CLEMSON — After Clemson’s 38-31 victory over N.C. State Saturday, Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren offered some scathing accusations regarding a laptop computer that was seen on Clemson’s sideline during the game.
“I’d like to know why there was a laptop on Clemson’s sideline that people were looking at, too,” Doeren said. “I’d like that to be investigated. Maybe they weren’t doing anything, but I was told it’s illegal to have technology on the sideline. So¬ I’d like to know that as well.”
After the game, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was asked about the laptop and responded by saying that he had no idea what it was for and he assumed it was a student member of Clemson’s social media team — a fact confirmed by Sports Information Director Tim Bourret and Associate Athletic Director Joe Galbraith.
The ACC also responded to the accusations by saying that the league office was “satisfied” with Clemson’s explanation and no further action would be needed.
Swinney was asked Tuesday if Doeren had reached out to offer an apology to Swinney and the Tigers. He responded that he had not heard from the Wolfpack head coach.
“No, no, no. He did not,” Swinney said. “Someone asked me about that the other night and I had no clue. I knew the laptop had nothing to do with football. I did investigate and followed the instructions to investigate.
“Turns out there was a just a major crisis going on, a young man helping a team in need. I think he was trying to get in touch with Amazon. We were in need of towels (after N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb repeatedly took towels from Tiger quarterback Kelly Bryant).
“We were trying to get some drones to come in and drop some towels on the sideline. Actually I want to launch an investigation too. What do they do with those towels? Is it a towel wall of fame. It’s disappointing because that was a challenge to our integrity.
“You know, you turn on the tape and two years ago we go up there and one of their coaches pushes Deshaun Watson. This year, they have a coach who takes a swipe at K’Von Wallace. What if K’Von breaks a finger. I think the investigation needs to be on how he manages his sideline — not worrying about ours. So, no, didn’t get a call. Didn’t get a call — we need some towels.”
They’re still Florida State
When the prognostications were issued before the 2017 football season began, Clemson and Florida State were picked to play for the ACC Atlantic Division title on Nov. 11.
Even with the Seminoles (3-5, 3-4 ACC) being eliminated from the race, the fourth-ranked Tigers (8-1, 6-1 ACC) are getting exactly what they had hoped for when the season began 11 weeks ago -- a chance to clinch the division.
“This is where we had hoped to be. We wanted to be in a position to achieve our goals and we're in position,” head coach Dabo Swinney said. “The rest of our season hinges on these four quarters. This is championship football for us.
“A lot of people thought back in August that it would come down to Clemson and Florida State. Nothing has changed, whether we're undefeated or they're undefeated. We have to win the game to win the division. So there is zero change.”
A victory will give Clemson a 7-1 record in the ACC and the championship — its third straight division championship and sixth in the nine full seasons that Swinney has been the head coach. It would also be the fifth time the Tigers would play for an ACC Championship in Swinney’s tenure.
If though there is “zero change” with what this week’s game means for the Tigers from the beginning of the season, there is still a sense of finality to it.
"The same as it is every week. Now this one has some finality to it,” Swinney said. “It's really the same every week. Had we not taken care of business against Georgia Tech or Boston College or Wake, then we wouldn't be in this situation. That's why we say it's the biggest game of the year.
“If you don't have that focus, it's hard to get to this point. The only difference this week is if you can win it, you get handed a trophy. Every regular season game is important with the system that we have. It'll be the same intensity."
With the Seminoles entering the game needing to win three of their next four games to become bowl-eligible, Swinney understands this is still a very talented Florida State team that will require the Tigers’ full attention.
"It's Florida State. Their record has zero to do with their ability, their talent. You have to look beyond that,” Swinney said. “Sometimes you have some tough games that go your way and that can dictate the course of a season. They have a great staff and a great program. We just want to be the best version of Clemson, regardless. Clemson-Florida State is one of those big games, regardless. This is a good team that had N.C. State down to the wire, Louisville and Miami down to the last play. Dangerous team."