Dabo Swinney is a coach who’s never been shy to speak his mind, and the Clemson football coach lived up to that reputation during Saturday’s game against visiting No. 4 Florida State by openly criticizing his own defensive coordinator at halftime.
Swinney’s comments came after Clemson’s defense, led by second-year DC Wes Goodwin, surrendered a 2-yard touchdown run to Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis to cap a five-play, 75-yard drive to end the first half.
With the Tigers’ lead trimmed to 17-14 at intermission, a clearly irritated Swinney ripped apart his defense’s performance during FSU’s two-minute drill.
“We probably need to get out of the three-man rush in two-minute [drill] right there to start with. Really disappointed in that,” Swinney told ESPN’s Molly McGrath. “[Travis is] too good to let him hold the ball. He’s got guys that can run around and get open if you give him enough time. So, that’s probably the worst thing we’ve done the whole half, was our two-minute drive right there. Really disappointed.”
Dabo didn’t like that his DC went soft on the playing calling. pic.twitter.com/YN5aX3jYaB— NMD Grant (@NMDgrant) September 23, 2023
If Swinney’s harsh assessment is any indication, it’s likely the longtime coach gave Goodwin an earful in the locker room. And, given the stakes, it’s also likely the coordinator and his staff spent a little extra time at the break discussing their second-half strategy.