Clemson's Swinney: FSU defeat as 'tough a loss as I have ever been a part of'
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was gutted after his team's 31-24 overtime loss to Florida State on Saturday.
"That honestly is probably as tough a loss as I have ever been a part of," Swinney said postgame, according to The Athletic's Grace Raynor. "You win one like that, it's the top of the world. You lose one like that, you're sick to your stomach."
The Tigers had a two-possession lead in the first half. Clemson then had the opportunity to kick a go-ahead field goal late in the fourth quarter, but kicker Jonathan Weitz's 29-yard attempt went wide left.
Swinney decided not to attempt a Hail Mary after Clemson's defense stopped the Seminoles by forcing a turnover on downs with 12 seconds remaining. After burning a pair of timeouts on the defensive possession, the Clemson coach explained that the offense was too disorganized to attempt a last-ditch effort, according to Chapel Fowler of The State.
Clemson had the opportunity to force a second overtime after FSU scored on the first possession. Quarterback Cade Klubnik opted to pass the ball to Adam Randall on a third-and-1 for no gain. The Tigers were then unable to convert a fourth-and-2 at the FSU 16-yard line to end the game.
"That's a job we gotta do better as coaches there and help our quarterback," Swinney said, per Raynor.
The Tigers dropped to 2-2 on the season and have lost both of their opening ACC games, which includes a defeat to Duke in their season opener.
"It breaks my heart where we are - I wish I could say why," Swinney said. "All I know is we've got a lot of good days ahead. And I believe that."
After losing their first conference game at home since 2016, the Tigers coach said, "we lost in overtime to a great team" that he considers a national title contender.