Game Notes: First fourth quarter comeback win in three years
The Clemson defense held Wake Forest to only 239-yards, 75 below their season average.
WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- Carolina Panthers fans might remember Bill Polian as the architect of the Panther’s first two rosters, including the 1996 NFC championship team. Polian, now the general manager of the Indianapolis Colts, was at Groves Stadium scouting Clemson seniors Dextra Polite, DoMarco Fox, and Brian Wofford on Saturday.
-Wake Forest might have been the home team on Saturday, but from the looks of the crowd, the game could have just as easily been at a neutral site. Of the 21,105 fans at Groves Stadium, almost half were dressed in orange. The Clemson crowd drowned out the Deacon supporters for much of the afternoon, with Tiger safety Robert Carswell leading the cheers from the field. “That’s a factor,” said Wake Forest quarterback Ben Sankey. “But it’s a football game and the crowd doesn’t play in the game.
- Tony Lazzara’s 19-yard field goal with 7:08 remaining broke a five-quarter scoreless streak for the Clemson offense. The Tigers hadn’t scored since late in the first half against Florida State, when Woodrow Dantzler dove into to the end zone from the one.
-Clemson’s 12 points were the fewest scored in a victory since 1991, when the Tigers held off Georgia Tech, 9-6.
“It was a weird game for us because we weren’t very productive on offense. For the first time in a long time we were fixing to get shut out on offense without any touchdowns,” said Clemson coach Tommy Bowden.
- When Brandon Streeter took the field in the fourth quarter, the fans and media weren’t the only ones surprised. Streeter himself didn’t expect to play and told his mother not to attend. Bowden said that he wasn’t sure of Streeter status as late as Saturday.
“I didn’t really know this morning if he could play or not. The doctors had to release him,” Bowden said.
-For the first time since 1996, Clemson entered the beginning of the fourth quarter trailing and came back to win. The Tigers outscored Wake Forest 10-0 in the final frame while outgaining the Deacons 135-23 and forcing two turnovers.
-Brian Wofford’s 31-yard catch in the fourth quarter moved him ahead of Tony Horne on Clemson’s all time receptions list. Wofford has 121 catches in career, fourth all-time behind Terry Smith, Jerry Butler, and Perry Tuttle.
- The Clemson defense held Wake Forest to only 239-yards, 75 below their season average. The Tigers were effective at shutting down the Deacon rushers, limiting Wake Forest to only 111-yards on the ground on 37 attempts.
“They have a lot of speed out there. They came out on the perimeter and shut down out option, and that’s a big facet of our offense,” Sankey said.