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Clemson vs. Wofford Postgame Quotes

Sept. 10, 2011

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Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney

Overall thoughts: “First off, I can’t give enough credit to Coach Ayers and his team. I knew this would be a tough, four quarter game and it was. We made some big mistakes on defense that led to three touchdowns for them. Bottom line – we found a way to win. It’s the second week in a row that we’ve won the second half. Wofford didn’t score a touchdown in the second half. The defense stepped up and the offense finished the game. We have to improve on some things and we have to get better fast in some places. It’s good to get this win and get to 2-0.”

On playing freshmen: “We made mistakes and guys have to grow up. Today was another learning experience. We have to do better against the option. We got burned on fourth down against the option and the guy ran forever. If you’re going to cover the quarterback, you can’t move to the outside and try to cover the pitch. Things like that have to change. Bottom line – we’re never mad at a win. We’ve played better in games that we’ve lost. We will get better.”

On Tajh Boyd: “I thought Tajh played outstanding today. He made a great decision on third down when he threw a great pass to Nuke (DeAndre) Hopkins. That was a huge play for us. He knew all the right plays to make today. He also made plays with his legs and has improved since last week. He had a steady game. We had some drops in the first quarter that hurt him a little, but he was efficient overall. He had an excellent day. He took care of the ball and he made some big throws. I’m proud of how he ran the offense today.”

On pace of the game: “We really controlled the pace of the game today and that helped us. We got them tired. In the second half, we really had a good tempo going and we were able to milk the clock at the end of the game and win the game on offense.”

On offensive line: “We were able to rush the ball ok today and that was good. We didn’t pass protect well and that was disappointing. Tajh reacted well when the line didn’t help him and he made some good decisions.”

On Andre Ellington: “It was good to see him play a physical game today. Wofford the defending Southern Conference champion and they played us all the way to the end. I really wanted to rest him today, but Wofford played us so tough, we had to play him. He had a very solid day and that’s very positive for us.”

Wofford Head Coach Mike Ayers

Overall thoughts: “I was proud of my kids. I was proud of our team the way that they just fought their tails off. They didn’t give up. Even when we had bad field position sometimes, we were able to overcome. Defensively, we tackled some great backs today. I don’t know about anyone else, but those guys there are pretty hard to tackle. I thought we did an unbelievable job of not allowing them to hit that crease and go.”

On his team’s defensive performance: “We made some mistakes. But overall, I thought the game plan was outstanding for what they did. We had some situations where coverage was great, and we had some situations where we didn’t get the check. But that’s going to happen early in the year, especially with the type of pressure they put on you with the athleticism and size and the pace of the game. They have a hurry-up offense, and I thought our guys withstood the test.”

On coming close to the upset: “Sometimes, you make a play and sometimes you don’t. They had some studs on defense. I was pleased with the way that we played. Am I pleased with losing? No. I told our guys at halftime that I wasn’t happy with them. We were in a situation where we should have been ahead by a couple of scores.”

On how his team built confidence: “I don’t think we’ve ever quit a game. We knew coming in what to expect. You never know what you’re going to get playing. But when we started out on a positive note, it was like throwing a match on a can of gasoline. We were on fire, and we kept that fire for four quarters.”

On the steady flow of his offense: “We don’t ask much of our offense. If we get four yards, we throw a party. A lot of guys want that forty or fifty, but we’re patient. We’ll take what you give us.”

Clemson Player Quotes

Running Back Andre Ellington “I wasn’t surprised at all (by Wofford’s performance). I knew that they were going to come out and give it their all. We lacked focus early in the game, but we got it back in the second half.”

On the long touchdown run: “It felt great to see my teammates and the fans get excited.”

On Tajh Boyd’s performance: “We have guys on this team other than myself that can make plays. We have great wide receivers that are capable of making big plays. Tajh (Boyd) is a great quarterback, and he’s getting better with every game.”

On second-half performances this season: “We have to come out next week from the beginning; we can’t just get hot late. We have to play a full game.”

On preparing for Auburn: “It’s a lot like last year. We have to focus and prepare well. We cannot take those guys lightly because they are a great team. Last year’s loss was just more motivation for us. If we don’t prepare well, it will be tough to win.”

Center Dalton Freeman “We’re disappointed with the way we started the game. We went into the game thinking they were going to do a lot of things they didn’t do. Our preparation has to get a lot better. We came in at halftime and made adjustments. We went back to our basic offense and we ran plays the way we normally run our blocking schemes and pass protections. If we come out like that next week against Auburn, it’s not going to work.

“We changed everything we were doing up front, pass-protection wise. They did a good job disguising their defense, and were walking their linebackers up to the line of scrimmage. They brought middle pressure.”