Postgame Quotes: #9 Clemson 40, Maryland 27

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Postgame quotes following Maryland's 40-27 loss to No. 9 Clemson.

Maryland Head Coach Randy Edsall

Opening Statement:

“I thought we had good effort out there today. We did not capitalize on some of the opportunities that we needed to in able to get over the hump and beat the number nine team in the nation. When you get those opportunities in a game like this, we need to take advantage of them. Give Clemson credit too. They are a good football team.”

On the defense’s effort and the redzone stands:

“I thought our defense did a good job of holding them to field goals. That happens because you are playing hard, running to the ball, and guys are taking care of their responsibilities. I did not think we tackled as well as we needed to early on. The field goals kept us in striking distance because we kept them out of the endzone. The one touchdown drive they had, we had a couple third downs where we just weren’t able to make a play and get off the field. That has been a bugaboo for us lately. They played hard. We came out in the second half and got two turnovers right off the bat.  Matt Robinson did a good job. But then again, we gave up a couple plays there late.”

On Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins:

“They just line him up and throw him the ball. They move him around. He is an outstanding talent. We knew that coming in. He is very dynamic. We tried to do the best that we could to contain him, but sometimes great players have good days. He had a good day today.”

On how the team responded with all the injuries from last week:

“The approach I took was to encourage our guys to understand that we have complete faith in them in terms of what they can do. We decided to take some of the burden off the players. We slowed the game down. We tried to take as much time off the clock as we could. We only really had four receivers to go with today, so I knew we could not go up-tempo. We had to get them to understand that they could do the job. We talked all week long about playing as hard as we could and making it a 15-round fight. We needed to show that we had a lot of fight. We are proving that we are developing depth in our program. The guys know that the coaches believe in them. If they are on the field, we feel that they are going to get the job done. We preach that.”

On if the team proved they had a lot of fight:

“That is the kind of effort you want all the time. We ended up losing the game. I am proud of our guys. We played hard under a tough situation. That is what you are supposed to do. That is what we coach.”

On quarterback Caleb Rowe and linebacker Cole Farrand:

“Cole was out there and all over the place and again this is an offense that can put a lot of pressure on you. They can spread you out and throw the ball and they can also hand it off and run with Roderick McDowell at running back and they also give [quarterback] Tajh Boyd the ball to run with and he’s a big, strong, powerful guy and when your middle linebacker isn’t in there against the run he’s got a chance to make some plays and again, the same thing that happened with our defense. We tried to put together the plan we could. We weren’t sure on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, if Matt Robinson and Alex [Twine] would be available to us and so Abner [Logan] was in there, but then we saw that Matt and Alex were able to practice later on in the week, we were able to do some of the things that we wanted to do and it helped us with some of the matchups that we were going to have out there. But like I said, Cole, he’s playing with a cast on his hand out there giving everything that he has. Caleb, I thought he had some really good moments out there today and then again, I think there are some things yet that he’s still learning and we got to get him to learn a little bit quicker, down on the goal line there. There is man coverage and the safety had the back and he doesn’t key blitz it and he’s there, and he needs to use his eyes a little bit better to take him away from where he’s going and that guy did a good job of reading his eyes and went over and threw the pick. Then again, I thought he made some good throws and I thought, there for a point, in the fourth quarter he started to kind of step back and not step in to his throws, talked to him about it. Then he went back out there on those last couple of drives and really stood in there and did some good things. Again, he’s a young guy that will continue to get better. He has the ability to throw the football and again, we just got to continue to coach him and continue to understand. The biggest thing with Caleb is he’s got to understand he doesn’t need to win a game on one play. We’re working with him about just taking what the defense gives you. He got better at that today I felt, and that’s just something that were going to continue working with him on and talking to him about.”

On the team’s mentality with the number of injuries suffered:

“It’s a good question. Let me say this, I would never say it publicly, because it’s I don’t know, maybe I’m so simple it’s too simple. We don’t have any control over these injuries and what happens. And when you don’t have control over it, how can you sit there and worry about things that you can’t control. But the things that we can control is we can control our attitude about how were going to approach adversity and I think that’s the biggest thing because whether its football, whether it’s life, adversity is going to set in. And when it does, it’s all on how you react to that adversity an if you don’t react in a positive way or if you as an individual say, ‘I got to do more,’ because of what’s taken place, then you’re not doing the things necessary to help your team overcome that adversity and things could always be worse. They could always be worse. But, you don’t worry about that. You just worry about the cards you’re dealt, how are we going to find a way to go out and win a football game. As a head coach, I got to make sure that I’m sending that message to our assistant coaches and then to the players, and then the assistant coaches, have to carry that message as well to our players. And that’s how you have to deal with it because someday, someday we’ll get the breaks that we hopefully maybe deserve. But, for me, if I approach it any other way then I’m doing a disservice to the players, to our institution, and really to myself because what we do here is we develop young men and yes we play a game, but I got to make sure that  when these guys leave here and whatever they go into for the rest of their lives, I hope I’ve set an example on how to deal with adversity and what you have to do to overcome that instead of feeling sorry for yourself. And, you know, I think that’s just what it’s all about. And you just keep fighting, you keep working, and you keep doing the things necessary to overcome whatever comes your way. And to me, that’s the role and responsibility, first and foremost with the head football coach, which is me.”

