CLEMSON — Lost in the impressive offensive numbers that second-ranked Clemson put up in Saturday’s 61-3 victory over The Citadel Bulldogs was the fact the Tigers reached the 10-win mark for the seventh straight season.
And this is the 14th season overall with at least 10 wins.
The streak of 10-win seasons ranks tied for the sixth-longest in the nation.
But while are taking Clemson’s current success as a given every year, for head coach Dabo Swinney the type of run the Tigers are on will never get old.
"It's not taken for granted by me and these coaches, that's for sure,” Swinney said. “I'm not sure that the players really understand because they don't really know. They just think that's just kind of what they're supposed to do - -they expect that. They just expect to win.
"But that's the mentality we want to have with the team. As they go on and grow up and move on in their lives, they'll look back one of these days and really realize what a special run that they've been a part of. It's been amazing."
Kicking game improving
After the Tigers’ loss to Syracuse Oct. 13, Swinney said he was opening the kicking competition and starting over — going so far as to bring walk-on Drew Costa, who tried out of the Tigers, but was turned away at the time, from the student body to compete for the job.
However, after struggling in the wake of taking over for starting placekicker Greg Huegel — who was lost for the season after suffering a torn ACL in practice -- backup kicker Alex Spence has risen to the occasion in the last three games.
"That's four out of his last five, counting the one during the timeout -- I'm counting it. It went through the upright,” Swinney said. “That's four out of his last five kicks that he's made, and so I'm really encouraged. He's just kind of settled in a little bit. His kickoffs have been excellent and he's really done a good job there. That's good for us. We're going to need him.
“We're going to have to make some kicks somewhere down the stretch here. We're going to play some great teams and we're going to need him. So hopefully we've been able to come out of this thing with a little confidence going into these last couple of weeks."
The Clemson Tigers entered this past week ranked No. 2 in the College Football Playoff Rankings, No. 4 in the AP poll and No. 3 in the coaches' poll.
While the Tigers will have to wait until Tuesday (7 p.m., ESPN) to learn where they land in the CFP ranking, they remained No. 3 in the coaches' poll and No. 4 in the AP poll.
The Tigers on Saturday were without defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, linebackers Kendall Joseph and Tre Lamar, cornerback Mark Fields and left tackle Mitch Hyatt.
However, Swinney expects all of the players to be back this week for the South Carolina game and believes his team is as healthy as it has been all season.
“I feel good about those guys,” Swinney said. “This break has been good for them. We’ll see Monday where we are, but I think they’ll be ready.”