After being humbled by Syracuse, Dabo Swinney entered its postgame locker room

No. 2 Clemson and coach Dabo Swinney were handed a humbling 27-24 loss on the road to Syracuse on Friday night. Though the loss isn't a "season-ender," per se, it does expose a list of issues the Tigers need to fix moving forward. The quarterback situation is suddenly more of a front-burner issue because of the injuries to Kelly Bryant, and the kicking game might be a liability. 

All of these items and more are things Swinney will have to think about and rectify if the defending national champs are to get back to the College Football Playoff. They also won't be solved tonight, and the other, lesser-told part of the story is that Syracuse put together an impressive game as coach Dino Babers is quickly becoming a household name. 

Swinney made sure to let Syracuse know how impressed he was with its performance. While shaking Babers' hand following the game, Swinney can be seen saying, "I'm so happy for you." 

According to Orange linebacker Zaire Franklin, Swinney also stopped by the home locker room to seek out wide receiver Steve Ishmael and compliment him for a tremendous performance. Ishmael, the leading pass-catcher in the FBS entering Week 7, was a thorn for the Tigers' pass defense all night with six catches for 73 yards and a score. 

"That's one of the classiest things I've seen in my life," Franklin said, via David Hale of ESPN. "To have been knocked down like that and have the humility to come talk to us, that was cool as hell."

Swinney also reportedly stayed to say a few words to Syracuse and even took pictures with some Orange players.

There's no question that Swinney has established himself as one of college football's best coaches. He's won 76 games in the past six-plus. There's a good chance he'll get Clemson back on track soon enough. For now, this was a great response to a team that played better. 

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

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