No. 8 Clemson knocks off No. 5 Georgia in shootout in the Valley


by - Senior Writer -
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CLEMSON – A ton of yards and points were expected between Clemson and Georgia Saturday night in the season opener, and the teams didn’t disappoint as No. 8 Clemson claimed a 38-35 victory over No. 5 Georgia in Death Valley, the highest-scoring contest in the series.

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

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threw for 270 yards, Roderick McDowell rushed for a career-high 132 yards and Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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had six catches for 127 yards as Clemson rolled up 467 yards of total offense. Georgia was also explosive offensively, gaining 544 total yards. Georgia’s Todd Gurley rushed 12 times for 154 yards.

The win was Clemson’s second straight over a Top 10 team from the SEC.

The teams traded three-and-outs to open the game, but the Tigers got the early lead on their second drive on a four-yard keeper by Boyd. The Tigers ran the ball six times on a drive that covered nine plays and 78 yards, and led 7-0 at the 9:29 mark.

It took Georgia exactly one play and 12 seconds to answer as Todd Gurley took the handoff on the first play from scrimmage and went almost untouched on a 75-yard scoring run, tying the score at 7-7. The run was a career-long for Gurley.

It then took Clemson – you guessed it – one play and 12 seconds to score when Boyd hit Watkins over the middle at midfield, and Watkins outraced the defense down the field for a touchdown and a 14-7 lead. The pass was the longest pass in Boyd’s career and longest reception in Watkins’ career.

The Bulldogs kept the madness and the momentum going, capping an 11-play drive with a four-yard scoring plunge by Keith Marshall, tying the score at 14.

Georgia forced a Clemson punt, and then marched down the field again – making it look all too easy against the Tigers – and the Bulldogs capped the drive on a one-yard plunge by fullback Quayvon Hicks, giving Georgia a 21-14 lead.

The Clemson offense then went to sleep, but the Tiger defense responded with its best effort of the first half on the next two drives. Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
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#3 6-3, 225
Adairsville, GA

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ended the first drive by burying Murray in the turf for a sack that forced a punt, and on the ensuing possession Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Jr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 235
Polkton, NC

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stripped Murray of the football and it was recovered by Spencer ShueySpencer Shuey
Gr. Linebacker
#33 6-3, 230
Charlotte, NC

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at the Georgia 16 yard line.

Boyd made the Bulldogs pay for the first turnover of the night with a two-yard run to pay dirt, tying the score at 21-21 with just under four minutes remaining in the half.

The Clemson defense then forced a Georgia three-and-out, but Watkins muffed the catch on the punt and Georgia took over at the Clemson 30-yard line. However, Murray’s first throw was intercepted by defensive end Corey CrawfordCorey Crawford
Jr. Defensive End
#93 6-5, 270
Columbus, GA

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– who sat back in a zone blitz situation – and the Tigers had the ball back with 2:08 remaining in the half. However, they were unable to gain a first down and the half ended with the 21-21 tie.

The Clemson defense forced a punt on Georgia’s opening possession of the second half, and Clemson’s offense finally got back in synch. A key play on the drive came on a 4th-and-inches play, and instead of running Boyd, Morris called for a pass to Charone PeakeCharone Peake
Jr. Wide Receiver
#19 6-3, 200
Moore, SC

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, who battled for the conversion. A play later, Boyd hit running back Zac BrooksZac Brooks
So. Running Back
#24 6-1, 185
Jonesboro, AR

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on a wheel route down the sideline for a 31-yard touchdown and a 28-21 Clemson lead.

Clemson forced a Georgia fourth down on the ensuing possession, but the Bulldogs faked and picked up the first down, then scored four plays later on a 12-yard run by Gurley that tied the score at 28-28 with 7:41 remaining in the third quarter.

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

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ended Clemson’s next possession with a 24-yard field goal for a 31-28 lead, and Clemson’s defense continued to harass Murray and hold, but a Georgia punt pinned Clemson deep at its own 13-yard line. Boyd led the Tigers down the field – mixed in with runs by Brooks and McDowell – but the drive appeared to stall inside the Georgia five when tight end Stanton SeckingerStanton Seckinger
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#81 6-4, 210
Isle of Palms, SC

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was ruled out of bounds at the two yard line on a fourth down play.

However, the review showed that Seckinger stretched out across the goal line and Clemson led 38-28 with just under eight minutes remaining in the game.

Georgia advanced to near midfield, but was forced to punt, and the Tigers were able to run the clock down to the 2:30 mark before Pinion punted to the Georgia 36 yard line.

