Clemson beats Georgia Tech, 73-7
Twelve years ago, Dabo Swinney coached in his first game as a head coach. He was the interim head coach then, just five days after he took over for Tommy Bowden, who resigned as Clemson’s head coach.
Coincidentally, Swinney’s first game was against Georgia Tech. However, the results on Saturday were much different than what happened 12 years ago. Of course, Swinney did not have Trevor Lawrence 12 years go either.
Lawrence had a career-high five touchdown passes to go with a career-high 404 yards as the top-ranked Tigers embarrassed Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd Stadium, 73-7. Clemson’s 73 points match its all-time high against the Yellow Jackets, while the 66 points represent the largest margin of victory over an ACC opponent. It is also the largest in ACC history.
Clemson’s 73-7 victory over the Yellow Jackets is the program’s largest margin of victory since it won 73-0 in 1903, John Heisman’s last year at Clemson.
Lawrence, who played in front of a lot of friends and family members from the Atlanta area on his homecoming, completed 24-of-33 passes and had 391 yards in the first half.
The Clemson quarterback threw touchdown passes of 5, 83, 34, 8 and 16 yards, all in the first half. The Tigers’ 52 first half points were the most for the Tigers in an ACC game.
The Tigers gained 473 yards in the opening 30 minutes, just 14 yards short of a Clemson record for a half. Clemson had 487 yards in first half at Duke in 2012.
Clemson (5-0, 4-0 ACC) finished the game with 671 yards. The defense also played well, holding the Yellow Jackets to 204 total yards.
The Tigers scored 35 points in second quarter, which tied the school record for any quarter in history. The Tigers had 35 points in the second quarter against Wake Forest in 1981 and 35 against UNC in 2011. It is the most ever points for a road game.
Lawrence completed 22-of-27 passes for 391 yards, while defensive tackle Nyles Pinckney scored on a one-yard touchdown in the jumbo package and Travis Etienne had a 3-yard score.
Clemson opened the scoring with 7:55 to play in the first quarter when Lawrence hit Cornell Powell with a 5-yard touchdown with a back-shoulder throw. The touchdown drive followed a Travis Etienne fumble on the Tigers’ opening possession.
The Yellow Jackets tied the game for a brief second with a 59-yard touchdown pass from Sims to Camp with 6:32 to play. However, it took Clemson one play to put the game away. On the next play, Lawrence found a wide-open Amari Rodgers with an 83-yard touchdown for a 14-7 lead with 6:14 to go in the first.
From there, Lawrence and the Tigers took over. A Georgia Tech fumble led to a 30-yard B.T. Potter field goal and then Lawrence hit tight end Davis Allen down the seam for a 34-yard touchdown which made the score 24-7 with 12:43 to play in the second quarter.
Another long pass to Rodgers set up Pinckney’s one-yard score and then Lawrence found Frank Ladson for an 8-yard score. After Etienne’s 3-yard touchdown, Lawrence threw a dart to Rodgers with 16 seconds left in the half to complete the scoring.
Lawrence was intercepted in the first quarter, ending his streak of passes without a pick at 367, which is second all-time in ACC history. However, after throwing the interception, Lawrence completed 14 of his next 15 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns.
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