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Clemson Coaches 'Have to do a Better Job'

After a disappointing 17-point performance, the Tigers still believe they are close to putting everything together to return to the high-octane offense that fans are used to seeing.
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Prior to the Clemson Tigers' game against the Syracuse Orange, the players and coaches told anyone who would listen that they were close to having a breakout game. 

However, after a disappointing 17-point performance, the Tigers still believe they are close to putting everything together to return to the high-octane offense that fans are used to seeing.

"We are a lot closer than people on the outside would think," head coach Dabo Swinney said. "It's a matter of getting all 11 guys on the same page. Just communication and continuity in 11 guys getting their job done. Again, it's all a reflection of us as coaches. We have to do a better job. Everyone is working their butts off. It's been a long time since it's been like this."

Swinney admitted that along with the coaches it is a litany of small mistakes that are causing the Tigers to take two steps forward and three steps back.

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"No turnovers, and that's two games in a row which is a positive," Swinney said. "We had red zone touchdowns. I thought D.J. had his best game. We had five drops and he missed a couple of throws. But two games in a row and I think he is heading in the right direction. (Mason) Trotter did a solid job, outside of the obvious (snap). Davis Allen was tremendous. We did make some big plays but again, too many missed opportunities. The drops were huge and the snap was critical. We had some missed blocks, especially outside at receiver. Just overall consistency is an area where we have to improve. It takes 11, not eight or nine or ten."

Friday's game marked the first time since the 2008 season, the last two games for former head coach Tommy Bowden and the first two for Swinney, that the Tigers have played four consecutive one-score games.

While the frustration is real for the coaches and the players, there is one positive: the Tigers are finding ways to win games, as opposed to 11 years ago when they lost the games.

 I feel like I'm back in 2010 when we lost five games by six points or less," Swinney said. "The positive is this group is finding a way to win. But we are nowhere near where we need to be and can be. Matter of putting it all together and getting these guys mentally where they need to be. I think sometimes it affects your psyche and you're trying too hard." 

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