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Football
Clemson vs. Florida State Postgame Coaches' Quotes
By: Clemson Athletic Communications  
Release:  10/20/2013

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney

Overall thoughts:
"This was very disappointing. When you're going against a team as good as Florida State, you don't have very much room for error. We fumbled in the beginning, had a busted play, fumbled again and before you know it, it's 17-0. When you spot a team that good 17 points, it's a huge uphill challenge. We never could swing the momentum back in our favor and turnovers were a huge part of that. You can't win when you play like that. We had too many penalties and we just didn't play smart. This was a huge missed opportunity for our team.

"Florida State is a heck of a football team. I wish we had played better and that's no one's fault but mine. We're going to find out what we're made of going forward. We have to put this behind us and move on. When Monday morning rolls around, Maryland is going to be the biggest game of the year. The character and leadership of this team has to come through and we have to be who we know we are. Our guys will respond."

On Tajh Boyd and team leadership:
"We have a lot of leaders on this team. Everything comes easy when it's going great and everyone's patting you on the back, but you run into a buzz saw like we did tonight, that's when the leadership shows through. Our leaders will respond. We have a long way to go to get to 7-1. There's still a lot to play for. There are five games left in the season and if we get back on track, anything can happen. We have to fix our mistakes."

On Florida State:
"Florida State might be the best team in the nation. We knew they were good coming in. You don't have a lot of room for error against a team like that. You can't make the mistakes that we made unless they're making them too, and they didn't. Once they got up 17-0, the way the game was called was changed on both sides. They took advantage on all of our mistakes. They might be the best team in the country."

On guys playing hard:
"We're going to go back and look at the film. It's never as good as it seems, but also never as bad as it seems. There will be some good things to take away from this. There are guys who played well, but overall we have to play better. Adam Humphries had a really great punt return and Spencer Shuey played his heart out. Guys like Shuey are hard to come by. He is one of those guys that really gives you everything he has, all the time."

On the game atmosphere:
"Our fans are amazing and the atmosphere tonight was amazing, but we never gave our fans a chance to get into the game. The students who stayed were awesome in the fourth quarter. It was great to see them still there cheering on our guys. That was awesome and we really appreciate the support."

Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher

On playing in this environment:
"Tonight was an amazing environment.  This is a tremendous place to play.  It's one of the great places in college football.  It was a tremendous atmosphere with GameDay being here, I thought our kids handled that very well.  I thought that was one of the keys in all phases.  I'm very proud with the way our team handled this game.  I thought both the offensive and defensive lines did a great job controlling the lines of scrimmages, allowing our skill guys to function because of pressure.  I thought our coaches did a great job getting these guys ready to play and our players played very well.  Our players care about each other and played together like a team tonight."

On early scores:
"Especially on the road, you get confidence, the young guys get confidence and you don't take out the crowd, but you can make it manageable.  It was very critical and our guys feed off each other and we talked about handling momentum when on the road and once you get it you try and ride it and we were able to get that momentum and kept riding it."

On his team's confidence:
"They're mature, they're growing, they're getting older, they understand the moments.  You have to go through things and play in different environments and atmospheres.  These guys love each other.  This group is a very tight group of guys.  They really care about each other.  These coaches do a good job with these guys, showing a lot of care, they coach them hard to do those things.  They don't worry about style.  Style isn't important to them, substance is what matters.  They understand the power of preparation and they feel prepared.  I love coaching this football team."

On Jameis Winston's performance:
"I'm very proud of him.  The guy is a competitor.  He steps up in the moment, but we played well around him.  The interception was our fault.  The headset went out.  We signaled the route to the receiver and they ran the double move.  The coach who signaled to Winston signaled for the single move.  We had to throw away the headset.  That could have cost you the ballgame.  It cost us a huge turnover in the game.  He didn't make that mistake, but he handled it well."

Clemson Player Quotes

Quarterback Tajh Boyd

On what went wrong tonight:
"Obviously, it was a disappointing loss and we did some uncharacteristic things which you can't do against a team like that. We couldn't bounce back and rebound like we thought we could. We just got to get back at it at practice."

After all the hype how disappointing is this loss?
"It's very disappointing. They're a very good team, but we didn't play up to our capabilities and that was the most disappointing thing."

How would you characterize your play?
"I just didn't perform the way I was capable. As a leader it's my job to go out and lead and perform, and I just didn't do that tonight. There were a couple moments that I would like to have back, but you just have to keep on working."

Where's the bar for the rest of the season?
"We still have a lot at stake and a lot to play for. Our main goal is to go out and win the next one. As disappointing as this is, you just have to let it go before it beats you twice."

Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins

Disappointment after all of the hype:
"As a Clemson player it really hurts, but we still have more at stake. We have a lot of games left and the only thing we can do as leaders is to lead the young guys. We play Maryland next and that's the biggest game for us. We just have to lift our heads up and keep playing."

On lack of rhythm:
"We had some minor mistakes and didn't play as a complete team and that hurt us. They executed better than us and they got the win."

What's the mentality now?
"It's a long season and we still have a lot of things that we can accomplish. Anything can happen. There were a lot of top 10 teams that lost this week, so the only thing we can do is lift the young guys up and just try to win out."

On FSU's defense:
"They did a lot of things defensively which kept up from clicking on offense. We missed a lot of reads and didn't have a good rhythm. We had two fumbles and doing that against a good caliber team will hurt you."

Did the two fumbles suck the life out of you?
"If you make those kinds of mistakes against a great team, you won't win. Those two turnovers really hurt us, but it was more than that. As an offense we never got clicking and we hurt ourselves."

Running Back Roderick McDowell

How disappointing was this?
"It's very disappointing but at the end of the day we still control our own destiny in terms of how far we go. We just have to continue to go out and play Clemson football and find our swagger back on offense."

As a senior, what do you tell to the younger guys?
"We just have to keep leading. You know what, if we win out and go 11-1 we'll still go to a BCS bowl and that's my mindset. So we just have to keep executing on the little stuff."

What do you do after an emotional loss like that?
"I just go to the next game. It's on Maryland now. At the end of the day I just have to watch film and keep getting better."

Defensive End Corey Crawford

On what Florida State did differently than what was planned:
"Tonight they just outplayed us. It wasn't really that they did anything different, they just executed their plan to win better than we did."

On if Clemson was shell shocked by Florida State's success:
"Yes, it was. But from the jump, we gave them momentum. When they took the momentum, they kept it and I just tip my hat off to them because they played a very good game."

On where Clemson goes next:
"We just move on. We move to the next opponent. We come in Monday morning and look at the film from today, learn from it and get ready for Maryland."

On what is left this season:
"We still will try to win out the season and aim for a BCS Bowl.  You never know what can happen. Anything can happen. Florida State could lose in a couple weeks or something like that. You just never know. We just have to keep playing and let other things take care of themselves."

Defensive Tackle Grady Jarrett

On the play of Florida State's offensive line:
"We just have to get better. We know we're better than that. We just can't let that happen."

On the play of Jameis Winston:
"I think he was a really good player and he is only going to get better. I wish him the best."

On if Florida State is a better team:
"They out executed us today and they were the better team tonight."

On moving forward:
"It's dead tonight. You have to end it tonight. The season starts tomorrow. This game won't affect us going into next week. We're going to learn from it and we're going to get better from it."



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