The coordinators may have changed prior to Clemson’s Cheez-It Bowl Game Wednesday night in Orlando, but not the way the Tigers had to win games in 2021. Leaning on a stalwart defense once again, and getting just enough offense, the Tigers defeated Iowa State 20-13 in front of an announced crowd of just over 39,000. The Tigers earned their 10th win of the season, a feat they’ve accomplished 11 years in a row. And head coach Dabo Swinney reached the 150-win plateau.
The Tigers had just one offensive score on the night, a 12-yard run by Will Shipley. They got a pair of field goals from BT Potter and a pick-6 by Mario Goodrich for a 20-3 lead late in the third quarter. The Cyclones cut it to 20-6 and then scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter to make it a 20-13 game.
It stayed that way as Iowa State took possession for the last time at their own 11 with 1:52 left. They moved the ball out to their own 36 when on fourth and two, quarterback Brock Purdy rushed for five yards and a first down, until he fumbled backwards and recovered at his own 37, a yard shy of the marker. And that was the game.
Goodrich was voted the game MVP. Afterwards, Swinney announced Robbie Caldwell was retiring as offensive line coach to be replaced by Thomas Austin.