Quick thoughts on Clemson's 16-6 win over Syracuse

by - Staff Writer -
Quarterback A.J. Long had a rough night
Quarterback A.J. Long had a rough night

CLEMSON – It wasn’t pretty but the Tigers got the job done once again.

Clemson beat Syracuse 16-6 in Death Valley Saturday night on the backs of the defense, with just enough offense sprinkled in.

Here are a few quick postgame thoughts.

Turnovers: Coming into Saturday’s game, Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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was just 2-4 in games that Clemson turned the ball over four or more times. Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Sr. Quarterback
#18 6-4, 231
Dublin, OH

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threw two interceptions and fumbled once, while C.J. DavidsonC.J. Davidson
RS Jr. Running Back
#32 5-10, 203
Clemson, SC

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also had a critical fumble. However, the offense was able to overcome the plethora of mistakes and get a late touchdown when Stoudt found tight end Stanton SeckingerStanton Seckinger
RS Jr. Tight End
#81 6-4, 241
Isle of Palms, SC

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in the endzone in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

Changing of the guard on the offensive line? Redshirt freshman guard Tyrone CrowderTyrone Crowder
RS Fr. Offensive Guard
#55 6-2, 322
Marston, NC

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played a lot Saturday night after the Tigers had to once again shuffle the line. Starting left tackle Isaiah BattleIsaiah Battle
Jr. Offensive Tackle
#79 6-7, 285
Brooklyn, NY

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didn’t play, and Kalon DavisKalon Davis
RS Sr. Offensive Guard
#67 6-5, 340
Chester, SC

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moved to left tackle. Crowder got his chance late in the first half, and he moved people off the line of scrimmage and many times the Clemson running backs ran right behind him. Eric Mac LainEric Mac Lain
RS Jr. Offensive Tackle
#78 6-4, 306
Hope Mills, NC

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also saw his first significant action of the season and was also used quite a bit in the running game. Center Ryan NortonRyan Norton
RS Jr. Offensive Line
#58 6-3, 292
Simpsonville, SC

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went out with what looked like a knee injury in the fourth quarter leaving Reid WebsterReid Webster
RS Sr. Offensive Tackle
#77 6-3, 300
Woodstock, GA

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as the center. Webster did an admirable job with not a lot of practice. The credit goes to offensive line coach Robbie CaldwellRobbie Caldwell
Assistant Coach / Offensive Line
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for cross-training all of the linemen.

However, not many people would call Saturday’s effort by the line a good one - it was just good enough to win.

Wayne Train: Clemson had a 100 yard rusher for the first time this season. Redshirt freshman Wayne GallmanWayne Gallman
RS Fr. Running Back
#9 6-1, 209
Loganville, GA

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rushed for 101 yards on 28 carries, averaging 3.8 yards per carry. It was his tough running that ran out the final eight minutes of the game. Gallman isn’t afraid of contact between the tackle and can also break the long run on the outside. The previous high for a Clemson running back was 77 yards, earned by Gallman against S.C. State. Adam ChoiceAdam Choice
Fr. Running Back
#26 5-10, 211
Thomasville, GA

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had 74 yards in that game for the second-highest total.

Ammon LakipAmmon Lakip
RS Jr. Kicker
#36 5-10, 200
Alpharetta, GA

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Clemson’s place kicker got off to a rocky start to begin his first season as a starter but without his kicks Saturday night, Clemson loses the game. Lakip was 3-for-3 on the night, with a long of 42 yards.

Defense Clemson’s defense continues to dominate teams. Syracuse only had 170 total yards Saturday night – 88 on the ground and 82 through the air. Opponents have only converted 6-of-47 third down attempts over the last three games. The defense also forced three turnovers – a fumble recovery by MacKensie AlexanderMacKensie Alexander
RS Fr. Cornerback
#2 5-11, 190
Immokalee, FL

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, an interception by Robert SmithRobert Smith
Sr. Safety
#27 5-11, 211
St. George, SC

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and an interception by Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Sr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 244
Polkton, NC

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. It’s frightening to imagine where Clemson would be without the defense playing at an elite level.

Tyshon DyeTyshon Dye
RS Fr. Running Back
#23 5-11, 214
Elberton, GA

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The Clemson coaches said the freshman running back would play this week, but he didn't sniff the field as Gallman and C.J. Davidson carried the rushing load.

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