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Clemson vs. Wake Forest Postgame Quotes

Nov. 12, 2011

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Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney

Overall thoughts: “We didn’t take any fourth quarter coffee breaks. We had to earn and work for everything we have done so far this season. I am so proud of our players and staff. Wake Forest is a tough, opportunistic team. Coach Grobe is a great coach that exemplifies all that is right in college football. The game looked tough at times today, but our guys found a way to get it done. As far as Chandler Catanzaro goes, I guess we were just too close the first time. We had to back it up for him. We were undefeated at home. It was a great win for our seniors, and this leaves a lot for our younger guys. It was a team win all the way around. We were the first to punch our ticket to Charlotte, but we still have more games ahead of us this season.

“We have been fortunate this season. 10 (Boyd) has done spectacular things. He is a young player and is going to make mistakes (in reference to the interceptions). We have a quote in our locker room that says `Never, ever, ever, ever give up’ and Tajh is the epitome of that. (Adam) Humphries had big plays for us. Defensively, we had a fourth quarter shutout, and Moore and Thompson’s sack was huge.

“We are a family with one goal and one dream, and we’re all in. Our seniors have provided great leadership. We win together and we lose together. We showed our youth today. Let’s admit it, the third quarter was ugly. Our players truly have each other’s backs. We don’t flinch. We are a family.

“When talking to Chandler Catanzaro on the sidelines before the final field goal, I told him `Put it through the pipes. If you make it, we win. If not, we win in overtime.’ (Catanzaro was given the game ball) We have grand plans, but things don’t always go as we plan. We don’t panic. I am proud of our team. They’ve earned everything this season. They are leaving a legacy and making their own history. We just keep playing. In the end, things work out.

“Eventually, we got a rhythm and our running game going. Tajh had some really good plays. Once our guys get going, they’re hard to stop. Our guys have answered all of their challenges. We will refocus on Monday, but until then our guys will get to enjoy this win. We have a chance for our 10th win at NC State next week. I look forward to seeing everyone in Raleigh. Hang on to your hat, we may not always be pretty, but we’re a work in progress. Go Tigers, baby!”

Wake Forest Head Coach Jim Grobe

On his team’s struggles with field goal kicking: “I thought we had a great opportunity and we didn’t take advantage of it. We haven’t kicked field goals very well for a couple of games. We just have to make the short ones. I didn’t mind the long one that we missed, but you have to make those. That’s something we just have to be able to do. I wish we could have been kicking an extra point instead of having to kick a field goal.”

On his team’s effort: “We talked all week about how, if we were going to have any shot at Clemson, we would have to play four quarters of football. I think our kids took it to heart. I don’t think we could have played any harder than we played today. We could have made a couple more plays, but I don’t think we could have played any harder.”

On containing Clemson’s offense for most of the game: “They have so many good players, and you’re not going to hold them down forever. I thought that throughout the course of the game, there was some give-and-take. I think our biggest disappointment defensively was the amount of balls we had our hands on that we didn’t come up with. That’s going to be something our guys, when they come in Monday morning and look at the film, are going to really kick themselves for because with so many opportunities, that could have been another five or six turnover day for us today.”

On bouncing back from the loss: “We’re a pretty good football team. But you can get down if you’re not careful, and that’s what I talked to our kids about after the game. You have to find a way to keep your head up and be a good teammate and pick your buddies up. It’s a tough, tough loss, but we have a couple of games left and that’s the good thing. Even though this was a really hard loss, we have a couple more games to play. We’re a pretty young football team, and we’re not a bad football team at all. Hopefully, we can come back and get ready for Maryland.”

On the play of quarterback Tanner Price: “I think he played great. He just continues to get better. I think Tanner will be the first to tell you that we missed a couple of opportunities. He missed a couple of reads, but for the most part today, I just thought he played really, really well. That was a really hot defensive front that we were going against. They put a lot of pressure on us. I thought he did a nice job scrambling out of the pocket, and I thought he delivered the ball really well under some duress.”

Clemson Player Quotes

Offensive Tackle Landon WalkerOverall Thoughts: “It was one of those games when you can’t let emotion get in your head. You just have to stay focused on the goal and good things are going to happen.

On being Atlantic ACC Division Champs: “It feels good. This is the second time in my four years of being at Clemson so it’s awesome. Words cannot describe what it means to build a team like this and go to an ACC Championship but we have to keep grinding.”

On Tajh Boyd’s struggles: “We knew we just had to keep our heads up. I think a lot of teams at a time like that have a tendency to let it affect them but I think we did a great job of not letting it affect us. As leaders we got those guys who were getting down to get their heads up and to not give up. We’re coached to play every down at a time. One play at a time and that’s what we tried to do.”

Kicker Chandler CatanzaroOverall Thoughts: “I’m really excited right now and just feel so blessed to have been given that opportunity. I couldn’t be prouder of myself and my team.”

On the two Wake Forest timeouts before his last field goal attempt: “I just took a couple deep breaths and a few dry swings and stayed behind the line, looking at my target and visualizing that kick. Every week I visualize a game winner and this week I got that opportunity and I thank my team for giving it to me.”

Quarterback Tajh BoydOn second half offense: “Coach told us to calm down and focus. We’re going to find a way to score. We aren’t going to score on every drive and we can’t get down and depressed if we don’t.”

“When we played at Georgia Tech, they took a lot of time off the clock and Wake Forest, I think they took like 11 minutes off the clock in the first quarter and you start to get in the mindset of `We have to score!’ When you get in that mindset though, it can put you behind the eight ball so during the second half, Coach told us to put some drives together and focus.”

Wide Receiver Jaron BrownOn stepping up late in the game: “You always want to make a play and when one player goes down that just gives the next guys an opportunity to make a play.”

“You develop [a good] relationship [with a quarterback] through practice and I think Tajh feels comfortable throwing to any guy. There were a lot of guys that made plays and stepped up.”