Clemson coach Dabo Swinney unhappy with 'negative questions' after win against Syracuse

©The State (Columbia, S.C.)

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney takes the field after halftime against LSU in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans on January 13, 2020. - Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America/TNS

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was unhappy with what he felt were too many “negative questions” from reporters after Clemson’s 47-21 win Saturday over Syracuse.

The Tigers won the game by nearly four touchdowns but led only 27-21 late in the third quarter.

Clemson (6-0) made several mistakes that allowed Syracuse (1-5) to hang around, including a blocked punt, missed field goal and a Tigers pass that was returned for an Orange touchdown.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who threw the pick-six, was asked after the game how he thought he played and how the team played as a whole. Lawrence felt that he didn’t play well and said the team energy wasn’t great.

“I just think our energy wasn’t where it needed to be at the beginning of the game and we picked it up and found a way to win and finished well,” Lawrence said. “But definitely going to have to play better down the stretch if we want to get to where we want to go.”

Swinney was asked during his postgame press conference about his team’s energy and had a different take than Lawrence.

“I just want to make sure I’m at the right press conference. We did win the game, I think. Let me make sure I’m at the right spot. Am I at the right spot?” Swinney said. “I just want to make sure. I think we won the game. I think we won it. You don’t score 47 points if you don’t have the right energy.”

Swinney did acknowledge that his team made some mistakes, but expressed concern that there were enough questions from reporters about positive things that happened during the game.

“I’m not getting any questions about, ‘Are you proud of your guys for winning the game?’ It’s all about a lot of negative questions. You’re not going to get any negative stuff from me,” Swinney said.

He was then asked about the play of his special teams and some of the good and bad that he saw.

The Tigers had a 49-yard kickoff return by Lyn-J Dixon, averaged 54 yards per punt and made two field goals but also had a punt blocked, leading to a touchdown, and B.T. Potter missed a field goal from 37 yards out.

“Did anybody see anything good out there?” Swinney asked. “There’s no perfect coaches. There’s no perfect players. But at the end of the day, man, a great win for our guys. These guys have won a lot of ballgames. I thought we dominated right there at the end of the third quarter.”

———

©2020 The State (Columbia, S.C.)