CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Isaiah Simmons led the way for top-ranked Clemson’s defense in the Tigers’ thrilling 21-20 victory over North Carolina on Saturday at Kenan Stadium.
The redshirt junior linebacker logged a game-high 10 tackles, including five solo tackles, to go with one sack, 2.5 tackles for loss and a pass breakup.
Simmons came up big for Clemson (5-0, 3-0 ACC) at a critical time in the fourth quarter.
With the game tied at 14-14, and North Carolina (2-3, 1-1) in possession of the ball at Clemson’s 45-yard line, Simmons helped the Tigers force a turnover on downs by getting in on back-to-back tackles on third-and-1 and fourth-and-1.
The defensive stand set up Clemson’s go-ahead score on the ensuing possession, a 38-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Lawrence to Tee Higgins that put the Tigers ahead, 21-14, with 9:54 remaining in the game.
Freshman quarterback Sam Howell and North Carolina would answer with a 16-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. However, Howell was stopped short of the goal-line on a two-point conversion attempt, and the Tigers hung on for a wild 21-20 win over the Tar Heels.
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