A unit that had Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson running all over the field looking for escape routes is coming off a game where the head coach said it was the worst performance of the season.
Statistically, that's accurate. The Tigers gave up a season-high 21 points and for the first time in 2017, an opposing offense found the offense. Considering that Louisville's high-powered offense was limited, you would think that would might be good enough. Not when you are trying to win a second straight national championship.
All-America defensive end Christian Wilkins isn't offended by the criticism from the head coach. He says it's accurate.
“It’s easy when you’re watching at home and you see the score of the game to just be like 'Oh yeah, great game', and for everyone to think you had such a good performance," he said.
"But when reality hits and you go back and watch the film and the coaches are grading it, you’re like 'Wow, we really didn’t have that great of a game'. I would say at this point, that was definitely the worst game of the three from a defensive standpoint.”
Swinney noted the 16 missed tackles and several mistakes that were made that made the performance anything but flawless.
“There were a lot of times where our guys were bad,” Swinney said.
“The alignments were not good. We were poor with our zone drops. There were just a lot of things. Now we did control the line of scrimmage, but there are things we can do better all the way around. So it is great when you win it because it is a lot more fun to correct those things coming off a win, but we have to play better.”
Clemson's defense will get its next chance to have a clean performance when it faces Boston College Saturday in Death Valley.