Tigers Wrecked at Georgia Tech


by - Senior Writer -
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Watson looked impressive before the knee injury.
Watson looked impressive before the knee injury.

ATLANTA, GA – Late in the first quarter of Saturday’s contest at Georgia Tech, quarterback Deshaun WatsonDeshaun Watson
Fr. Quarterback
#4 6-3, 204
Gainesville, GA

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took a snap and ran to his left for four yards, a seemingly innocent play in what had been a promising start for the freshman out of Gainesville.

Watson didn’t get up, however, and as he limped to the sideline and out of the game he took Clemson’s hopes for a 10-win regular season and hopes for a berth in the Orange Bowl with him. As Watson left the field, the entire demeanor of Clemson’s football team changed dramatically, and the Tigers never recovered in a 28-6 loss at Bobby Dodd Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Watson’s replacement – senior Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Sr. Quarterback
#18 6-4, 231
Dublin, OH

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– threw two touchdown passes in relief. Unfortunately, they both went to Georgia Tech defenders and he was replaced by Nick SchuesslerNick Schuessler
RS So. Quarterback
#12 6-3, 195
Grayson, GA

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late in the third. His final stat line was ugly on a day full of uglies – 3-for-11 for 19 yards and three interceptions. Tech had 146 interception return yards.

“The biggest thing for us is it caught up with us," Clemson head coach Swinney said. "We lost the turnover margin three weeks in a row now. It’s a recipe for disaster, and that’s exactly what it was today, an absolute disaster. With the score 28-6, they got two pick-sixes, and that’s 14 points. At 14-6, it’s a whole different ball game, different feel, different everything. You’re not going to beat Georgia Tech when they score on defense. It was just really poor execution on our part, and give them credit for that. But we make no excuses, period."

Clemson finished with its fewest points since a 29-7 loss to South Carolina in 2010. Adding to the historically bad effort? The last time Clemson was held without a touchdown? A 13-3 loss at Georgia Tech in 2007. Tech wound up with 353 total yards and one offensive touchdown.

Schuessler wasn’t much better in relief – his final stat line was 4-for-4 for 19 yards but he took sacks on consecutive third downs that helped seal the Tigers’ fate. Clemson wound up with 190 total yards.

“We obviously had some tough injuries," Swinney said. "I wish I could say why things happen. That’s life. That’s football, and we make no excuses. We’re responsible for how we play. Today, we nowhere near deserved to win the game. I congratulate Georgia Tech for what they got done."

Clemson punted on the game’s first possession and the Jackets promptly marched into Tiger territory. A fumbled pitch on third down was recovered by B.J. GoodsonB.J. Goodson
RS Jr. Linebacker
#44 6-1, 240
Lamar, SC

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, however, and the Tigers took over at midfield. Eleven plays later, Ammon LakipAmmon Lakip
RS Jr. Kicker
#36 5-10, 200
Alpharetta, GA

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hit a 27-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.

Clemson stopped Tech’s ensuing drive and had driven inside the Tech 30 on the legs of Watson – and then the worst-case scenario popped up for the Tigers. Watson injured his leg on a running play and was replaced by Stoudt. Two plays later Stoudt threw an ill-advised pass that was picked off by Tech’s Jamal Golden and returned 85 yards for the score. The snap on the extra point try was bobbled, and Tech led 6-3.

The Jackets added a field goal to lead 9-3 at the half, and with the knowledge that Watson wouldn’t return marched down the field on the opening drive of the third quarter and used a Justin Thomas 65-yard run and subsequent touchdown pass to lead 16-3. Stoudt came out for the first series of the second half and tossed another interception that led to a 19-3 Jacket lead.

Clemson managed a drive into Tech territory on its ensuing possession, but Stoudt overthrew Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
Sr. Wide Receiver
#13 5-11, 193
Spartanburg, SC

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in the end zone and the Tigers settled for a 32-yard Lakip field goal that made it 19-6. The Jackets added three more field goals and then ran out the clock for the win.

Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score
-----------------    -- -- -- --   -----
Clemson.............  3  0  3  0  -  6       Record: (7-3,6-2)
Georgia Tech........  6  3 16  3  - 28       Record: (9-2,6-2)

Scoring Summary:
1st 06:30 CU - Ammon Lakip 27 yd field goal, 11-41 4:33, CU 3 - GT 0
    00:22 GT - Jamal Golden 85 yd interception return (Ryan Rodwell rush fumbld), , CU 3 - GT 6
2nd 09:07 GT - Harrison Butker 25 yd field goal, 8-70 4:06, CU 3 - GT 9
3rd 12:45 GT - DeAndre Smelter 5 yd pass from Justin Thomas (Harrison Butker kick), 4-75 2:15, CU 3 - GT 16
    09:14 GT - Harrison Butker 32 yd field goal, 6-29 3:24, CU 3 - GT 19
    05:47 CU - Ammon Lakip 32 yd field goal, 8-56 3:18, CU 6 - GT 19
    01:23 GT - Chris Milton 62 yd interception return (Justin Thomas rush failed), , CU 6 - GT 25
4th 08:25 GT - Harrison Butker 41 yd field goal, 7-45 4:24, CU 6 - GT 28

                                     CU       GT
FIRST DOWNS...................       10       16
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............   32-125   50-251
PASSING YDS (NET).............       65      102
Passes Att-Comp-Int...........  22-12-3   11-8-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS.....   54-190   61-353
Fumble Returns-Yards..........      0-0      0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............      1-6      2-8
Kickoff Returns-Yards.........     2-54     2-40
Interception Returns-Yards....      0-0    3-147
Punts (Number-Avg)............   6-41.7   1-45.0
Fumbles-Lost..................      0-0      2-2
Penalties-Yards...............     3-21     2-10
Possession Time...............    24:52    35:08
Third-Down Conversions........  3 of 13  7 of 14
Fourth-Down Conversions.......   0 of 0   0 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      2-3      4-5
Sacks By: Number-Yards........     3-23     2-21

RUSHING: Clemson-Wayne Gallman 14-82; Deshaun Watson 7-40; Cole Stoudt
3-11; Artavis Scott 1-7; C.J. Davidson 3-1; Nick Schuessler 4-minus 16. Georgia
Tech-Synjyn Days 20-89; Broderick Snoddy 2-51; Justin Thomas 11-46; Dennis
Andrews 2-34; Zach Laskey 4-13; Charles Perkins 3-11; Deon Hill 1-6; Tony Zenon
5-5; B.J. Bostic 1-minus 1; TEAM 1-minus 3.

PASSING: Clemson-Cole Stoudt 3-11-3-19; Deshaun Watson 5-7-0-27; Nick
Schuessler 4-4-0-19. Georgia Tech-Justin Thomas 8-11-0-102.

RECEIVING: Clemson-Wayne Gallman 4-14; Artavis Scott 3-19; Stanton
Seckinger 2-7; Charone Peake 1-11; Jordan Leggett 1-8; Adam Humphries 1-6.
Georgia Tech-DeAndre Smelter 5-77; Darren Waller 2-10; Tony Zenon 1-15.

INTERCEPTIONS: Clemson-None. Georgia Tech-Jamal Golden 1-85; Chris Milton
1-62; D.J. White 1-0.

FUMBLES: Clemson-None. Georgia Tech-Tony Zenon 1-1; Zach Laskey 1-1.

Stadium: Bobby Dodd Stadium    Attendance: 49378
Kickoff time: 12:01 pm  End of Game: 2:56      Total elapsed time: 2:55
Officials: Referee: J. Magallanes; Umpire: David Goodwin; Linesman: Tracy Lynch;
Line judge: Robert Zivkovic; Back judge: Bryan Platt; Field judge: Bill Dolbow;
Side judge: Jim Corpora; Alternate: C: Jeff Heaser;
Temperature: 46        Wind: ESE 8     Weather: Sunny, cold

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