Cade Klubnikand the Clemson attack fought all nighta 31-14 Orange Bowl loss before Tennessee. The Tigers (11–3, 8–0 ACC) missed field goals on their first three of their first four possessions as Klubnik and company struggled to find the end zone. Klubnik was 30 of 54 passes for 320 yards and threw two interceptions. He also carried 20 times for 51 yards and one score.
Clemson found itself at a 14-0 hole and unable to break out. The Tigers beat Tennessee (11–2, 6–2) by 484 yards to 375 yards, but the offense's inability to score was costly. It was the first career start for Klubnik, a five-star recruit for the Class of 2022, asDJ good mannersentered the transfer portal after his bench press in the ACC championship game.
The Tigers also went 0-2 on fourth-down conversions and the Vols capitalized. Tennessee scored touchdowns both times after Clemson failed to score a first down.
After the match, Klubnik evaluated his performance as a running back.Will Shipleyand wide receiverKJ Heinrichalso interferes:
HOW KLUBNIK EVALUATES ITS PERFORMANCE:
"Yeah, I'm super proud of these guys right here. We gave everything until the last game. There are a lot of plays I want to recover, but I'm really proud of how they all turned out. Just gratitude for these seniors. Man, there are so many guys that you just don't get to see everyday that have a huge impact on me, out of everyone, Coach (Dabo) Swinney. … I often need help and they are there for me and are so grateful for these guys. I would have liked to have beaten those seniors, but I think we gave it everything we had until the last game."
ON PEOPLE WHO TALK ABOUT MISSING FIELD GOALS WHEN THEY FEEL THEY MISSED OPPORTUNITIES:
“Yeah, I mean, the name of the game is points and you get points by scoring touchdowns. We had to make touchdowns and we couldn't.Part of it was me. I got a third bag. There were many missed opportunities.Tennessee did a great job of underlining and disguising their flashes and coverages and we had a lot of chances, particularly in the red zone. But we just had to finish. We had to.
“We travel with them on every trip. Just like we just did. For some reason, we just couldn't finish when we got into the red zone."
RUN A LOT ON THE BALL WHEN IT WAS AN OPPORTUNITY THAT APPEARED IN YOUR READINGS:
"Yeah i think it only happened during the game. I think it was easy to get plays and I don't think that was really the game plan, but we ended up doing a few more inside zones, more zone reads and it just happened.
HOW SHIPLEY MAKES EVERY GAME:
"Yeah, I'll start by saying I'm doing this for the guys around me. I wouldn't want to play for any other college. I love my brothers. That's really what I'm doing this for.I go there, I make some plays, but I also miss some that I wish I could make up for. 4th and 1st at the start of the game, he missed a sign. You must not have these defects, especially mental defects.
“But at the end of the day, as Cade said, we compete and there is no doubt about it. But for me and everywhere there is so much room for improvement, but I love these guys and would really do anything for them.”
HOW HE ENDS THE SEASON:
"Yes, I think the hardest part is remembering relationships and what you got out of them. I think about K.J. and what he did for me. He took me under his wing when I got here and I learned more from him than ever before. could ask.I think the most important thing for me is relationships. I'll miss all the seniors, but we'll be back hungry. There's no doubt about it.
"If you look at the year as a whole, it's not where we wanted to be, or where we wanted to be, or where we wanted to end up. But there's no doubt that we competed. I think we have some guys on this team that are hungry, hungry to come back next year and try something.
“We have to keep our heads down, we have to work in pre-season and at right-back, but there is no doubt that in this dressing room we have what we need to get where we want to be. "
HENRY IF THIS GAME WILL GO BACK TO YOUR DECISION:
"For nothing. This decision point will be made at a later time. Right now it's just, like you said, recognizing what we've done this year. Coach Swinney said it in the locker room, 11 good days and three bad days, and we'd be stupid if we really only focused on the three bad days. As competitors, we will do this because we just want to beat them all. But I'm really proud of that group of players, that coaching staff, all of them, really, they told us at the beginning of the year. I review some pictures I took, a commentator picked us to win the ACC and probably nobody put us in the top 10.
"Very happy.I'm happy with how these guys fought to the end and regardless of the outcome, I wouldn't trade a game or a manager for what I was able to be a part of this year. It was really something special. I have to cherish every moment."
ABOUT THE TENNESSEE OFFENSE, WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS ABOUT THEM:
"Yes, large group. First of all, thanks to our technical team. I definitely feel like we were at least prepared for the pacing aspect. Of course, a big focus is that Tennessee is doing a great job of emphasizing their opponents. I felt very comfortable in that sense."
"But having said that obviously a big physical advantage. I think we did a good job from a top seven point of view in holding the line and not giving up too many big races and if there were any it wasn't a question of physicality, but we stayed out of our gaps. They are good enough to capitalize on our mistakes but obviously Joe (Milton) is also a great player and I said that before the game and people hadn't seen it because I hadn't played much this year, but was very aware of what it can do.
"I think it was a good night on the defensive end. Obviously it could have been a lot better, but they did a great job capitalizing on that."
HOW HE ENDS THE SEASON:
"As for me, this year, as Coach Swinney said, I just want to look back and know we've improved, know we've grown in the right direction. I've been part of many great teams here and this one will be remembered as one of the best of them, it's just that inside out.
"Like Ship said, every relationship and every good time we had, the love we shared on this team was probably the best and most genuine of my entire time here. I'll remember all the free popcorn I got to eat (laughs) If only we had movie nights before the game. I love the popcorn. I really appreciate Coach Swinney for allowing this for the team. It really has been a blessing in my life."
"Yes, there were a lot of good times and I'll have a lot of time to look back and really enjoy and reflect on those times."