Instant Analysis: Tigers survive Orange scare


by - Staff Writer -
Instant Analysis: Tigers survive Orange scare

CLEMSON – With their backs against the wall, their quarterback out and just four cornerbacks available, Clemson stood tall when it mattered most.

On the backs of Chase Brice – who a week ago was the third-string quarterback, Travis Etienne and the Clemson defense, the Tigers beat Syracuse 27-23 Saturday afternoon in Death Valley.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: It’s hard to pick either Travis Etienne or Chase Brice. Without those two Clemson doesn’t win. Brice who just became the backup quarterback earlier this week did a phenomenal job considering the circumstances. He finished the game 7-of-13 for 83 yards. He also had a huge 17-yard run on the game-winning drive.

Travis Etienne was spectacular all day. He ran away from tacklers, through tackles and just refused to be stopped. He finished the day with 27 carries for 203 yards and three touchdowns.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Freshman defensive end Xavier Thomas had his number called with the game on the line. Thomas made his presence known on Syracuse’s last drive of the game as he was in Cuse quarterback Eric Dungey’s face often.

1A…A.J. Terrell. Terrell was one of just four available cornerbacks for Saturday’s game. Mark Fields was suspended and Trayvon Mullen left with an injury. Terrell, who left last year’s game at Syracuse with a concussion was determined to make a statement. He had a huge interception and finished the game with three tackles.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

*XT…OMG – On the ensuing possession, a penalty Xavier Thomas eight-yard sack of Dungey made it 2nd-and-30 for the Orange and their own five with just 20 seconds to play. Time ran out of the Orange offense and the upset bid after a failed fourth down attempt fell short of the marker.

*Brice to Higgins – Facing a 4th-and-1 just over midfield, the Tigers went for it and were called for a false start. Now a passing situation, Brice hit Higgins for 20 yards and a first down at the Syracuse 32. Brice followed with a 17-yard run to the Syracuse 15, and Etienne finished the drive with a two-yard run that made it 27-23 with 41 seconds to play.

STAT OF THE GAME: Despite Syracuse’s tempo, Clemson held the Orange to just 67 total plays and 61 yards on the ground

UP NEXT:

Clemson travels to Wake Forest for either a 3:30 or 8 p.m. tilt with the Demon Deacons.

Syracuse continues its road trip as they head to Pitt for a 12:20 game.

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