After upsetting Notre Dame last weekend, Clemson now turns its attention to the surprising upstart Georgis Tech Yellow Jackets.
Dabo Swinney’s Tigers have won eight straight in the series, with Tech’s last win coming back in 2014. Only once in those past eight meetings have the Yellow Jackets not lost by double digits, and that was the last time they came to Death Valley in 2021. Georgia Tech lost a heartbreaker that night, 14-8.
However, Yellow Jackets’ head coach Brent Key insists his team is more focused on themselves rather than who they are playing.
“The first thing we need to do is to worry about ourselves,” Key said. “We will prepare for the crowd noise this week. They’re a really good football team. I don’t look at records. Dabo (Swinney) knows how to win games.”
Georgia Tech is currently one of just 13 teams in the country averaging more than 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing per game and this week they will face off with a Clemson defense better than any they’ve seen all season.
“They’re older and experienced.” Key said, “It’s another team that we have an opportunity to go play football against.”
In his first full season as the Yellow Jackets’ head coach, Key has Tech performing better than many had anticipated, as his team is 5-4 overall and 4-2 in ACC play. Even more impressive is the team’s 3-1 mark away from home, and they get a chance to notch another road victory this weekend in Clemson.
“You want me to say the politically correct thing,” Key said. “It would be great for 24 hours. We would enjoy it and then onto the next game. We play one season. Each week is a season. There is no tomorrow after Saturday as far as we are concerned. There is nothing. We are going to lay it all on the line. We are going to take the punches, throw the punches and when I say take the punches, I mean take our punches. In football you are always going to take a few punches. If anyone had seen our team last week, the excitement, how excited they were, it is another team that we have the opportunity to play football against.”
Beating Clemson would give Key a signature win, but at the same time the head coach knows he needs his team to treat this game as they would any other.
“Now what would it mean to beat them,” Key said. “They are the standard of the conference. What they have done the last 12 years, what Dabo has been able to accomplish there, it is a truly remarkable job. And it is one of the only teams in the last 12 years to do what they have been able to do. So, would it be big? Yeah, it would be big. Dadgum right it would be big. But we are not going to make it more than it is because that is when the anxiety and the emotion starts to kick in.”
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