Top-ranked Clemson went into halftime with a 27-14 lead against Syracuse on Saturday at Death Valley, but a couple of special team miscues cost the Tigers points and held them back from a bigger advantage at the break.
Late in the first quarter, a Will Spiers punt attempt from Clemson’s 36-yard line was blocked by Drew Tuazama and recovered by Syracuse’s Markenzy Pierre after Tuazama broke through the middle of the Tigers’ three-man wall of blockers in front of the punter to get his hand on the ball.
The Orange took over at Clemson’s 20-yard line, and four plays later, Syracuse running back Sean Tucker found the end zone from 7 yards out for a rushing touchdown that cut his team’s deficit to 17-7 early in the second quarter.
On Clemson’s next possession, after the Tigers saw a 12-play, 55-yard drive that lasted more than five minutes stall out, kicker B.T. Potter missed wide right on a 37-yard field goal try that would have put them ahead by a score of 20-7.
Potter did bounce back at the end of the half, capping an 11-play, 56-yard drive in 1:18 with a 36-yard field goal to close out the second quarter and send Clemson into the locker room with a 13-point lead.
Another championship season is underway for the Tigers. It’s time to gear up for another year of Clemson football.
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