Clemson Defense Strong Arm Tech
Georgia Tech was unable to get past Clemson’s impenetrable defense, falling 49-21 in their second home game of the season at Bobby Dodd Stadium this Saturday. A series of early mistakes lead to Tech’s dismal loss against Clemson’s number 10 ranked defense. The Yellow Jackets rushed only 146 yards compared to their last game, where they managed 301 rushing yards. They completed only three passes compared to Clemson’s 19 completed passes. “We got our tails kicked,” head coach Paul Johnson said. “We got outplayed, outcoached, and we got beat by a really good team.” The Yellow Jackets started strong on their first possession, making 8 rushing plays for 4 first downs. It went downhill quickly from there, with several a false start penalties, sacks, fumbles and missed field goals set the tone for the rest of the game.
Clemson snagged the first points of the game after Yellow Jacket’s senior Qua Searcy fumbled the ball, followed by touchdowns from wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, and Justyn Ross to take the score up 21-0.
The Yellow Jackets confidence was briefly raised after senior Desmond Branch intercepted a pass from the Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence at the 23-yard line. Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall carried the ball the last 11-yards for their first touchdown, but it was quickly followed by another Clemson touchdown from Travis Etienne to end the half at 28-7. The second half saw an early touchdown from junior running back Tavien Feaster and a second touchdown from Etienne to bring the score up 42-7.
On the Yellow Jackets next drive Marshall completed a 29-yard pass to Clinton Lynch, furthered by a series of person fouls from Clemson, which pushed Tech to the 9-yard line. Nathan Cottrell finished the drive for Tech’s second touchdown for a score of 42-14.
Tech took another small victory after Clemson’s quarterback threw an interception to Tech’s Malik Rivera for a 43-yard return, setting them up at the 33-yard the line where freshman quarterback Tobias Oliver, in for TaQuon Marshall, completed a 23-yard pass to Lynch. Oliver completed a 5-yard pass to Lynch in the end zone for Tech’s last touchdown of the game. Clemson last touchdown came from Lawrence completing a 30-yard pass to Tee Higgins in the fourth quarter for the final score of 49-21.
The Yellow Jackets issues seemed to stem from their offense’s inability or unwillingness to connect passes, digging Tech into a hole they couldn’t get out of. Marshall had only 29 passing yards throughout the game compared to Lawrence 176 passing yards. Tech’s running plays, which usually bring them the wins, were no match for a strong defense like Clemson’s. That, coupled with a few missed field goals, eight fumbles, and several penalties, left the Yellow Jackets too far behind to come back.
Despite the loss, Tech still leads the all-time series against Clemson 50-31-2. Tech is 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the ACC, having beat Alcorn State early in September before falling to both USF and Pittsburgh. The Yellow Jackets will face off against Bowling Green on Saturday, September 29 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Article By: Rebecca Washney
All Photo’s by Caleb Johnson