just turn people loose. He did a nice job taking advantage of that. The kid’s a good player. He’s going to be really good.”
Clemson Wide Receiver Artavis Scott
On recovering from Florida State:
“On offense, we had to come out fast. We knew we had to recover from last week. Deshaun (Watson) just did what he usually does, which was to come out calm and do what the coaches have asked him to do.”
On Watson’s performance:
“As soon as I heard coach (Swinney) say he set the record, I was like ‘Dang, how in the world did he do that as a young freshman?’ He just stays so calm in these situations and we’re happy for him.”
Clemson Wide Receiver Germone Hopper
On getting involved early:
“Coach (Swinney) told me before the game that I would be a big part of the offense early, so I was just ready to play.”
On first touchdown catch:
“The safeties came rushing down and I became wide open and I knew that he (Watson) would be looking my way.”
Defensive End Vic Beasley
On team performance:
“We played a great game. We played well as a defense in the first half but gave up a lot of points in the second half. As a team, we put it together and finished the job this week.”
On sack record:
“I came back and wanted to break that record, and I look forward to doing so.”
On getting back on track:
“We’ve been battle tested in games like Georgia and Florida State, so we know what it takes to win the big games, so we are definitely back on track now.”
Cornerback Garry Peters
On returning to Death Valley:
“Coming off last week, I felt like we had a sorry taste in our mouth, so everybody was ready to play. It’s best playing in front of the best fans in the world, so I couldn’t wait to play. It’s big to get a win, especially after that loss last week.”
On defending UNC receivers:
“We face great receivers in practice every day, so when it comes to the game, it’s a lot easier. They’ve got some great, tall receivers, and I’m sure a lot of them will play on the next level, but we face great receivers in practice every day, so it’s nothing new.”
Quarterback Deshaun Watson
“I was expecting to go out there an execute, so it wasn’t really a surprise”
On expecting this from his first start:
“Not really. I was expecting to go out and execute, and that’s what we did. It just happened that my O-line was big and my receivers made great catches. And I’m happy with the records.”
On knowing he’d start entering the game:”
“I always go out there competing and ready to go. I love to go out there and have fun.”
March 14, 2019