With Clemson leading, 35-7, and facing a fourth-and-goal at Syracuse's 5-yard line in the final minute of the first half Saturday, Tigers coach Dabo Swinney decided to go for the touchdown.
That angered Syracuse coach Scott Shafer, who unleashed some profanities toward Clemson's sideline. Orange defensive tackle Jay Bromley came up with a sack of Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd to foil the Tigers' plans, but it didn't matter. Clemson went on to win, 49-14.
Presumably realizing that going for it with a 28-point lead in the waning seconds of the first half is not nearly the same as going for it in the waning seconds of the second half, Shafer was apologetic in his postgame news conference.
"I said a few things out there today that I feel bad about, I really do," said Shafer, who is in his first season as a head coach. "In the heat of the moment, they were the same things I said on the basketball court or the football field when I was a kid playing. But I'm an adult now and I need to constrain myself a little bit better."
In his postgame news conference, Swinney said Shafer didn't say anything to him about it. He also expressed surprise that the decision was controversial.
"Really? Were we supposed to take a knee?" Swinney said. "Like I said, we had a whole lot of football left. ... There's nothing less important than the score at halftime."
Mike Huguenin can be reached at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.