Clemson coach Dabo Swinney learned that South Carolina upset No. 3 Georgia shortly after his team finished off a dominant performance against Florida State on Saturday night.
Swinney’s initial reaction after hearing the news?
“That’s college football,” he said. “North Carolina beats South Carolina. South Carolina beats Georgia. That’s college football. That’s just the way it rolls. You better show up every week. Anybody can beat anybody. I believe that.
“And South Carolina’s a good football team. They’ve got great coaches down there.”
The Gamecocks entered the game as more than three-touchdown underdogs before gutting out a 20-17 double overtime victory, playing much of the second half with a quarterback who entered the season third on the depth chart.
Swinney’s Tigers will not play South Carolina until the end of November, but he has already seen film of the Gamecocks from studying North Carolina tape prior to his team’s trip to Chapel Hill last month.
“They’re a good team. They’ve gotten a lot better defensively. I have no idea what happened in the (Georgia) game. I’ve got no clue. But nothing surprises me in college football. Nothing,” Swinney said. “That’s why you play the game... I think that’s a huge win for them for sure. A division game and so forth. A great win.”
Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence watched some of the South Carolina-Georgia game from his hotel room with roommate and backup quarterback Chase Brice prior to arriving to Memorial Stadium for Clemson’s ACC showdown with Florida State.
Even as he watched South Carolina hang around early, Lawrence expected the Bulldogs to find a way to win.
“We just kind of assumed Georgia would pull it out,” Lawrence said of watching the game early on. “On the bus ride over here we were like, ‘OK, it’s halftime. It’s still close.’ Then after the game we heard South Carolina won. It’s like us at North Carolina.
“I mean, every team has good players. They have coaches that are full time and they pay a lot of money to try to win games. So you can’t just go into a game expecting to win. I didn’t see the game at all really the second half, but you can’t take teams for granted, especially teams like South Carolina.”