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Instant Halftime Analysis: Clemson 21, Georgia 21

  by - Staff Writer - Saturday, August 30, 2014 8:03 PM

Mike Williams had three catches for 88 yards. (Photo by Dale Zanine)

ATHENS, GA – Most of the national media was concerned that Clemson wouldn’t be able to hang with Georgia after the loss of Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
Quarterback (2009 - 2013)
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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, Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Wide Receiver (2011 - 2013)
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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and Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Wide Receiver (2011 - 2013)
#1 6-5, 200
Calhoun Falls, SC

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They were wrong – at least in the first half.

The 2014 rematch of the instant border rivalry classic that was played in Death Valley a year ago was just as exciting as it was the first time around.

Clemson and Georgia are tied at the half at 21-21, the same score as 2013.

Player of the half: Todd Gurley was the best player on the field, hands down. Gurley was simply electric during his time on the field. Gurley had four rushes for 44 yards and a score, along with a 100-yard kickoff return. On the return, the only person who touched Gurley was his blocker when Gurley put his hand on his shoulder.

Stat of the half: Despite the three-and-outs, Clemson ran 54 offensive plays to Georgia’s 27.

What’s working for the Tigers:Outside of two drives, Clemson defense played relatively well during the first half. Georgia had 126 total yards – 58 rushing and 68 passing. The defense had to work with a short field three times in the half.

Deshaun WatsonDeshaun Watson
Fr. Quarterback
#4 6-3, 204
Gainesville, GA

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made his first appearance of his very young Clemson career in the second quarter. The Gainesville (GA) native led the Tigers on a six-play, 78-yard drive that ended with a 30-yard bullet to Charone PeakeCharone Peake
RS Jr. Wide Receiver
#19 6-3, 204
Moore, SC

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to tie the game at 14-14.

What’s not working for the Tigers:Dropped passes are killing Clemson’s offense. On back-to-back possessions in the first quarter, Mike WilliamsMike Williams
So. Wide Receiver
#7 6-5, 208
Vance, SC

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dropped two passes and Charone Peake had one knocked out of his hands that led to two Tiger three-and-outs.

What the Tigers need to do to win: Containing Todd Gurley is the key to beating Georgia. Whether it’s in the back field, at receiver or returning kickoffs , Clemson’s defense and special teams need to stop keep Gurley inside the tackles to eliminate the big plays. Offensively, Clemson need to eliminate the three-and-outs to give its defense rest and simply catch the ball.

Other stats - Clemson had 276 yards of total offense. C.J. DavidsonC.J. Davidson
RS Jr. Running Back
#32 5-10, 203
Clemson, SC

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was Clemson’s most consistent runner, carrying the ball 10 times for 47 yards. Despite the drops, Williams had three catches for 88 yards.

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