CLEMSON -- Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney said watching film Sunday of the loss to Florida State was just as excruciating as it had been a day earlier in person.
Once again, Swinney watched Clemson win in nearly every statistical category but one: red- zone efficiency. And, once again, Swinney cursed missed red-zone opportunities, a disturbing trend in recent weeks for Clemson.
The Tigers (5-5, 3-4 ACC) have turned just three of their last 14 red-zone trips into touchdowns after converting 18 of their first 21 red-zone trips for touchdowns this season.
Clemson was 0-for-4 in converting red-zone appearances to touchdowns at Florida State, and came away with just six points from the four trips, missing two field goals and throwing an interception.
"For whatever reason, that's where our miscues are happening" Swinney said. "All of a sudden you miss some points and you start pressing a bit … The story of the game was missed opportunities."
It's also the story of the season for Clemson, which fell to 0-4 on the road which came by a combined 17 points.
Three of the losses can be credited in part to missed field goals. Catanzaro missed an overtime field goal at Auburn. The freshman missed two field goals at Boston College and two field goals at Florida State.
Clemson entered the weekend with the lowest field-goal percentage of any ACC team, a rate remaining at 50 percent as Catanzaro made as many kicks as he missed Saturday. Clemson and Virginia are the only two ACC programs with field goal success rates below 70 percent.
The freshman's first miss, a 29-yarder, was a low kick, but Swinney said the second miss was not his fault, saying the holder called for the ball too early.
But it's not just Catanzaro that is struggling in the red zone.
Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker entered Saturday's game with a 79 quarterback rating in the red zone. Parker threw a red-zone interception Saturday, and threw an errant pass for another interception inside the Florida State 30.
"It's not just Kyle," Swinney said. "It doesn't help when a guy (DeAndre Hopkins) falls down … Offsides penalties … It's a combination of things. For three weeks, it's been a difficult thing."
Swinney said Parker played an "excellent" game, though the sophomore threw two interceptions against no touchdowns and averaged a modest 5.4 yards per pass. One of the interceptions could not be blamed on Parker as Hopkins slipped on a fade route, covered one-on-one coverage in the end zone. Swinney said he would call the play another 20 times with such a favorable matchup. It was yet another opportunity wasted for Clemson.
"I've never been through a season like this," Swinney said. "I've had some tough years … But I can't ever recall being a part of a situation where every loss we have has been gut-wrenching."
Swinney said the staff will attempt to write backup quarterback Tajh Boyd earlier into the game plan this week against Wake Forest. Boyd did not play against Florida State. Boyd, the redshirt freshman, is expected to be Clemson's starting quarterback next season.
Check out the Clemson blog at postandcourier.com/blogs/tiger_tracks and follow Travis Sawchik on Twitter (@travis_sawchik).