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Clemson OC Tony Elliott: 'Nobody's Going to Lay Down for Us'

Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott says the top-ranked Tigers offense was just a little off on Saturday, resulting in Syracuse hanging around longer than most expected, and giving Clemson a good lesson in overcoming adversity in the process.

Best is the standard. It is a phrase we hear quite often from Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and on Saturday afternoon the top-ranked Tigers didn't quite live up to that standard. 

The Tigers might have come away with a 47-21 win over Syracuse but the final score is a little misleading as far as what actually happened on the field.

This Clemson team made one uncharacteristic miscue after another and instead of putting away an overmatched Orange team early, the Tigers found themselves up just one score late in the third quarter. 

Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott says the game was a good reminder to the players of the mindset that is required to consistently win at a high level and that the Tigers have to remember they are going to get everyone's best shot. 

"I welcome the adversity because it's an opportunity for us to humble ourselves and say look, nobody's going to lay down for us," Elliott said. "You got to stay committed, we can't shortcut anything and we got to bring the right mindset and energy every single day in practice, in every single game, or you going to have days like this.”

Not only was quarterback Trevor Lawrence not quite as sharp as he has been in the seasons first five games, the Tigers had problems getting the running game established throughout the first half. Clemson's 5.4 yards per play was its lowest output since the 21-20 win over North Carolina a season ago. 


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The Tigers offensive coordinator says the struggles were more about the self-inflicted wounds than it was anything the Syracuse defense was doing differently.

"We just kept stumbling over our own feet, couldn't get out of our way," Elliott said. "We had a couple of penalties down there in the red zone. Guys, you know, maybe make a misread, make the wrong decision here, and missed block there."

Elliott says it was just one of those days where the offense happened to not be very sharp and that they had to adjust on the fly to how they were attacking the Syracuse defense. After they got that figured out, the Tigers were able to eventually pull away in the fourth quarter.

"I thought we were a little bit off," Elliott said. "You know down the field, missed a couple plays. They were doing a good job of making us convert some things into some low percentage throws, but I think we were off a little bit too. So we just had to kind of regroup and figure out what's the best way to to attack what they're doing defensively."

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