In an absolutely electric atmosphere at Bobby Dodd Stadium the Clemson Tigers, currently ranked #3 in the AP Top 25, showed why it earned that status with an impressive 49-21 victory over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
Clemson dominated the contest from start to finish in route to a seemingly easy win. Although Coach Dabo Swinney spoke earlier in the week about traditionally not playing well in Atlanta, there were no signs of his Tigers giving that a consideration.
Tech actually started fast by taking the opening drive into Clemson territory, and eventually got into field goal range, but after a false start penalty, the Yellow Jackets were forced to punt. After a stalled Tiger drive, Quarterback TaQuan Marshall tried to pitch to A-back Qua Searcy deep in their own territory, Searcy fumbled, and after a mad dash for the football, it was eventually recovered in the end zone by Clelin Ferrell of Clemson for a touchdown, making it 7-0 with the extra point, with 3:42 left in the 1st Quarter, where it remained.
At the outset of the 2nd Quarter, Tech would get an opportunity to get some points as they drove down to the Clemson 27 with a series Nathan Cottrell and Marshall runs but Brenton King missed from 43 yards and the score remained 7-0 Clemson.
The Tigers would start their barrage of scoring from there as the highly touted Freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence out of Cartersville High School would enter the contest for regular starter Kelly Bryant.
Lawrence would lead the no-huddle attack for Clemson to perfection as a mix of runs by Travis Etienne and Adam Choice would set up a 17-yard touchdown strike to Hunter Renfrow, putting the Tigers up 14-0.
Tech’s next drive would stall, and Lawrence would get the ball right back for Clemson and go on a two play, 55-yard drive, as he would hit Justyn Ross for a 53-yard wide open touchdown pass, giving the Tigers a commanding 21-0 lead.
After another stalled drive for the Yellow Jackets, Clemson would again get the ball back hoping to get more points before the half but in one of the only signs of youth for Lawrence, he would hit one of his own lineman in the back attempting to pass and Defensive Lineman Desmond Branch would intercept the ball for Tech at the 23-yard line of Clemson, giving the Yellow Jackets some sign of life. Tech then executed a 4-play, 23-yard drive, with Marshall going in from 11 yards out, making the score 21-7.
Lawrence, however, seemed to be unphased by his mistake, as he took the ball with 1:58 on the clock before the half and marched the Tigers down the field. Lawrence would throw a shovel pass to Etienne for another touchdown with: 05 left before the half, making the score 28-7 going into the break.
Clemson took the 3rd Quarter kickoff with Lawrence remaining in the game and went on a 7 play, 75-yard drive, and the Tigers scored another touchdown on a Tavien Feaster 27-yard run pushing the lead to 35-7. Tech failed to move the ball on their opening drive of the half and gave the ball right back to Clemson.
Bryant would return under center for the Tigers, but it was more of the same as they went on another long touchdown scoring drive, with Etienne going in from 3-yards out, making the score now 42-7. Tech would finally get some offense going late in the third quarter with an 8 play, 75-yard drive of their own, as Cottrell would score from 2-yards out, making the score 42-14.
After a couple of back and forth drives in the 4th Quarter, Clemson would again drive deep in Tech territory with Chase Brice at Quarterback for the Tigers, but Brice’s pass was intercepted by Malik Rivera and returned 42-yards to the Clemson 33.
Tech would go on a 7-play drive where they would score a touchdown on a Tobias Oliver to Clinton Lynch 5-yard pass, pushing the score to 42-21 with 6:15 left in the contest. With seemingly the game in hand, Clemson would return most of its offensive starters with Lawrence to the game. They again would go on another touchdown scoring drive, with Lawrence hitting Tee Higgins from 30-yards out, pushing the lead back up to four touchdowns, and making it a 49-21 affair.
Tech had a late drive that stalled, and the Tigers would run out the clock to preserve the victory. Trevor Lawrence was 13 of 18 for 176 yards and 4 touchdowns, with one interception. Travis Etienne ended with 11 rushes for 122 yards, and one score, improving their record to 4-0. Tech falls to 1-3 on the season and will take on Bowling Green, next Saturday at Noon from Bobby Dodd Stadium.