CLEMSON-- Even the torrential rains that fell in Clemson all day and into the night could not slow down the Clemson offense, as the seventh-ranked Tigers (7-1, 5-1 ACC) routed the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-3, 3-2 ACC) by a final score of 24-10 Saturday night.
Quarterback Kelly Bryant led the Tigers’ offensive attack, after using the bye week to recover from a concussion suffered in the Tigers’ last game, as he amassed 274 total yards (207 passing and 67 rushing) and two touchdowns, while the defense held the Yellow Jackets to 230 yards of total offense (32 passing and 198 rushing).
The Tigers wasted no time jumping on the Yellow Jackets, as a fumble on their opening drive gave the Tigers the ball at the Georgia Tech 45-yard line. The Tigers needed on two plays, both passes to Deon Cain, to capitalize on the turnover as Bryant found Cain from 38 yards out for a touchdown that capped a 22-second drive.
The Tiger defense forced a punt on Tech’s next possession. However, this time the wet conditions resulted in a Tiger turnover, as a Travis Etienne fumble gave Tech the ball at their own 26-yard line. The Yellow Jackets needed only one play, a 65-yard run by Kirvonte Benson, to move the ball to the Tigers’ 5-yard line. Tech was unable to capitalize on the field position, as they settled for a 25-yard field goal that cut the Tigers lead to 7-3.
The Tigers answered the Yellow Jacket score on their next drive, as Bryant found tight end Milan Richard from 20 yards out that capped an 8-play, 55-yard drive and extended the Tigers’ lead to 14-3. The Tigers added a third score in the first half, as Etienne found the end zone from 2 yards out and extended the Tigers’ lead to 21-3.
The Tigers extended their lead on the opening drive of the second half, as an 11-play, 75-yard drive was capped off with a field goal by Alex Spence that extended the Tigers’ lead to 24-3.
Georgia Tech broke a more than 15-minute scoring drought in the fourth quarter, as quarterback TaQuon Marshall scored from 22 yards out.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE TIGERS: The Tigers got that winning feeling back
After a 15-day layoff since suffering their first defeat of the season, the Tigers bounced back in a big way against a stingy Yellow Jacket team. Ahead of the first College Football Playoff rankings being released on Tuesday (7 p.m., ESPN), the Tigers reminded the nation that they are a team to be remembered.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE TIGERS: Fumbles
Though they only lost one fumble on the night, that resulted in a field goal for the Yellow Jackets, the Tigers put the ball on the ground three times.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Kelly Bryant
The Tiger quarterback answered questions all week leading up to Saturday night’s game about whether his ankle would be good enough for him to play and all he did was answer every question, as he led the Tigers to a dominant offensive performance.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Tre Lamar
After playing only two snaps in the Tigers’ last game at Syracuse, the sophomore middle linebacker led the Tiger defense with 11 tackles, four solo tackles, two sacks and two tackles for loss against the Yellow Jackets.
STAT OF THE GAME: 100 Career Receptions
With his fourth reception of the game in the third quarter, Deon Cain hit the century mark in career receptions. Cain finished the night with four receptions for 57 yards and one touchdown.
The Tigers travel to Raleigh to take on the N.C. State Wolfpack in a game that could decide the Atlantic Division title. N.C. State lost to Notre Dame Saturday, 35-14, to fall to 6-2 overall. The game time and network for the game will be announced Sunday.