When it rains in Death Valley, it pours raindrops of misfortune, seven turnovers between the two teams with Clemson coming out on top of Georgia Tech 24-10. Fresh off their embarrassing loss to Syracuse which ended with their QB Kelly Bryant being knocked out of the game with a bad ankle and into the concussion protocol Clemson looked to reassert themselves to prominence.
That is exactly what they did with that mighty defensive line. They were just too big too fast and too strong for the Yellow Jackets which has been the case for the last 4 out of 5 times they have played. Last year the magical offense that features trickery and deceit when it comes to finding the ball.
The triple-headed monster designed by the head coach Paul Johnson can make some teams look silly. Not the Tigers last year they shut down the running machine allowing only 71 rushing yard and 95 the previous year. Dabo Swinney has the cure “tackle them all.” They forced eight three n outs, had four sacks and allowed only 3 of 15 third-down conversions.
The Yellow Jackets came into the game flying high averaging 372.58 rushing yards per game, second in the nation averaging a whopping 6 yards per carry. The two lead stingers QB Taquon Marshall and Kivonte Benson both averaging 100 yards per game to lead the ACC in rushing. Again Clemson brought the hammer shutting down the high powered offense allowing 198 yards rushing and 32 passing for a total of 230 yards a total which is less than their usual rushing average by 175 yards.
Georgia Tech fumbled away their first possession. Clemson got the ball in great field possession at the 45-yard line and made the Yellow Jackets pay 2 plays later on a 38-yard touchdown pass from QB Kelly Bryant to Deon Cain.
Clemson fumbled it away to S Durham. Then the Bentley (Kirvonte Benson) took off for 65 yards it was the longest run against Clemson defense this year. They got down to the four-yard line and couldn’t move another inch, so they settled for a field goal. The good thing about it, it was points off the turnover. The bad thing about it Clemson got seven and Tech got three.
Clemson’s next touchdown was a thing of beauty Kelly Bryant in the I formation faked to the running back riding the ball into his midsection at the last second stood straight up and threw a bullet of a touchdown pass to Richard for 20 yards. The ball hit him right in the numbers just as he came out of his cut. It took 8 plays covering 55 yards to increase their lead 14-3.
The nail was put in the coffin using a 10 Play 71 yards drive, which featured a healthy Kelly Bryant on the Bryant moving ever so carefully on the wet turf while making tech defenders miss picking up 17 yards on a third n four to put the ball in scoring position at the two-yard line. Travis Etienne waltzed into the end zone for the touchdown. Just like slippery pigskin in the rain, Georgia Tech could sense this one was getting away. The score was 21-3 at the 3:26 mark in the second quarter. The roaring tiger that lives above the scoreboard in Death Valley was roaring loudly to the joy of the Clemson faithful who weathered the storm.
The half ended on a decent note for Tech downing the ball at the Clemson 2 yard line. It was much to do about nothing they just punched the ball out to the 10-yard line and allowed the clock to run out taking no risk on their 21-3 lead. Tech ended the half with -6 yards passing and 116 rushing 65 of those on one play by Kirvonte Benson who had 114 yards on 12 carries. Taquon Marshall had 5 carries for 5 yards.
Meanwhile, Clemson had a well-balanced attach a total of 271 yards with 128 rushing and 143 yards passing.
To start the second half Clemson drove down to the Tech 15 yard line before the drive stalled however they came away with a successful field goal and three points. For the rest of the third quarter, the teams just went back and forth on the muddy field.
In a display of swagger, the Clemson defensive line put on a fourth-quarter dance-off during a break in the action. The popular rap song Surf to Swag blasted from the speakers, and the BIG BOYZ got their groove on moving from side to side with their arms wagging while Georgia Tech was in the huddle.
Taquon Marshall delivered a late touchdown, but the game was in the bag for the Tigers.
Kelly Bryant led the way with 207 yards pass completing 22 of 33 passes with 2 touchdowns. He also gained 67 yards rushing for a total performance of 274 yards. His stats alone surpassed the total output for the Yellow Jackets total 230 yards for the game. Deon Cain got his 100th catch of his career.
The initial CFP Rankings will be released shortly with this performance the Clemson Tigers should find themselves high on the list.