Clemson coach Dabo Swinney met with reporters shortly after the Tigers’ 31-30 loss to South Carolina on Saturday afternoon.

Swinney was quick to give South Carolina credit for making the plays necessary to win a tight game. Clemson was unable to get on the board in the fourth quarter and was out-scored 17-7 in the second half.

“It’s a play here or there,” Swinney said. “It’s a one-point game. Bottom line, South Carolina played better. They earned it.”

Swinney specifically gave credit to South Carolina coach Shane Beamer for his team’s effort.

Clemson took an early 14-0 lead in this game, but the Gamecocks didn’t back down. They scored two touchdowns each in the second and third quarters thanks to a big-time performance from Spencer Rattler.

“Today just wasn’t our day,” Swinney said. “It was their day. I thought Shane (Beamer) did a great job weathering the storm.”

While South Carolina’s offense found a groove, Clemson’s did not. The Tigers scored just once in the second half as they struggled to move the ball through the air.

There were a variety of issues that led to Clemson’s poor offensive performance.

“We had really poor field position a lot of the time,” Swinney said. “We had missed plays, didn’t get any rhythm. We had some huge drops. And some turnovers … Really, really frustrating for sure.”

One of those turnovers came from true freshman receiver Antonio Williams, who fumbled on Clemson’s punt return with just over two minutes remaining in the game.

That fumble cost the Tigers one final chance to drive down the field for a potential game-winning field goal.

Despite the mistake, Swinney backed Williams when speaking with reporters.

“Antonio is taking it tough, it’s been a rough day for him,” Swinney said. “But we’re not 10-2 without that kid. I love him, and I wouldn’t trade him for anybody.”

Another Clemson player who had a rough day was quarterback DJ Uiagalelei. He completed just 8-of-29 passes for 99 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Cade Klubnik didn’t get in the game this afternoon, but Swinney didn’t rule out that possibility for the ACC Championship Game next weekend.

Clemson faces North Carolina in the ACC Championship Game on Saturday.