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Riley: ‘really proud of where we’re at right now’

Ashleigh Snyder
Garrett Riley pictured directing his offense alongside head coach Dabo Swinney against Notre Dame on Saturday.

In a season that has been headlined by injuries, turnovers and adjustments to implementing a new system, first-year offensive coordinator Garrett Riley remains pleased with where his unit is at following their upset win over Notre Dame last Saturday.

Speaking to the media on Monday, Riley expressed his confidence in the offense.

“As coaches and as a team that’s had some heartbreaking losses, and then us kind of having some musical chairs at times of who’s in and who’s out,” Riley said. “I’m just really proud of where we’re at right now.”

Against Notre Dame, Riley applauded his offense’s bounce-back effort with how they responded to an interception to start the second half — a turnover that led to an Irish touchdown.

“A big moment for us was that drive after the near pick six,” Riley said. “With just how things have gone, you have some detrimental turnovers throughout the season; it would have been very easy for players and coaches to hang their heads right there.”

Apart from the upset win over ranked Notre Dame, Riley praised his group for how they have handled adversity all season following an uncharacteristic four losses on the year already.

“They have not quit,” he said about the offense. “They absolutely have not quit, and even with some of the things that have happened, I still think it is a group that does not panic.”

“There’s been some unfortunate things that have happened. There’s been some things that we’ve got to obviously get better at,” Riley added. “But we’ve got a group that does not quit. I think they are a resilient group. They’re just continuing to gain a lot of great experience for (this week) and obviously for the future.”

While Clemson might not be competing for the postseason spots many anticipated heading into the year, Riley acknowledged how this season can be utilized as an opportunity for growth in the years to come.

“You’re always going to learn,” he said. “You learn from some failures, you learn from tough times and everything like that. You got to stick to your guns, you got to stay the course, you got to coach hard, you got to play hard, and those things, in my mind, haven’t changed one bit.”

“Patience is something I feel like maybe is one of my strengths,” Riley added. “We’ve certainly had to have patience this year. There’s a lot of really good experience from what’s transpired so far.”

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Ashleigh Snyder
Ashleigh Snyder, Photo Editor
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