Dabo Swinney was not thrilled with the negative questions thrown his way following No. 1 Clemson’s 47-21 victory over Syracuse Saturday.
Despite a relatively hefty margin of victory, the Tigers didn’t look up to snuff with what we’ve come to expect of them. A 1-4 Syracuse team coming of a 17-point loss to Liberty last week should have been a cake walk for Clemson. The Orange putting up 21 points on the No. 1 team in the country was certainly unexpected.
The team’s energy looked low and the execution just wasn’t there — seemingly going through the motions against an inferior team.
Coach Swinney was having none of the negativity in the postgame press conference. Clemson insider Grace Raynor posted his postgame comments on her Twitter:
Dabo Swinney isn't thrilled he's getting negative questions in the press conference. But let's face it: the energy was low, the offense looked bad. "I just want to make sure we’re at the right press conference. We did win the game. I think. Am I in the right spot?"
— Grace Raynor (@gmraynor) October 24, 2020
It’s fair for Swinney to shake off some criticism for a game they won by over 20 points, but there is a level of excellence the No. 1 team in the country needs to be held to. Clemson showed some weaknesses against a team that had no business giving them an upset scare.
The seemingly unflappable Trevor Lawrence threw his first career pick-six on a pass over the middle that deflected off his receiver’s hands. Clemson’s defense also struggled more than it usually does, allowing 21 points. The only other team to scored more than 20 points on the Clemson defense this season was Virginia.
These issues shouldn’t be too alarming to the Tiger faithful, but Clemson will need to tighten up later in the season as the seem primed to make yet another College Football Playoff run.
For now, winning by only 26 points is a fantastic problem to have.