Ups and Downs: Clemson Overcomes Slow Start, Rolls Past Georgia Tech

CLEMSON- After getting off to a sluggish start on Saturday, Dabo Swinney’s Tigers erupted for three second-quarter touchdowns en route to a 42-21 win over Georgia Tech.

Clemson played arguably its most complete game of the season, with the Tigers getting a balanced attack on offense.


Cade Klubnik: Clemson’s sophomore starter turned in one of his better performances of the season. While Klubnik has struggled to put together complete performances in his first full season as the Tigers’ starter, he was fairly consistent against Georgia Tech, outside of a play or two. Klubnik tied a career-high with four touchdown throws. The sophomore finished the day 23-of-34 for 205 yards.

He showed poise in the pocket, an abilty to make the right decisions with the football and he played within the system. His biggest mistake came on a third quarter interception when he was looking for Jake Briningstool out in the flat and the defender was able to jump the route. A pass that Klubnik probably needs to put a little more mustard on.

Balanced Attack: Clemson passed for 205 yards and rushed for 260. It was efficient and it was balanced. It was also a complete performance.

Surging Secondary: How stingy was this unit on Saturday. The Tigers picked off Haynes King four times. Khalil Barnes, Avieon Terrell, Kylon Griffin and Shelton Lewis all registered interceptions. Lewis took his back 46-yards for a TD early in the fourth quarter. King had just 1-passing yard in the first half and finished the game with only 113. He managed to hit on just 11-of-30 pass attempts.

Suffocating Defensive Effort: The Yellow Jackets average 465 yards of offense per game. Clemson limited them to just 254, their second lowest output of the season. Georgia Tech managed to average just 3.9 yards per play and were held to just 12 first downs in the contest. Clemson sacked King four times and finished with 11 tackles for loss. King finished with -3 yards rushing.

Running Game Stays Hot: Yeah, it started slow, but that isn’t how it finished. After rushing for just 15 yards in the first quarter, the Tigers would finish with 239 in the game. They averaged six yards per carry. Phil Mafah finished with 96 yards. Will Shipley had 77 after missing last week in concussion protocol. Dominique Thomas averaged more than six yards per carry in mop-up duty. It was an extremely productive day for the Clemson running game.

Once again it was that offensive line leading the way. It wasn’t all hat on a hat like we saw a week ago, but what they did with the game plan was effective.

Winning the Margin: For the second consecutive game the Tigers won the turnover margin and its no coincidence Clemson is 2-0 in those games.


Fake Punt: Still not sure what the thought process was behind choosing to run a fake punt on 4th and 9 from your own 25-yard line. Anxiously waiting to hear the reasoning in Dabo Swinney’s postgame presser.

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