A Clemson football team that had lost five games by a combined 26 points released all its built up fury on hapless Wake Forest Saturday afternoon at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem. The Tigers’ 30-10 victory was their most one-sided win in Winston-Salem since 1978.
Every part of the Clemson team had reason to feel good about the performance. The offense was sharp, the defense was swarming, and the special teams, with the exception of a Marcus Gilchrist fumbled punt, were solid.
The Tigers totaled 413 yards with 231 thru the air and 182 on the ground. And they cashed in on their three red zone opportunities with two field goals and a touchdown. Offensive coordinator Billy Napier is pleased with the continued growth of the offense with Kyle Parker at quarterback.
Parker was 15-17 for 194 yards and 2 touchdowns. That’s an efficiency rating of 222.9, the best for a Clemson quarterback in an ACC game since 2001. Parker’s 46 yard scoring pass to Jaron Brown late in the first half gave the Tigers a spark going into the locker room.
Jamie Harper continued his hot hand with 142 rushing yards on 24 carries. He had 143 yards last week against Florida State. He’s the first Clemson back to rush for at least 140 yards in conecutive games since James Davis in 2005. Harper likes what the offense is doing right now.
Center Dalton Freeman was part of a Clemson offensive line that opened the holes for Harper and gave Parker plenty of time to look for his receivers.
The Clemson defense again held a team to no more than one touchdown. That’s six games in a row the Tigers have done that. Wake Forest had just 205 total yards, the lowest amount Clemson has allowed all season. Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele says it wasn’t easy to prepare for the Wake offense.
It was another stellar afternoon for Clemson junior defensive end Da’Qan Bowers. He had two more sacks giving him 15.5 for the season. He needs one more sack to break Keith Adams season record of 16 set in 1999. Bowers has a sack in nine straight games, and that’s a Clemson record. Bowers loves what he’s seeing from the defense right now.
The Tigers improve to 6-5 and are bowl eligible for the 12th year in a row. They finish the ACC season at 4-4, the 12th consecutive season of at least a .500 record in the league. The Tigers host USC next Saturday with the game time and TV outlet to be announced Sunday. Wake Forest falls to 2-9 and 1-7 and will play next week at Vanderbilt.