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Clemson vs. Troy Postgame Coaches’ Quotes

Sept. 3, 2011

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Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney

Overall thoughts on the game: “This was a good win for us. We accomplished our first goal. We had a lot of adversity in the first half, but I’m so proud of our guys for coming out and finishing the game. There was no panic at halftime and we came out strong in the second half. That’s why it’s a four quarter game. We had adversity early, but we came out and executed. We have to improve as the season goes on, but our objective is to win. We’re looking at this as a good win.”

On play of the offense: “We played lots of guys. We definitely didn’t have the first half we wanted. Tajh (Boyd) had a bad first half, but he settled down and had a good second half. Dwayne (Allen) really sparked us in the third quarter. I think Brad Scott deserves the game ball for recruiting Mike Bellamy, Martavis Bryant and Sammy Watkins. These freshmen are so fast. We want to use them to wear people down. They’re a fun bunch to watch.”

On new offensive system: “We have to play games to really understand the offense. There were a lot of unknowns between Troy and our new system and we really just needed to play a game. The second half was a thing of beauty. Troy is a championship team; they have five Sun Belt Championships under their belt. I told the guys at halftime that the only way to beat them was to knock them out of our house, and we did a good job to knock them out in the second half.”

On freshmen and reserves: “We have a lot of new faces and we played them early. Carlton Lewis is a reserve guy that we’re counting on to step up and make plays, and he did that today. No one tackled great today, starters or reserves. We have to improve on that. But as a whole, we played great in the second half.”

On atmosphere: “There’s nothing like being at home. The fans were not happy with our performance in the first half, but we came out in the second half and got them back in the game. We did not have a great first half. We have a chance to be a good team with experience. We’re going to be a good team with experience.”

On special teams: “Our special teams were outstanding today; hats off to Coach Pearman for that. Chandler Catanzaro is nine of his last ten field goals dating back to last year and tied a school record for field goals made of 40+ yards in a game. Spencer Benton kicked well; we downed a punt on the one yard-line; we have to keep getting that from special teams.”

On preparation for Wofford: “The only way this prepares us for Wofford is that since that game is also at 3:30, we’ll be prepared for the heat. Other than that, there are no similarities between Troy and Wofford. Game experience is the biggest thing to take away from today. We have so many freshmen and game experience is so helpful for them. We’re excited to get back to work on Monday and get prepared for next week.”

Troy Head Coach Larry Blakeney

On today’s game: “The game actually went sort of like I expected early. They were fast, and we weren’t disciplined about dealing with that speed early. They made some plays, then they got out of sync a little bit and we made some plays. I told our group that I saw some things today that make me think we can have a good football team.”

On the future for his team: “I’m excited about this bunch that we have. We came up here and showed that we can play this game. But at times, we didn’t play as well as I’d like to.”

On his team’s level of fatigue: “We had some guys that were cramping in that second half. It was hot, and it’s going to be that way with the heat that we all play in early.”

On the play of Clemson’s new offense: “I thought their quarterback struggled early, but the longer he played, I thought, the better he got. That’s the way this offense is going to be. Some days will be good, and there are going to be some days when this offense is going to go out there and struggle to complete a pass.”

On his team’s third down prowess in the first half: “We decided coming in here that we weren’t going to get into full dropback mode. We were going to catch and throw and get the ball out and not give them a chance to rush the passer. We were getting some things done and completing the ball in the seams. We were able to run the ball some, which is what I thought was the key to having success.”

Clemson Player Quotes

Quarterback Tajh Boyd “In the first half I didn’t get into a groove. I had a lot of nerves. We put thirty points on the board in the second half. It’s a learning experience.”

“It’s a lot different (communicating) on the practice fields than it is out here with people in the stands. At some point you just have to settle down. Nobody panicked, and we just had to play our game.”

“Sammy (Watkins) and Mike (Bellamy) add a different dimension. They’re only going to get better the more they see the field. You saw Martavis (Bryant) and his capabilities.”

Running back Andre Ellington “We just had to get on the same page after the first half. They did a lot of things that we weren’t prepared for. We all came together at halftime and made some adjustments.

“It’s great to have the freshmen out there. Sammy (Watkins) did a lot of great things out there. They all bring different abilities, and we’re glad to have them.”

Wide receiver Sammy Watkins “I was shaking running down The Hill. I put the butterflies behind me and just played after that. I thought it (scoring a touchdown on his first series) was a dream, but it came true.

“We never got down even though we weren’t moving the ball. After the half, we came out pumped up and ready to go. Everything just started clicking.

“We (the freshmen) have bought into the system. After I got on the field, I blocked everything out and played loose.”