Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele and his staff had lived with the two losses to Georgia last year and knew the same old approach this time would not work. In last year’s games, Tech combined to rush for 634 yards.
The adjustments Steele and company made Saturday paid off in a big way. Tech was held to just 242 rushing yards, well off their season’s average and their second lowest total of the season. And the Tigers held Tech quarterback Joshua Nesbitt, the ACC’s second leading rusher entering the game, to just two yards on 15 carries, his lowest single game rushing total as a starting quarterback.
Offensively, running back Andre Ellington was the star of the show. The sophomore from Berkeley High School rushed for a career high 166 yards and he scored 3 touchdowns. He had a 55 yard run in the opening quarter, his third touchdown run of more than 50 yards this season. Ellington also went over 1000 yards in his career on just 151 carries, the second fewest carries to 1000 yards in school history. CJ Spiller did it on 142 attempts.
With Tech’s defense having to respect the run, that opened things up for quarterback Kyle Parker. With plenty of time to throw (he was not sacked), Parker was 17-27 for 167 yards and a touchdown. He completed passes to 8 different receivers with DeAndre Hopkins leading the way with 4 catches for 50 yards.
The Tigers finished with 403 total yards averaging over six yards per play.
The Tigers lost reserve linebacker Daniel Andrews during the game to a torn ACL. His was the only major injury incurred by the Tigers.