With 10 minutes to go in the third quarter, Georgia Tech trailed Clemson 14-10 following a 13-yard touchdown pass from Jeff Sims to former USC receiver EJ Jenkins. The Yellow Jacket fans in the crowd of 47,712 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium smelled upset. Perhaps many around the country watching on ESPN did as well. Then, the Tigers got busy.
Clemson scored the game’s final 27 points in rolling to a 41-10 victory. Their final 25 minutes helped to cover up the blemishes in the first 35 minutes when the offense looked very average.
Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei had an uneven start to the game, but he turned things around with a great individual play in the third quarter, shrugging off Tech tacklers to avoid a third down sack while lateralling to Will Shipley who ran for a first down. The Tigers went on to score on that drive and they were off to the races from there.
The Tigers blocked two punts that set up a pair of touchdowns, and their defense lived up to the high expectations but holding Tech to 238 yards on 66 plays, an average of 3.6 yards per snap. The Tigers had 9 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and an interception by Andrew Mukuba on the game’s first play. KJ Henry had 6 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, a sack and he forced a fumble.
Uiagalelei completed 19-32 for 210 yards and a touchdown. He shook off some early mistakes to finish with a flourish. Freshman Cade Klubnik came in at the end and led a scoring drive completing 4-6 passes for 49 yards and a score. Eleven different Tigers caught passes.
Shipley led the running game with 42 yards on 10 carries, and he scored twice. BJ Potter nailed field goals from 29 and 32 yards, and Aidan Swanson averaged 44 yards on 6 punts.