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SPORTS LIBRARY, Clemson, football

CLEMSON -- The Clemson Tigers are no strangers to playing close games.

In 2015 the Tigers needed a two-point conversion stop to preserve a win against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and an eventual national championship.

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In 2018, Clemson needed to stop a two-point conversion at Texas A&M to win and went on to go undefeated and win the national championship.

The Tigers hope the tradition will continue, as they needed a two-point conversion stop to preserve a win over the North Carolina Tar Heels this past Saturday.

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"We've had a lot of games where we've kind of put the game away the way we want to, but occasionally you're going to have some of these that you're not, you just don't have your A-game and you've got to find a way to win," co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said. "So this is definitely not what you want to happen, we wanted to take control early but this will definitely be an opportunity for our guys to learn. We still got some young guys out there playing as well that are going to have to learn from this and hopefully we'll continue to improve like we've done in the past."

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But the biggest question looming for the Tigers is: How beneficial can a game like this be as a wake-up call?

"I think there will be a lot to learn on the video and I really don't feel like our guys, just from a coaching perspective, watching them this week, I felt we had a really good week of practice," Scott said. "I felt like we were going to go out and play well and then we did not.

"So we're going to have to find out what happened and why we weren't really prepared and that'll be some things we'll look at coming from the bye week. But at the end of the day, I can look back over the last few years when either we lost a pit or had a close game last year with Syracuse and our guys chose to really take some ownership, learn from it and get better and that's exactly what I expect from this group."

The Tigers look to use their bye week to improve themselves — both coaches and players. Because they understand that as good as they have been, there is always room for improvement — especially if they want to achieve the type of historic season they believe is possible.

"Number one, good job getting the win. A lot a lot of work to do," Scott said. "We're always looking for ways to improve. Every week you've got things to improve. This week I think we're very interested as coaches to go back and watch the video and really see where we fell short and then be able to communicate that to the players and challenge them. We've got to grow and get better and I have full faith that we will."

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Zach Lentz is a Clemson University alumnus who got his start working with the Tigers basketball team from 1999-2004. Now a resident of Orangeburg County, he reports on Clemson sports as a correspondent for The Times and Democrat. He also serves as a co-host of Solid Orange, seen at 11 p.m. Wednesdays on WACH FOX 57 in Columbia. He is editor of www.ClemsonMaven.io

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