RALEIGH — Clemson coach Dabo Swinney had talked about the Tigers' fumbles and interceptions, bad penalties and poor field position, and been asked about playing without freshman receiver Sammy Watkins.
But as Swinney put it, ''This is really not a complicated game.''
When a team loses 37-13, as the seventh-ranked Tigers did Saturday to N.C. State, there's no reason to lean on coachspeak or offer up any what-ifs.
''Obviously disappointed in how we played. Really embarrassed, to be honest with you,'' he said. ''Just a really, really poor job of coaching and a poor job of playing, everything involved. No excuses. They just whipped us.
''You tell these guys the stove is hot. It's like raising kids. Sometimes you tell them but sometimes they've got to learn the hard way.''
Clemson, which has clinched the Atlantic Division, came into Saturday's game averaging 37.3 points and 478 yards in total offense with its spread offense. At halftime, trailing 27-3, the Tigers (9-2, 6-2 ACC), had 86 yards in offense.
''We looked like an immature team,'' Swinney said.
Watkins, who has caught 68 passes for 1,034 yards in a sensational first season in Tigertown, was held out of the game with a shoulder sprain suffered against Wake Forest. That took away the Tigers' most explosive offensive threat.
Swinney said Watkins caught everything onehanded in pregame warmups but was "still sore." He added the Tigers wanted to avoid any setbacks with the receiver with the South Carolina game still to be played.
''Everybody missed Sammy but we're more than a one-man team,'' offensive coordinator Chad Morris said.
The Tigers also played without starting left tackle Philip Price, who suffered a knee injury against Wake Forest. Receiver Martavis Bryant injured his neck in the first half and did not return.
The Pack sacked quarterback Tajh Boyd five times and picked off two of his passes. The Tigers lost fumbles at their 6- and 18-yard lines in the second quarter -- the first on a Boyd sack -- as N.C. State ignited for 27 points in the quarter.
''The last couple of weeks we've been killing ourselves with turnovers,'' said offensive tackle Landon Walker