In two losses to Georgia Tech last season, the Clemson defense was bludgeoned by Tech’s running game. This time, the Tigers defense responded in kind and was a big reason the Tigers defeated the Yellow Jackets 27-13 before 77,000 fans at Death Valley.
The Clemson defense “held” Tech to 242 rushing yards, about 90 yards under the per game average. And Tech’s outstanding quarterback Joshua Nesbitt managed just 2 rushing yards.
The Tigers threw a new scheme at the Yellow Jackets shifting Andre Branch from defensive end to linebacker giving them a three-four look on many plays. Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said he and his assistants had been working on this scheme since last December.
Offensively the Tigers were much sharper than last week against Maryland. Andre Ellington rushed for a career high 166 yards and 2 touchdowns, and he scored a third touchdown on a 10 yard pass reception. Kyle Parker was 17-27 for 167 yards and a touchdown. He was not sacked on the afternoon. The Tigers finished with 403 total yards including 236 on the ground.
Clemson, a six point favoring going in, improves to 4-3, 2-2 and will play at Boston College next Saturday. Georgia Tech falls to 5-3, 3-2 and is off next week.
Continue for game recap and final stats
1st Quarter Recap:
- Tigers get big early break when a roughing the punter call against Georgia Tech sustains Clemson’s opening drive. On the first play after the penalty, Andre Ellington broke off a 55 yard touchdown run. With 13:07 left in the quarter, Clemson leads 7-0.
- Tigers drive to the Tech 12 on next possession but the Yellow Jacket defense stiffens. Chandler Cantanzaro is wide left on 29 yard field goal.
- Tech’s Stephen Hill drops a TD pass in the end zone midway thru the quarter and that leads to a Tech punt.
- Clemson again drives deep into Georgia Tech terretory, but the Tigers have to settle for another field goal attempt, and Cantanzaro is true from 38 yards. Tigers lead 10-o with 3:15 left in the quarter.
- End quarter…Clemson 10-Georgia Tech 0
2nd Quarter Recap:
- Ellington strikes again, this time with a 42 yard touchdown run. It’s his 4th touchdown run of 40 yards or more this season. Clemson is up 17-0 with 13:50 left in the half.
- Tech gets on the board late in the half driving to the Clemson nine. But the drive stopped there and Scott Blair booted a 26 yard field goal. With :23 to play in the half, Clemson leads 17-3.
- End of quarter…Clemson 17-Georgia Tech 3
3rd Quarter Recap:
- Georgia Tech takes the opening kickoff and moves down the field. But the drive stalls out at the Clemson nine and Blair comes on to kick another 26 yard field goal. Clemson 17-Georgia Tech 6 with 9:46 left in the quarter.
- Clemson avoids disaster on the kickoff as Ellington fumbles, but he recovered the fumble at the Clemson 31.
- Ellington makes up for his near blunder with a 10 yard touchdown reception on a swing pass from Parker. A 35 yard catch and run by Jamie Harper set up the touchdown. With 6:05 left in the quarter, Clemson leads 24-6.
- Tech comes right back with a 14 play, 78 yard drive. Joshua Nesbitt hit Anthony Allen out of the backfield with a 9 yard scoring pass. It was a fourth down play on the last play of the quarter. Clemson leads 24-13
- End of quarter…Clemson 24-Georgia Tech 13
4th Quarter Recap:
- Tech puts a drive together early in the quarter but has to settle for a 49 yard field goal attempt by Blair which sails wide right.
- Clemson then goes on its longest drive of the year in terms of time, 7:36, with Ellington doing most of the damage right up the middle. The Tigers reach the four and Catanzaro comes on to kick a 21 yard field goa. Clemson leads 27-13 with 3:28 left.
- DeAndre McDaniel seals the victory with an interception at the Clemson 22 on Tech’s next play from scrimmage.
- Final score…Clemson 27-Georgia Tech 13
- Final Stats