Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney
Overall thoughts:“This game was exactly like you would want to script it. We had an almost flawless first half, and I’m happy to see our seniors on the field.
“The fact that we had sellout crowds against both SC State and The Citadel is one of our biggest accomplishments.
“The opening drive was the only one we didn’t score, and our defense was flawless as well. We played to our standard, not anything else.”
On sending out this group of seniors:“Quandon Christian got his first touchdown and (Chandler) Catanzaro is now the No. 2 scorer in the ACC. Sammy (Watkins) had a great start and Tajh (Boyd) was on the money.
“I told the seniors we have gotten 31 wins in not quite three seasons. We are not done yet. We may be done at home, but we are not done.”
On the next game against South Carolina:“I’m excited about USC week. We have a couple of injuries. We probably lost Travis Blanks, who is a great leader on the team. Zac Brooks has been battling a shoulder injury. We thought he would be able to finish out the season, but it looks like he is going to need surgery.
“We have the biggest game of the year this week. For our seniors, they know how important this game is. A win is definitely on the short list of things they haven’t done.”
On the play of Daniel Rodriguez and Military Appreciation Day:“It was a special moment getting to see Daniel Rodriguez in the end zone. God has a way of working it out, and it was great to see our own Purple Heart recipient get a score.
“I have great respect for the Citadel and their program. We have a great military background here at Clemson and no one does Military Appreciation Day better.”
On Tajh Boyd‘s impact on the program:“It was emotional to have a curtain call for the seniors. I told the seniors to leave Clemson better than when they got here. Tajh has made us an elite program again. He embraced his role and enjoyed every second as the quarterback at Clemson University. His vision was to leave his mark on Clemson, and he has done that. How he has represented our university and been an ambassador for Clemson is awesome.”
The Citadel Head Coach Kevin Higgins
Overall thoughts:“I was disappointed. I believe we could have played better. From an offensive standpoint I wish we could have had some more first downs, and could have held on to the ball. Their defensive scheme is the best we have gone against in our four years running the triple option. The talent they have is something we have not seen in a long time. Brent Venables did a great job with that scheme against Georgia Tech, and he did a great job against us. Clemson has scored 50 plus points against a lot of people and we were hoping we could have gotten a few more takeaways, but unfortunately we could not do that.”
On play of seniors on team:“This is really a great group of seniors. They have changed much of the culture in the football program. Now it becomes the younger guys’ responsibility to carry the torch and get the program over the hump. These seniors have left us some great examples of how to do that and do it the right way.”
On field goals by Thomas Warren:“It was nice to see Thomas make two field goals today. He walked on from Bishop England High School, and it really is a great story. Unfortunately, you lose the game and the season ends, but there are so many great stories in the locker room that are missed often times. Thomas is a good story because he came as a walk-on, earned a scholarship, and came back for a fifth year and did a nice job for us.”
On Clemson’s speed:“When we go through practice each week we have the scout team trying to simulate their speed, but you just can’t do that when we have guys running 4.8 and they have guys running a 4.4. The speed they showed on the field is so much different than what we saw in practice. It takes time to get adjusted and when you start spreading guys out wide, they hit you up the middle with their other weapons. The volume of plays they run also makes it very challenging to defend.”
Clemson Player Quotes
Quarterback Tajh Boyd
Overall thoughts:“It will probably hit me when the season is actually over, but right now it’s about getting a win and getting ready for next week. I think that we did some really good things, it was a very emotional game for some of the guys and I was really proud of them. I don’t think we could have handled the game better than that, especially with it being your last home game.”
On bowing at midfield:“It was spur of the moment. It was one of those deals when I was coming off and thought, ‘Might as well.’ I’m very appreciative of the fans, they have been very supportive throughout my time here, they’ve been a joy to be around and it feels good to be appreciative as well.”
On the final hit he took:“Oh, I’m still feeling that one. I figured I was going to come out somewhere around there, I knew I wasn’t going to play much of the second half. Again, I was trying to make the most of the opportunities while I was out there. Again, coach told me we were going to call a time out, and you’re going to get a walk off. It was a special day, I had great people around me, and a great supporting cast. It couldn’t be a more positive game.”
Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins
On team goals against South Carolina:“We just want to play a good game and have good practices this week, just worry about what we can control. Every year they play well and the past two years they out-played us, they wanted it the most. This year we must focus on eliminating our mistakes and have fun and play.”
On the pressure to win next Saturday:“There is a lot of pressure with this game, but as players we can’t worry about those things. We must go out there like every game and have fun, because that’s what it’s about. If we hold the ball and take care it we will be alright. If we have three-and-outs or punt the ball that will be fine, but we can’t have any fumbles or interceptions.”
On this possibly being his last home game experience:“Every game is a good experience, just being with the guys every day in practice. It’s a great experience seeing how the seniors went out. It’s a great experience seeing those guys and the legacy they have left here, one they will carry over to the next level.”
Linebacker Quandon Christian
On scoring his first career touchdown:“It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time, being that it is senior day. Just scoring a touchdown, it was awesome. Corey (Crawford), Grady (Jarrett) and (Bashaud) Breeland did their jobs which allowed me to score.”
On playing option teams back to back:“I’ve been playing against Georgia Tech for four years, so it’s nothing that’s really new. We were able to come out and execute. Today we knew that The Citadel would come out and fight, but we were ready for it.”
Defensive Back Darius Robinson
Overall thoughts:“It’s sad knowing that I’ve played my last game at Death Valley but at the same time I’m excited for the guys that are still here. They’ll carry on the great things that we’ve done. I’m just ready to be a fan now.”
On the upcoming game against South Carolina:“It’s definitely a big game. They’re our rival and they’re in our way to having the best season that we possibly can. We want to win, so of course it’s a big game and we’re looking forward to it. We’re going to work really hard this week and invest a lot of time into it. It’s the most important game of the year right now.”
On the in-state rivalry:“It’s definitely big. We know the fans are going to get on us pretty hard. There is going to be a lot of talk and chatter during the game, so it comes down to knowing what we need to do on the field and not get caught up in the other stuff.”
On what a win over the Gamecocks would mean:“You never want to lose the game, but we’re just worried about Clemson. We’re not worried about the other team; we just need to do what we do. I’m definitely excited; we’re going to be on the big stage again with everyone watching, so it’s going to be fun.”
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