Georgia Tech Review

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Georgia Tech Review

Thursday night was the most fun I have had at a football game in a long time.  Maybe it was the cold weather.  Maybe it was the complete dominance on both sides of the ball against a team that the Tigers were favored by only 10 points.  Maybe it was because how Tech has played Clemson over the last 30 years.  In any case, Thursday night was a blast.

The improvement on defense was once again evident.  This time it was against an offense that has been a thorn in the side of the Tigers in recent meetings.

Clemson got off to a great start defensively.  Clemson held Georgia Tech to just three yards of total offense in the first quarter. That is the fewest yards by a Clemson opponent since the 2012 Chick-fil-a Bowl when LSU had just one yard of total offense in the fourth quarter.

Georgia Tech ran 71 offensive plays Thursday.  The Tigers held Tech to less than four yards on 41 of those 71 plays and held them to zero or negative yards on 29 of those 71 plays.   Georgia Tech running back David Sims had not been tackled for a loss all season, but Quandon ChristianQuandon Christian
RS Sr. Linebacker
#34 6-2, 225
Lake View, SC

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tackled him for a loss in the third quarter.  Christian may have had his best game as a Tiger.

Tech had 14 drives Thursday night.  Ten of those 14 drives were five plays or less.

The Tigers held Tech to 253 yards rushing, which is more than 60 yards under their average.  The defense forced four fumbles, recovered one fumble and Bashuad Breeland recorded his fourth interception of the season.  Clemson has now recorded 16 interceptions this season. That is the most since 2009, when the Tigers had 21 interceptions.

In recent years, Tech has killed Clemson on third and fourth downs.  Thursday Tech was 6 of 16 on third and fourth downs and Clemson forced six Tech punts.

Special teams played a big part in the win against the Yellow Jackets.  Of Tech's 14 drives, only three started better than their own 30 yard line.  Georgia Tech's average starting field position was its own 20 yard line.

Chandler CatanzaroChandler Catanzaro
Gr. Punter / Kicker
#39 6-2, 195
Greenville, SC

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made two field goals of at least 40 yards, including a career-long, 51-yard field goal. He now holds the Clemson record for field goals of at least 40 yards with 24. He passed Chris Gardocki, who made 23 field goals from 40 yards or more in his career.

Clemson scored 55 points, which are the most points Clemson has scored against Georgia Tech since 1903 when John Heisman led the Tigers over the Yellow Jackets 73-0.  Clemson’s 24-point victory Thursday was its largest over Georgia Tech in the series since the 2003 Tiger team won 39-3 in Atlanta.  Clemson scored at least 50 points for the fourth time this season. That is tied for the most games scoring at least 50 points in a single season in Clemson history. The Tigers also scored at least 50 points four times in 2006.

The story of the night offensively was the big plays in the passing game.   Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Jr. Wide Receiver
#1 6-5, 200
Calhoun Falls, SC

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had his best game as a Tiger.  The junior had five catches for a career-high of 176 receiving yards and a touchdown. It was the first 100-yard receiving game of his career and Bryant averaged 35.2 yards per catch. He entered the game with the Clemson career record with 21.83 yards per catch.

Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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also had a big night.  The junior had 104 receiving yards in the game to give him 1,086 for the season. He is just the second player in Clemson history to have two seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards. The other is Rod Gardner, who did so in 1999 and 2000.

Watkins recorded his seventh 100-yard receiving game of the season, a Clemson single-season record. The previous record was six by his former teammate DeAndre HopkinsDeAndre Hopkins
Wide Receiver
#6 6-2, 205
Central, SC

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Watkins also now has 3,013 career receiving yards, becoming the second player in Clemson history to do surpass 3,000 receiving yards. He needs just seven yards to set the Clemson record and pass Hopkins’ total of 3,020.  Watkins also moved into second place on the Clemson career receptions list with 210. He passed Hopkins, who had 206 in his career. Watkins trails only Aaron Kelly with 232 receptions from 2005-08.

Freshman Mike WilliamsMike Williams
Fr. Wide Receiver
#7 6-5, 205
Vance, SC

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had perhaps his best day as well.  He had three terrific catches for 45 yards, including a nice touchdown on a fade route.

Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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was 20-for-26 for 340 yards and four passing touchdowns. He is now the Clemson career leader in pass completions with 830. He broke the record set by Charlie WhitehurstCharlie Whitehurst
#6 6-4, 225
Duluth, GA

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, who completed 817 passes in his career from 2002-05.

Boyd also became the ACC record holder in the category with 97 for his career. He passed Philip Rivers, who had 95 in his career at NC State from 2000-03.

Boyd recorded the 17th 300-yard passing game of his career with 340 on Thursday. He is just one shy of the ACC record of 18 set by Philip Rivers.

Boyd also rushed for 43 yards in the game to put him over 1,000 for his career. He is the first quarterback in ACC history with at least 10,000 passing and 1,000 rushing yards. He is the second active FBS quarterback to accomplish the feat and the first active QB to do so at a BCS conference school.

Boyd now has 30 wins as a starting quarterback and is just two shy of the Clemson record of 32, held by Rodney Williams. Boyd also got his 21st win over ACC teams as a starter, a Clemson record.

Clemson had 13 possessions and scored seven touchdowns and two field goals.  The Tigers only punted three times.

It was not a perfect game.  Boyd went down for a scary moment with the injury, but Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Jr. Quarterback
#18 6-4, 205
Dublin, OH

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and Chad KellyChad Kelly
RS Fr. Quarterback
#11 6-2, 210
Buffalo, NY

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responded. Plus, the Tiger defense gave up a few big plays that put a little damper on the blowout.   But once again Clemson took care of an inferior opponent.  Clemson has now defeated 17 straight non-ranked teams by double-digit margins, the second-longest streak in the country behind only Alabama.

Perhaps that was the reason why Thursday was so fun.  Clemson has won three out of four against Georgia Tech now and we have seen this program accelerate past the program that it was when Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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took over.  Being ranked in the top 10 all season is a major accomplishment, but in the big picture it sure is nice to know not too long ago the Tigers had trouble with NC State, Maryland, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech.  In watching Clemson dominate those programs the last three years, it appears those days are in the rearview mirror.

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Defensive Tackle
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders,  Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Doug Bailey and family, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Harlan Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Edward Easterling, Dawson Bourne, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack  Cunningham,  Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Jim Lanier, Bob Garrett, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Jeanne Thompson, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon KirklandLevon Kirkland
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and family, Catherine Sewell, and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.

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