Halftime Analysis: Lawrence leads Clemson to 28-7 lead over Yellow Jackets
|Saturday, September 22, 2018, 5:13 PM- -|
ATLANTA, GA – In a typical Clemson and Georgia Tech battle, the two teams slogged through much of the first half before the Tigers took control in the second quarter.
The Yellow Jackets had ball security issues – fumbling the ball three times – and Clemson took advantage scoring a defensive touchdown.
Trevor Lawrence was a calming factor to the offense, leading two scoring drives and putting Clemson on top 28-7 at intermission.
PLAYER OF THE HALF: Clemson’s offense struggled during the first quarter and a half to get anything going, but Trevor Lawrence came in and led the Tigers down the field for their first offensive touchdown. Lawrence was 9-for-14 for 126 yards and three scores. He also carried the ball twice for 11 yards, including picking up a crucial first down on the final drive of the half.
STAT OF THE HALF: On Georgia Tech’s first drive, the Yellow Jackets ran 11 plays for 39 yards. The rest of the half saw Tech run 23 plays for just 36 yards. However, a Clemson turnover gave the Yellow Jackets a short field setting up a touchdown.
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Amari Rodgers once again showed that he can be a threat returning punts. He had two returns for 39 yards.
After a rough start to the game, both the offense and the defense settled in to keep Georgia Tech in check.
WHAT WENT WRONG: There wasn’t a lot that went wrong in the first half for Clemson, but Lawrence’s interception off the helmet of the offensive line was the low point of the half. It was the freshman’s second interception in as many games.
TURNING POINT OF THE HALF: After seemingly struggling against Tech’s offense on the first drive, Clemson’s defense settled in forcing a fumble. Tre Lamar knocked the ball loose and it was batted around by Christian Wilkins and J.D. Davis before Clelin Ferrell fell on it in the endzone for the game’s first points.
WHAT CLEMSON NEEDS TO DO TO WIN: Offensively, Clemson needs to find some sort of rhythm and consistency. Georgia Tech’s option offense limits the opponent’s possessions, so the Tigers need to take advantage of every opportunity to score points. Moving the ball offensively also gives the defense a break and time to rest on the sideline.
On defense, it looked like the line took some time to get adjusted to Tech’s cut blocking scheme. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables made it a point to tell his linemen and linebackers to stay upright after the first series where the Yellow Jackets moved down the field. Once Clemson’s defense made the adjustment, they had a lot more success against Tech’s triple option.