JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Dabo Swinney said he could announce a defensive coordinator hire by the time he traveled back to Clemson.
That certainly won't happen, as the school typically needs a week to conduct a background check before hires are made official.
But that is not to suggest Swinney will not have news to pass along by the end of the weekend.
The job remains Alabama assistant Kevin Steele's to turn down, multiple sources close to the situation said Thursday.
Steele has not yet accepted or turned down the job and will not inform Swinney of his decision until after Alabama's Sugar Bowl contest tonight, The Birmingham News reported Thursday.
Rivals.com is reporting that Steele, a native of Dillon, has accepted the job.
PRO DECISIONS ON HOLD -- Running back C.J. Spiller and receiver Jacoby Ford reiterated they have yet to decide whether they will forgo their final season of eligibility and turn pro.
Spiller and Ford were the only two of five juniors who sought a draft projection from the NFL's Advisory Committee. Both said they have not yet received their evaluation.
"I'm still replaying that last play," Spiller said. "I'm not going to let my emotions affect where I go."
Senior running back James Davis, a close friend of Spiller's, said he believes Spiller will return.
Ford's 112 receiving yards were a career high.
KNEE TO THE GUT -- Clemson's defense accounted for the first of the team's three touchdowns and thought it had another until the reversal of a fumble that corner Byron Maxwell returned for the apparent go-ahead touchdown with 12:05 left.
Replay officials ruled that Nebraska backup quarterback Patrick Watt's left knee hit the ground before the ball came free. Although one angle, shown on the scoreboard but not the television broadcast, seemed to indicate that Clemson lineman Kourtnei Brown and linebacker Kavell Conner jarred it loose from Watt's right hand well before he hit the ground.
Nonetheless, the Tigers went from leading 27-23, extra point pending, to still down 23-21, and they failed to score upon regaining possession.
"I think it was huge," said interim co-defensive coordinator David Blackwell, who called plays in Clemson's first game without Vic Koenning. "It took away momentum and was a seven-point turn. The angles we saw (on the scoreboard), you couldn't tell, but it was obviously a really big play."
HANDS DOWN -- While Davis fell short of the school's career rushing mark, senior receiver Aaron Kelly went out in style, surpassing Terry Smith (2,681 yards, 1990-93) for Clemson's career receiving yardage mark.
Kelly finishes with an ACC-record 232 career catches and a school-best 2,733 yards, plus he added to his school record with his 20th touchdown catch.
Spiller had 182 all-purpose yards to surpass Derrick Hamilton for the Tigers' career record in that category, too.
EXTRA POINTS -- Comedian Larry the Cable Guy, a Nebraska native and diehard Cornhuskers fan, attended Thursday's game and emceed a trivia question for a Clemson fan during a first-half commercial break. ... Senior Mark Buchholz had gone 141 kicks without a block until his 20-yard field goal was batted by Nebraska standout lineman Ndamukong Suh. ... DeAndre McDaniel's fumble recovery for a touchdown marked the first Gator Bowl touchdown fumble return since Clemson's Chester McGlockton collected a fumble by Virginia Tech quarterback Major Harris in 1989.