Dabo Swinney now says that he meant his “flipping burgers” comment toward Tennessee as a compliment.

Last week, the Clemson coach raised some eyebrows around Rocky Top when he talked about the Vols’ loss to South Carolina the week before.

“When you’re in Tennessee’s position, and they’re like, ‘OK, we beat South Carolina, we beat Vandy,’ and they’re in the playoffs. They’re flipping burgers at the house, having a cold drink watching the championship weekend, ‘What are we? Are we 3 or 4? Where are we going? Are we in Arizona or are we in Atlanta?’ And the next thing you know, you forget you’ve gotta go play.”

Those comments came from his weekly radio call-in show, but now that Clemson also lost to the Gamecocks, Swinney is singing a different tune. He said on Tuesday that those comments are a “classic example” of people hearing what they want to hear, and said he was “paying them a compliment.”

Swinney said he was trying to challenge his players and get their attention ahead of the game that the Gamecocks won, 31-30, which snapped a seven-game losing streak in the series.

“You say, ‘OK, you’ve got a path that’s clear, you know, but you have to finish,’” Swinney said. “They’ve just got to do this and do that and next week, they can sit at home and flip burgers and watch all the championship games. … It’s not anything against Tennessee. I’ve got all the respect in the world for Tennessee. People just hear what they want to hear. It was not a shot at them at all. … I was talking about our guys and how they’ve got to finish.”