With 2 losses, Clemson falls short of his enduring playoff standards

Robert Griffin III, the former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Baylor, called Clemson’s offense “archaic” on ESPN – and Swinney did...


Robert Griffin III, the former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Baylor, called Clemson’s offense “archaic” on ESPN – and Swinney did not dispute.

“The criticism is warranted because of the current situation,” Swinney said. “That’s what we’re posting, so with the way we’ve played you’re going to get criticism and you’re going to get comments and things like that and you know what?” Hey, that comes with the territory because the expectations and the standard at Clemson and who we are, we don’t meet that. It’s as simple as that.

Swinney had hoped that a strong defense, which didn’t allow any touchdowns until Saturday, could carry Clemson until the offense freezes. But the offensive futility left the defense gassed as North Carolina State (3-1) slipped through it as the game progressed. It also didn’t help that two of Clemson’s defensive stalwarts – linebacker James Skalski (shoulder) and defensive tackle Bryan Bresee (knee) had their shoulder pads at the end of the game. (In overtime, Clemson first-year fullback Will Shipley was assisted in the locker room with an apparent left knee injury.)

In fact, Clemson was fortunate enough to be entitled to overtime.

North Carolina State kicker Christopher Dunn missed two late-game field goals – 51 yards and 39 yards, the latter on the last regulation play – that would have won it.

When his last kick went wide to the left, Clemson’s sideline burst, certain they would make the most of another chance. And when Uiagalelei found Ross cleared in the end zone to give Clemson the lead by 21-14, Swinney slapped his quarterback on the helmet as he came to the sidelines for a job well done.

“Come on D,” someone shouted from the sideline. “A stop.”

It was something they couldn’t handle. Turner engaged a defensive position to give the ball to the Wolfpack at 3. And at 3rd and on goal, quarterback Devin Leary found wide receiver Thayer Thomas wide open in the end zone after going through traffic.

Swinney and other coaches pleaded with officials to throw a flag for offensive interference, saying it was an illegal choice game. But their cries were lukewarm – perhaps because even on the visitors’ sidelines, it didn’t go unnoticed that the game mimicked the one Clemson won a national title with when a pick released Hunter Renfrow to catch the pass. winner.

But that was almost five years ago, and one of the many signs for Clemson on Saturday night of how their situation has changed.

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Newsrust - US Top News: With 2 losses, Clemson falls short of his enduring playoff standards
With 2 losses, Clemson falls short of his enduring playoff standards
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