Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is still trying to wrap his head around how his team suffered a humiliating 28-7 season-opening loss to Duke on Monday night.
“It’s almost indescribable what I just saw,” Swinney said, according to ESPN’s David Hale. “It’s incredibly frustrating when you had so much opportunity. … It’s routine stuff. The basics. The fundamentals. Basic, basic stuff.”
The Tigers imploded when in scoring range, with two red-zone fumbles and two blocked short field-goal attempts. All in all, Clemson produced 12 more first downs, won the time-of-possession game by over seven minutes, had just one penalty to the Blue Devils’ seven, and was more efficient on third down (converting seven of 15 attempts).
“That’s the weirdest game I’ve ever been a part of,” Swinney said. “I’ve been beat. I’ve had my butt kicked. But that’s the strangest game I’ve ever been a part of.”
Clemson, which ranked No. 9 in the preseason AP Poll and hadn’t lost to Duke since 2004, now faces the prospect of likely having to win out to have a chance of making the playoffs.
Despite the disappointing result, Swinney believes Clemson can turn its season back around.
“People are going to see the score and judge this team,” Swinney said. “I love this football team, and I see a lot of opportunity here. … A lot of people are probably going to give up on us and throw us away. But I ain’t throwing this team away. We’re going to bounce back.”
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