Maryland Players

Quarterback Caleb Rowe

On the game:

“Clemson is a very good football team all the way through, offense, defense and special teams.  We had a lot of opportunities that we didn’t account for. We also made a lot of big plays, a lot of good plays. When the time is needed, we need to make those plays and we didn’t.”

On Clemson defensively:

“They started to man us up more and bring more pressure. We won sometimes and sometimes we didn’t and that kind of hurt us. The receivers played well, offensive line played well, we just didn’t execute when we needed to.”

On the settling for two field goals after the two fumble recoveries:
“It’s frustrating because we had those kinds of opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of them. It hurt us, but we also came back and had some good plays after that so I think it slowed us down a little bit but we still made plays.”

Defensive Back Sean Davis

On the turnovers:

“It was good because we haven’t had a turnover in three games and we had three turnovers today. That was big; it shows we are capable of making stuff happen.  Unfortunately, things didn’t go our way but we’re going to look at the film and keep it going. We’ve got the bye week and Syracuse in two weeks so we should be well prepared for them.”

On the crowd:

“The crowd is the 12th man, when we get the crowd going it rattles up the opponents. It was a great experience; I just love looking out on third down and see them pumped up. I love having the crowd out there and the defense really played hard, we had a lot of three and outs; I guess we just need to come out and make more.”

On the game:

“I never thought we were going to lose that game, even when we were down at halftime. The whole team thought that, it just sucks and it hurts right now. We never thought that we were going to lose and we always thought we were going to beat them up, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.”

Running Back Albert Reid

On the game:

“It was a tough game, we fought back throughout the whole game, and we didn’t just give up. At the beginning of the game, we came out strong but mistakes happen; we had a couple of penalties that came back to haunt us, turnovers. All I know is that our team came out to play today; we came out and played our hearts out. The next game we play we’re going to attack that game the same way we attacked this game.”

On playing as the main running back:

“It is a good feeling having the ball in your hands. It’s a tough loss, I’m not just about myself, I’m all about the team so when the team loses, I lose too. I’m not happy with the outcome of the game, but I’m happy with the effort we gave today.”

On seeing the defense getting stops:

“It amps me up, the defense goes out every play and tries to make stops for our offense to get on the field and make plays and get on the board. Our defense made some big stops today so it kind of helped our offense out.”

Wide Receiver Levern Jacobs

On the opening touchdown:

“It put us ahead and gave us the momentum. I thought it helped out a lot, we could have done a lot of other things but that play definitely helped us.”

On gaining confidence with wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long out:

Going into this past week we prepared for it really well. We weren’t really worried about the people we lost we were just worried about making the plays that we needed to make and the people that we needed to step up. We weren’t really surprised about anything.”

On being an every down wide receiver:

“I feel like all season I work to be a starter, and it is unfortunate about what happened, but I’m getting my chance now, and I just have to keep proving myself. Having this big game is showing people that I’m able to play and now I just have to keep doing this week in and week out.”

Linebacker Abner Logan

On the redzone defense:

“I know that they usually run power, some type of power, either the QB power or do a lot of things in the back to make eyes go to the wrong place. But I just read my keys and they pretty much took me to the ball every time.”

On the Clemson touchdown before halftime:

“It was obviously disappointing because you never want to give up a touchdown, but the game was never really out of reach for us. Everyone was staying positive and staying together because we could have beaten them. They are a great team but we just had to execute better. Coach says that with a team of that caliber, with talent that good, the margin of error has to be very little, so the touchdown before the half wasn’t anything too major.”

On having linebackers Matt Robinson and Alex Twine back:

“It was good; they’re leaders on and off the field. They’re also really good motivators; this is only my second start so they are always talking to me making sure I’m cool and calm. In the big games, especially homecoming, I kind of get riled up but they just keep talking to me to make sure we’re communicating. So it’s good to have veterans on the field.”

Linebacker Matt Robinson

On how he felt physically:

“My shoulder didn’t give me any problems, just a couple scratches and bruises. I missed a lot of games in my career so whenever I get the opportunity to get back out there I really just relish it.”

On the vibe of the team heading into the game:

“We saw that they were humanized when they got beat by Florida State so we didn’t see them as any bigger challenge as any other team. We approached it the same way, guys were still fighting to get more wins, and everybody is just hungry for more.”

On the number of injuries over the past two seasons:

“As a player you definitely ask why is it happening to us, but we’ve definitely developed a next man up mentality because we’ve gone through this before. We would love to have the guys back and not have injuries, but we know it’s a part of the game. I think everyone’s mind is in the right place and we’re not dwelling on it too bad.”

