Clemson’s fast start against Wake Forest allowed them to control the ballgame with a 28-14 win, but an injury to Kelly Bryant led to an uneasy ending.
Bryant took a hit to his ankle on the penultimate play of Clemson’s first scoring drive of the second half. He stayed in the drive long enough to hand to Travis Etienne for the score to put Clemson up 21-0, but went right the injury tent following the drive and did not return.
Clemson’s first-year starter declined to comment about his status for next week, saying he believes he’ll be in treatment for his ankle during the early part of the week:
The Tigers scored on their first two drives of the game, with one quick strike and then a time-consuming drive to give Clemson a two-touchdown lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Bryant found Deon Cain for the first score of the ballgame, a 28 yard touchdown pass. Clemson held the ball for more than five minutes on their second drive, with Adam Choice punctuating the triumph with a four-yard scoring plunge.
After Bryant’s injury, Zerrick Cooper and Hunter Johnson split the drives the rest of the way. Cooper went 2-of-6 with a couple of receivers letting him down with drops, compared to Johnson who went a perfect 5-for-5 and his first career touchdown to Cannon Smith.
Cain addressed how difficult it can be with three different quarterbacks in a game like this one that still hung in the balance:
One key part of Bryant’s last drive was a 4th-Down conversion to Hunter Renfrow that looked similar to the play Clemson scored on to win the National Championship last year.
Renfrow led all Clemson receivers with six catches for 61 yards, including that 29-yard grab which was his longest of the game.
Clemson’s most popular receiver among the fans addressed that play, and gave his evaluation of all three signal-callers:
Clemson’s defense played well early, but suffered a few letdowns late, Austin Bryant talked about what the Tigers need to do in order to make sure they finish better:
Wake Forest made a concerted effort to target Dorian O’Daniel, who was used a lot more in pass coverage this week for the Tigers. O’Daniel spoke to his change in assignment, and also how Clemson responded to the early kickoff time:
Clemson Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables said they’re not disappointed they were unable to maintain the clean sheet on defense, but did speak to the difficulty of getting ready for the short week with playing Syracuse Friday:
Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney addressed the media following the game:
Click below for Will Palaszczuk’s Postgame Periscope report:
— SportsTalk (@sportstalksc) October 7, 2017
The Tigers (6-0, 4-0) have a quick turnaround as they play Syracuse (3-3, 1-1) Friday night at 7 PM at the Carrier Dome.