ATLANTA — Some wondered if Clemson’s offense could continue the rhythm it found in last week’s rout of S.C. State. The third-ranked Tigers answered that on the game’s opening possession.
Clemson took the opening possession and drove 75 yards on nine plays. Deshaun Watson completed 5-of-5 passes for 46 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams in the right corner of the end zone.
Williams catch gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead with 11:25 to play in the first quarter.
After the Clemson defense stuffed Tech on it opening possession, Watson led the Tigers on another long drive, but Williams stepped out of bounds on a possible touchdown pass, and then Watson over shot him on the next play.
Greg Huegel missed a 27-yard field goal on the next play, but that did not stop Clemson’s momentum. Clemson got the ball back again, and went right down the field for a third straight possession.
Watson found Trevion Thompson for a 25-yard gain to the one-yard line and Wayne Gallman scored on the next play to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead with 2:26 to play in the first quarter.
Field position slowed the Tigers down a little in the second quarter, but Watson got them going late in the quarter when he engineered a long drive.
Clemson took a 16-0 lead with 2:00 to play in the first half on a strange play. The Tigers were driving when Deshuan Watson and Mike Williams did not communicate on a first-and-15 from the Georgia Tech 16-yard line. The play was intercepted. The Tech defender took the ball out of the end zone and then Williams striped him of the ball, which Tech recovered in the end zone.
The play was ruled a safety and the Tigers took a 16-0 lead.
After the safety, Clemson took the ensuing kick and drove the ball 72 yards on 10 plays as Deshaun Watson hit tight end Jordan Leggett in the middle of the end zone with four seconds to play to up the score 23-0.
Leggett’s touchdown covered nine yards and was the first one of the season for the senior.
Clemson has 347 total yards to Tech’s 22 yards. Clemson leads 23-0 at the break.
The Tigers were all over Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense in the first half. Tech rushed for 25 yards in the first 30 minutes. They were 1-for-6 on third down and completed just 2-of-7 passes for minus-three yards.