|by Mickey Plyler - Radio Host - Monday, September 2, 2013 10:42 AM||
Saturday was one to remember. I am not sure anyone could have dreamed this day could have been any more perfect for this program and Clemson Nation.
ESPN Gameday was a tremendous success. The program enjoyed a big boost by all of the positive publicity from the entire weekend on ESPN and ABC.
Often times the student body has been criticized but you have to give them credit. The students and fans got into the stadium early and made a difference I have never seen that kind of pre-game atmosphere in Death Valley. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray agreed, "Our biggest challenge was dealing with the crowd noise and penalties....It was crazy. It was loud, which made communication tough. We expected that and we practiced for it, but it is tough to simulate an environment like this.”
Speaking of pre-game, Georgia broke through the Clemson band and taunted Clemson as they ran down the hill. I am not sure that was a factor but in hindsight, it was probably not a great idea.
I was shocked at the small number of Georgia fans inside the stadium. It was pretty obvious that tickets were at a premium and UGA fans had a hard time getting tickets.
Also I think the fans need to commended on staying in the seats in the beginning of the third quarter. I have also never seen that many people stay and the first drives of the quarter were effected.
Clemson's program took another step forward Saturday night. Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
View Full Profile's club became the first team non-SEC team to beat two top ten ranked SEC teams in back-to-back games.
Perhaps the most amazing part of the victory is that Clemson did not play very well on offense. Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
View Full Profile was a slightly off of his game in my opinion. The downfield passing game was not sharpe. The receivers had drops. The offense was not hitting on all cylinders and still put up 38 points.
Boyd was solid but did not play as well as he has at times in his career. He did avoid turnovers and took only one sack on the evening. Boyd was 18 of 30 for 270 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He rushed for 42 yards on 13 carries including some key third down conversions. Boyd accounted for five touchdowns in the win.
One of the stars of the night was Roderick McDowellRoderick McDowell
Gr. Running Back
#25 5-9, 195
View Full Profile who had 132 yards on 22 carries. McDowell ran hard between the tackles and dazzled with open field moves that left Georgia defenders looking foolish.
Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL
View Full Profile had one blemish on his fumbled punt but had a great night on offense with six catches for 127 yards. His 77 yard touchdown reception was a big key as the Tigers answered Todd Gurley's long touchdown run on the next play from scrimmage.
I thought a key to the win was the play of the tight ends. Stanton SeckingerStanton Seckinger
RS So. Tight End
#81 6-4, 210
Isle of Palms, SC
View Full Profile had two big catches including the game-winning touchdown. Darrell SmithDarrell Smith
#40 6-1, 250
View Full Profile had a couple of nice plays and made key blocks on a couple of touchdowns. Converted offensive lineman Patrick DeStefanoPatrick DeStefano
RS Fr. Offensive Line
#71 6-5, 275
View Full Profile moved to tight end and played a bunch of snaps as well. Who would have thought that Clemson's tight ends would be more productive than UGA's two NFL prospects?
The offensive line struggled a little early in pass protection but improved as the game progressed. The Tigers allowed only one sack the entire night.
It may sound strange but I was encouraged with the defense. It is not often that you give up 545 yards and 35 points and say that, but Clemson's defense got better after the first quarter. The Bulldogs went 3-8 on third down conversions in the first half but went 1-6 on third down conversions in the second half.
Georgia scored touchdowns on three of its four first drives but Clemson allowed one score on the Dawgs next ten drives. Georgia had ten drives of four plays or less.
The Tigers forced two turnovers including one interception on a great call by defensive coordinator Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
View Full Profile when he dialed up a zone blitz that resulted in Corey CrawfordCorey Crawford
Jr. Defensive End
#93 6-5, 270
View Full Profile's pick.
Other than the punt that was fumbled, Clemson won the special teams battle. Perhaps the biggest play of the game was Georgia's bad snap on their field goal attempt.
Bradley PinionBradley Pinion
#92 6-5, 230
View Full Profile punted well with three of his seven punts pinning the Bulldogs inside their own 20. He was also 7-7 on touchbacks on his kickoffs. Of his 14 kickoffs and punts, Georgia had four return yards.
It's a big compliment to se Clemson win a game over a top five team despite not playing great. This program is at a level where it doesn't take a perfect effort to win a big game.
This was an exhausting game from a physical and mental standpoint. I wonder how Georgia will respond Saturday against South Carolina.
Speaking of physical, I thought Clemson was once again the better conditioned team. Congrats to Joey Batson and his staff for once again a tremendous job in the off season.
In the end, the entire weekend could not have gone any better. Clemson received two commitments Saturday and made a big impression on many of the top prospects on its board. The program received a ton of great publicity and the Tigers beat a top five team in a heated rivalry game. Yes, Saturday was one of those special days at Clemson.
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