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney

Opening Statement:

“First of all, I just really want to compliment Maryland. Those guys played their tails off. It’s never easy up here, never has been.  We won’t come up here for a while and don’t know when the next time will be, but this has been a tough place for Clemson for a long time. They played a heck of a ballgame. We knew it was going to be a four-quarter game, and it was. Good to get the win to get back on track. Get No. 7 and if you’re going to be a great program, you’ve got to win consistently on the road. With this win today, this is the longest road streak for us in 35 years at Clemson. Obviously that’s not easy to do. I’m just really proud of our guys for coming up here and taking care of business and handling a good team tonight.”

On the defense:

“Obviously, we had some mistakes with turnovers. We were very fortunate because we got them back. We were plus one in the turnover margin. Hats off to our defense. When you put the ball down twice inside your own 20, and they only come away with six points; our defense responded. That was the thing in our game last week. We got outscored 24-0 off of turnovers, but tonight we got turnovers and scored. They got those two big ones and only got six points. Just really proud of our defense and how they responded. I thought they did a lot of good things.”

On Tahj Boyd:

“I didn’t expect anything other for him to respond with a great game tonight. Got a little banged up, but he played through it. We had to run him a little bit late in the game and he was the difference for us down there in those tough situations. That’s who he is. It was just another great game, responding from one of his few bad ones in his career.”

“He’d like to have that [interception] back. They blitzed us and he was a little quick pulling the trigger and kind of floated it out there, but outside of that, he didn’t make many mistakes tonight. He played a really, really good football game.

On if there was a hangover from last week’s game

“We had a great week. Sunday and Monday were really long days, but I thought our guys bounded back. We had a great practice Tuesday, great practice Wednesday, great practice Thursday. It’s hard to win, period, but especially up here. Everybody knows the history here, but our guys responded to every situation. If there was a hangover, when we had a couple lulls and this team wasn’t focused, it could have gone south in a hurry. But it didn’t and they responded… That’s what great teams do.” 

Clemson Players

Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins

On his performance tonight:

“The coaches did a great job with game plan this week. We knew what coverage [Maryland] was going to run and Tajh [Boyd] and the line did a great job with holding up and keeping their poise.”

On their game plan for Maryland’s defense:

“They just ran their base defense, so when teams do that, we get to run a lot of different things. They did not change what they do all through the season, so from watching past games, we knew that are game plan was to run the ball to open up the passing game.”

On how running back Roderick McDowell’s success aided the passing game:

“It brought the safeties down when we ran play action, so that’s why Martvious [Bryant] had some big catches out there. The offense did well tonight, but we have a lot to work on.”

On if he was trying to set a physical tone for the game:

“Not really. I was just playing ball and that was one of the things I worked on for this year; being physical and finishing plays.”

Linebacker Spencer Shuey

On if there was a sense of a hangover from the Florida State game:

“I don’t think so. Maryland is a great team and we always have trouble playing here. Both sides of the ball faced some adversities but we were able to complement each other well have each other’s back.”

On the team’s confidence:

“It’s as high as it has ever been. I feel everyone is confident in our ability. We put the Florida State game behind us the next day and moved on to Maryland. It’s definitely good to come out and get that bitter taste out of our mouth with a win.”

On his fumble recovery:

“I just had my feet and Bashaud [Breeland] was able to make a great hit and pop the ball out and I was able to pick it up and get a couple extra yards.”

Running Back Roderick McDowell

On what it means to rush for over 200 yards and to win the game:

“It means a lot. We lost last week and we decided to come here and establish a hard-nose running game. Our mind set is, if we can run the ball on you, you will have a long night.”

On his performance tonight:

“No matter what the coaches tell me to do, I go out there and do it. But I can’t praise myself. I have to give glory to God and my offensive linemen. They went out there and established a new line of scrimmage for me to run hard and make yards.”

On Clemson’s defense and how they played:

“When you have a defense that play the way we play, that go out with a mean streak and not to not make mistakes, my hat goes off to them. They bailed us out big time and allowed us to capitalize on their turnovers. Our defense has been playing great ball.”

Quarterback Tajh Boyd

On playing physical:

We pride ourselves on being a physical and tough team. We come back and respond from adversity, that’s what we do. You’ve seen that in the past, and I think you’re starting to see it now. We didn’t convert as many touchdowns as we wanted to early in the game”.

On the running game:

“Our running game is probably the most impressive part about us. It’s something we’ve been looking forward to this whole season and to see it explode today was pretty awesome.”

On running back Roderick McDowell:

“I think for me, I need to have more passion, more fun when we score touchdowns. But it was a joy to watch him score. He gets very excited and celebrates. But it’s just awesome because sometimes you take getting in the in zone for granted. It’s just something that we’re accustomed to.”