It didn’t take Murray and the Dogs long to score, with Murray capping off a quick drive with a one-yard plunge that made it 38-35 with 1:19 remaining on the game clock. The Bulldogs were out of timeouts, however, and the onside kick attempt was recovered by the Tigers, who ran out the clock.

Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score
-----------------    -- -- -- --   -----
Georgia............. 14  7  7  7  - 35       Record: (0-1)
Clemson............. 14  7 10  7  - 38       Record: (1-0)



Scoring Summary:
1st 09:29 CU - Tajh Boyd 4 yd run (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 9-76 2:48, UGA 0 - CU 7
    09:17 UGA - Todd Gurley 75 yd run (Patrick Beless kick), 1-75 0:12, UGA 7 - CU 7
    08:58 CU - Sammy Watkins 77 yd pass from Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 1-77 0:12, UGA 7 - CU 14
    04:12 UGA - Keith Marshall 4 yd run (Patrick Beless kick), 11-75 4:46, UGA 14 - CU 14
2nd 13:00 UGA - Quayvon Hicks 1 yd run (Patrick Beless kick), 10-97 4:20, UGA 21 - CU 14
    03:51 CU - Tajh Boyd 2 yd run (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 5-16 1:54, UGA 21 - CU 21
3rd 10:58 CU - Zac Brooks 31 yd pass from Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 7-55 1:49, UGA 21 - CU 28
    07:41 UGA - Todd Gurley 12 yd run (Patrick Beless kick), 7-75 3:17, UGA 28 - CU 28
    04:46 CU - Chandler Catanzaro 24 yd field goal, 11-68 2:55, UGA 28 - CU 31
4th 07:40 CU - Stanton Seckinger 9 yd pass from Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 12-87 4:23, UGA 28 - CU 38
    01:19 UGA - Aaron Murray 1 yd run (Patrick Beless kick), 5-64 1:06, UGA 35 - CU 38



                                    UGA       CU
FIRST DOWNS...................       22       21
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............   41-222   46-197
PASSING YDS (NET).............      323      270
Passes Att-Comp-Int...........  29-20-1  30-18-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS.....   70-545   76-467
Fumble Returns-Yards..........      0-0      0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............      1-4      2-9
Kickoff Returns-Yards.........      0-0     3-60
Interception Returns-Yards....      0-0     1-18
Punts (Number-Avg)............   6-43.8   7-41.0
Fumbles-Lost..................      3-1      1-1
Penalties-Yards...............     9-84     5-38
Possession Time...............    32:18    27:42
Third-Down Conversions........  4 of 14  7 of 16
Fourth-Down Conversions.......   2 of 3   1 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      4-5      4-4
Sacks By: Number-Yards........      1-1     4-26


RUSHING: Georgia-Todd Gurley 12-154; Keith Marshall 16-43; Quayvon Hicks
3-38; Collin Barber 1-5; J.J. Green 1-3; TEAM 1-minus 6; Aaron Murray 7-minus
15. Clemson-Roderick McDowell 22-132; Tajh Boyd 13-42; Zac Brooks 3-20; D.J.
Howard 4-3; Sammy Watkins 2-2; TEAM 2-minus 2.

PASSING: Georgia-Aaron Murray 20-29-1-323. Clemson-Tajh Boyd 18-30-0-270.

RECEIVING: Georgia-Michael Bennett 5-60; Justin Scott-Wesley 4-55; Chris
Conley 3-67; Rantavious Wooten 2-46; Keith Marshall 2-28; Quayvon Hicks 1-38;
Arthur Lynch 1-18; Jay Rome 1-10; Todd Gurley 1-1. Clemson-Sammy Watkins 6-127;
Charone Peake 5-58; Stanton Seckinger 2-26; Darrell Smith 2-10; Zac Brooks 1-31;
Roderick McDowell 1-10; Adam Humphries 1-8.

INTERCEPTIONS: Georgia-None. Clemson-Corey Crawford 1-18.

FUMBLES: Georgia-Quayvon Hicks 1-0; Adam Erickson 1-0; Aaron Murray 1-1.
Clemson-Sammy Watkins 1-1.

Stadium: Memorial Stadium      Attendance: 83830
Kickoff time: 8:23 PM   End of Game: 11:53 PM  Total elapsed time: 3:30
Officials: Referee: Brad Allen; Umpire: Jim Hyson; Linesman: Arthur Hardin;
Line judge: Rick Page; Back judge: Ron Boyd; Field judge: Kip Johnson;
Side judge: D. Harrison;
Temperature: 79 deg    Wind: Calm      Weather: Partly cloudy

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