Dabo - "The Game Isn't Played On Paper"

Last season's Carolina-Clemson did not follow the script that was written well before kickoff.

The Tigers came to Columbia ranked number one in the country, while USC had just lost to The Citadel.

As Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was making his way off the bus and towards the lockerroom, one fan hollered "Blow 'em out, Dabo! Blow 'em out."

 While that was the expected outcome, turnovers and an inspired performance by the Gamecocks ended with the Tigers winning 37-32. While there seemed to be no immediate danger of Clemson losing, it did show what can happen in a rivalry game if the heavy favorite doesn't come out with its A game.

"Like Coach Stallings used to teach us, if we played on paper, the coaches would just show up, walk to midfield, look at x's and o's, the crowd would ooh and aah and the ref would declare a winner," Swinney said.

"Or we'd just listen to the media and wouldn't play the game. That's why you play them. The game isn't played on paper. Yes, you can look at it and say this appears to be the best team but as we all know, the best team does not always win." You've got to play well because it's the team that plays the best."

Swinney only needs to point to the Pittsburgh game to show his team what happens when the heavy favorite does not play up to its potential. The Tigers lost to the Panthers 43-42, their only loss of the season.


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