Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables owned Georgia Tech’s triple option offense Saturday night for the second straight season. The Tigers whipped the Yellow Jackets in a rainy Death Valley 24-10 holding Tech to 198 rushing yards, well below their per game average. And 65 of those yards came on one run in the first half. Just like last season when Clemson held Tech to under 100 rushing yards, Venables had his players well prepared.
The defensive front overwhelmed Georgia Tech’s offensive line despite the absence of Dexter Lawrence for much of the game. Dabo Swinney said Lawrence had his leg rolled up on but will be fine.
Offensively, the best news was Kelly Bryant no longer has a hurt ankle. He ran freely with no limp and led the team in rushing with 67 yards. And his passing was sharp completing 22 of 33 for 207 yards and 2 touchdowns, one to Deon Cain (who reached the 100 catch mark for his career) and one to Milan Richard who scored his first career touchdown in front of his uncle Herschel Walker (who, by the way, never scored a TD in Death Valley).
The Tigers converted an early fumble by Tech for a touchdown, giving them 42 points off turnovers this season, and went on to a 21-3 halftime lead. At that point, all knew the game was well in hand with Clemson’s defense stuffing the run game and Tech having no chance of a comeback throwing the football.
The Tigers now move forward to their showdown at NC State next Saturday in a game that likely will decide the ACC’s Atlantic Division. And the bad news for the Wolfpack and the rest of Clemson’s opponents is the Tigers, after the humbling loss to Syracuse and two weeks of doubt, regained their confidence and played like a team capable of winning another national championship.
Dabo Swinney on getting back on the winning side
Here’s my postgame review from Death Valley:
Clemson post game….. https://t.co/D7GFtsPATT
— SportsTalk (@sportstalksc) October 29, 2017