For 18 seconds Georgia Tech was feeling good.
Jalen Camp hauled in a 59-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jeff Sims, tying top-ranked Clemson at seven with 6:32 to play in the first quarter.
But as quickly as the Yellow Jackets tied the game, the Tigers quickly broke their spirit. On Clemson’s next offensive play, quarterback Trevor Lawrence found a wide-open Amari Rodgers for an 83-yard touchdown pass. From there, the Tigers rolled.
Clemson scored 66 unanswered points after Camp’s tying touchdown, embarrassing the Yellow Jackets 73-7 at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. The 66-point victory is the Tigers’ largest margin of victory for an ACC foe over another in conference history.
It also marked the most points Clemson (5-0, 4-0 ACC) has scored on Georgia Tech since John Heisman’s 1903 team did the same.
The Tigers broke Georgia Tech’s spirit when Rodgers noticed something in the backend of the Yellow Jackets defense.
“After our last drive, I came to the sideline and told Coach (Tyler) Grisham that play was going to be open,” Rodgers said. “I put it in his head that I think it is going to be open and I think it is going to be a touchdown.
“He ran it in the first play, and we hit it. I knew I saw the look earlier in the game, based off a look formation and how they played it. So, I just went to the sideline and told coach the look was there, and we hit it.”
They hit it alright. Rodgers broke wide open and Lawrence hit him in stride for the second of his record five touchdown passes on the afternoon.
“They were in nickel-SAM. They call it Buffalo Coverage. So, nickel-SAM is outside leverage on me, and the safety is over top,” Rodgers said. “But he has the tight end, too. So, the tight end was running a deep route, so that occupied the safety. I was just one-on-one with the nickel-SAM and he just got beat with my speed.”
The play broke the Yellow Jackets’ spirits, as Clemson just poured it on from there.
Rodgers finished the game with six receptions for a career-high 161 yards. He also caught a 16-yard touchdown pass with 16 seconds to play in the first half, which gave Clemson a 52-7 lead at the time.
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