Kelly Bryant’s ankle seems just fine thank you very much.
The Clemson quarterback led the Tigers with 62 yards rushing and threw for 143 yard and two touchdowns as No. 7 Clemson dominated Georgia Tech in the first half. The Tigers lead 21-3 at the break.
Everyone wondered how effective Bryant’s legs might be coming into the game after suffering an ankle injury against Wake Forest on Oct. 7 and then tweaking it in the loss at Syracuse two weeks ago. The junior showed his left ankle is fine when he ran in and out of traffic a couple of times, including a run that set up Travis Etienne’s touchdown run with 3:16 remaining in the half.
Led by Bryant Clemson finished the first half with 271 total yards.
The defense also did its job. Other than Georgia Tech B-Back KirVonte Benson, who had 120 yards on 12 carries, no one else on Tech’s team had any positive yards. Quarterback TaQuon Marshall had seven carries for minus-1 yard and was 1-for-6 passing for minus-6 yards. Marshall led the ACC in rushing coming into the game.
Clemson’s defense set the tone for the game when Kendall Joseph forced a Benson fumble on Tech’s first drive and Van Smith recovered at the Yellow Jackets’ 45-yard. Bryant needed just two plays to capitalize on the gift as he hit wide receiver Deon Cain on back-to-back passes, including a 38-yard catch-and-run for a quick touchdown and 7-0 lead with 12:51 to play in the first quarter.
Clemson extended its lead to 14-3 in the first quarter thanks to Bryant’s 20-yard touchdown pass to tight end Milan Richard with 1:55 remaining. The drive covered 55 yards on 8 plays and lasted 2:50.
Bryant stepped up completing a pair of passes on third down to extend the drive, one to Trevion Thompson and the other to Hunter Renfrow. The drive culminated in the touchdown pass to Richard, his first touchdown of his career. His uncle, Georgia’s Heisman Trophy winning running back Hershel Walker is in attendance tonight.
Clemson went up 21-3 on a two-yard touchdown run from Etienne. The drive consisted of 10 plays for 71 yards over 3:19, leaving 3:16 on the clock in the second quarter.
Bryant had an impressive drive and showed off his abilities in the air and on the ground. To set up the score Bryant scampered for 16 yards and handed the ball to Etienne for the exclamation point from two yards out.
Tech finished the first half with 110 total yards.