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November 19, 2014

Dabo Swinney

DABO SWINNEY:  Well, first of all, we're glad to be at home here these next couple of weeks to finish out our season.  And really anxious to get back out on the field, see if we can play better this week.  Coming off a very disappointing performance last week.  This is Military Appreciation Day for us.  And we'll be honoring our seniors here this game, as well.
Just looking for a great day.  Supposed to be great weather.  Playing a Georgia State team that is not just a young team, but a young program.  And a team that's really had some difficult losses.  They've been competitive in most of their games, very competitive against some good teams, Air Force and tight game with Washington.  They've got a lot of skilled guys.  They've got a Biletnikoff guy, they've got a Mackey Award finalist guy with the tight end.
So we're going to have to play well.  That's our focus this week is getting back to playing with the confidence that we need to as a team, especially on the offensive side.  Look forward to playing them and seeing if we can get back on track.

Q.  The Georgia Tech defense, just what you saw from them and maybe what they were able to do a little bit differently to kind of change what you're good at on your side?
DABO SWINNEY:  Well, first of all they limited us to 54 plays.  That's where it starts.  We usually snap the ball 80‑something times a game.  We only had 54 snaps.  And that's where it starts.
We played really poor from an execution standpoint, offensively.  Although we came right out of the gate really flying.  The play that Deshaun Watson got hurt on, he was scored on that play.  And we just didn't really recover after that.  We were playing really well to start the game and just kind of went south.  But we turned the ball over and just a really bad day from an execution standpoint.  Give them credit.  They had two big 6's, and we just ‑‑ we didn't respond like we need to.
But that's really the bottom line.  Give them all the credit.  They did a nice job.  We really played about as poor offensively as I've seen in a long time.

Q.  Looking at that offensive, obviously you did some good things.  What does the future hold as far as going into Georgia State and how well you can trust your quarterback?
DABO SWINNEY:  Well, I mean we've seen him play better, that's for sure.  We wouldn't be 7‑3 right now without him.  Obviously Deshaun got hurt.  And Cole was ‑‑ he's not been perfect, but he's made some huge plays for us and has led us to some victories.  We need to get back to how he played against Wake Forest.  How he played up at BC, because he did a nice job for us in those couple of ballgames.  It just starts with confidence.  Just getting the confidence back and I think last week with Deshaun coming back for whatever reason, just wasn't as confident as I've seen him.  And had a bad day, for sure.
We had some other guys that didn't play particularly well, either, but it's getting back to executing at a high level and playing with great energy and making sure from a coach's standpoint we do things that give us the best chance to be successful and that's it.  This week we have to get this taste out of our mouth, go into the game and see if we can finish strong.
We've got two games left.  We have played better and we know we can play better, and that's our focus.

Q.  Their third down offensive, I'm sure you feel like it's better than it has been, last year you played them?
DABO SWINNEY:  Yeah, as I said going into the game against those guys, they were just tremendously improved this year, not that they've been bad offensively, but they've always been good offensively.  They've always been a difficult team to handle.
I think the thing that jumps out at you they have a receiver leading in touchdowns.  Their passing game is much better this year.  Their quarterback has played some great football.  He fits their system.  He loves that system.  He knows exactly what Coach Johnson wants him to do and it's a difficult thing to defend, especially when you've got a quarterback that is really capable of beating you with his legs, his arm and his mind.  And that's what he's got.  He's a heck of a ball player.  He makes good decisions.
Their passing game, just the decision making of the quarterback is just greatly improved.  And that's really helped them.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
DABO SWINNEY:  Yeah, it's hard, because they run a four down team all the way.  It doesn't matter if it's third and ten or first and ten, they're fully committed to run the football.  And they will spread you all across the field from a schematic standpoint and creates a lot of one on ones.  And their guys are winning a lot of those one on ones.  The quarterback is giving a chance by being a good decision maker, by making some really accurate throws.

Q.  Check in on Deshaun and David, and what you've seen out of those guys the past couple of days and how they're progressing?
DABO SWINNEY:  Kind of the same as yesterday.  Deshaun looked better yesterday than he did on Monday.  I really think he's going to get better each day.  He's not any way playing this weekend.  We'll reevaluate next week.
Beasley looks good.  Beasley has a good chance of playing this week.  How much I don't know yet right now, but I think he's got a good shot to be able to play.

Q.  When do you think Deshaun will be able to get back to practice, actually doing practice?
DABO SWINNEY:  No idea.  No idea.  That just really depends on what the doctors and when he can go out and play and push off like he needs to be able to run our system and throw the football.  We'll see.  I don't know hopefully soon but I don't know that.

Q.  I just wanted to ask you, are you happy with the running game or is that something maybe you can use this week to get going a little better?
DABO SWINNEY:  I'm not happy with anything offensively right now.  We're not anywhere near what we expect and what our standard is.  But we've found ways to win and we've just not really been able to get it going like I wanted to, the continuity, and all that kind of stuff.
But, anyway, just wanted to be better than we are at this point.  But it didn't work out that way.  We don't make any excuses, but what we're focused on is trying to have a great running became it weekend and a great finish to this season.

Q.  Is the problem something up front with this team or have you not found the key ‑‑
DABO SWINNEY:  It's all across the board.  It's all across the board.  We've just never been able to get the chemistry and continuity like we want to.  But, again, we still should be better than what we've played.  And that's on us as coaches, just the bottom line.  It's everything.  No one particular thing.

Q.  What do you see with Georgia Tech?  What do you see on film?
DABO SWINNEY:  You remember Jack Zarinsky, he's the OC, he's got great experience, great background.  They've got an excelled scheme offensively, especially in the passing game.  They throw the ball all over the place.  They've got some good skill.  They've got a Biletnikoff guy, No. 9, they've got a really good tight end.  I think they're top 25 in passing.  But they know what they're doing in the passing game.  And they really challenge you and stress you.
We're going to have to play well.  The quarterback is accurate.  Got a couple of good running backs that are capable of keeping you honest in the running game.  But they're very committed to throwing that football.
So I'm anxious to see how we play on the back end.  This will be one of the bigger challenges that we've had just from a pure passing game scheme standpoint.  And then defensively, you know, the biggest challenge with them defensively is what we're going to see.  Because they have been very mobile all throughout the year, and they really changed a lot.  And a lot of that is probably their personnel and kind of searching each and every week for what gives them the best chance to win.
So we're kind of prepared for a lot of different things.  That we've seen on tape.  And we have an open date to get ready.  And we have to go out and try to play the standard that we set and really have a clean game execution‑wise and get this bad taste out of our mouth and get back on track.

Q.  Talk about the military appreciation, you wear purple uniforms.  How special is this game on Saturday?
DABO SWINNEY:  Clemson does a phenomenal job with Military Appreciation day.  They put a lot of work.  Memorial Stadium is our stadium.  Clemson was a military school for many years.  So it really is ‑‑ it's not just another day.  It is really a special day here.
We've got four of our former players, my former players that are active in the military now that are going to come back and lead the guys down the hill, Daniel Rodriguez who we all know is a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient.  It's a special day.  And always enjoy being a part of it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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