It's been seven years since the Tigers have dropped two games in the month of September.
Clemson's 27-21 double-overtime loss at NC State dropped the Tigers to 2-2 on the season and sent them tumbling down to No. 25 in the AP Poll. Swinney met with the media on Sunday night and while admitting he was extremely disappointed in his team's start, he was quick to point out that this isn't exactly uncharted waters for the Tigers and that the foundation of the program built through adversity.
"I'm just really disappointed in where we are, in our start," Swinney said. "But, you know, we've been here before. We've had a lot of success, a lot of success. A lot of great moments and our best moments are still out in front of us and we got a lot more great moments ahead. Our program was built through and from adversity over the last 12 years or so. So we've been here before."
The Tigers have struggled mightily on the offensive side of the ball, averaging just 4.8 yards per play. Despite the struggles, Swinney made note that his team is just a couple of plays away from being unbeaten.
"That's two losses now, away from Clemson here and both games, a few inches away, a couple plays," Swinney said. "We've got to learn how to win those games and overcome. But at the end of the day, you coach this game long enough, play it long enough, you're gonna have some hardships, and that's where we are. We've got to learn and we got to teach them how to win."
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Clemson's longtime head coach is still confident that the Tigers have the right pieces in place, and that the struggles will eventually help his team overcome the adversity they are faced with presently.
"My life has taught me that great things come from adversity and challenges along the way," Swinney said. "And it's those things that shape us and grow us and I don't have any doubt this team is made of the right stuff and we'll respond."
"I know that we're in a spot right now that we haven't been in in a while. But just like always, we'll respond and we'll get back to the basics and fundamentals of what we do. And again, just know that this is part of it. We got some areas where we're not playing very well we got some youth in some areas, got some injuries. And that's just all part of this game."
Swinney insists that his team must keep looking ahead and not dwell on the past. That it is his job, as well as the rest of his coaching staff, to ensure the players are learning from their mistakes, and that right now, that is his primary focus as the Tigers begin preparation for their upcoming matchup at home against Boston College.
"We've got to learn from our mistakes, keep our head up, keep the faith. Just don't lose our identity in a bad moment and that's what this is a bad moment. I also know from my life that all things work together for good. I know that too. And so this is again, a tough spot to be in, but it might be one of the greatest opportunities that we've had in quite a while to lead and teach our young men a lot. So that's my focus, again, just circling the wagons. Rally everybody up. This story's not over man. We got a long season ahead and our focus is just trying to win a game this week and see if we can get some guys back and keep going."
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