Healthy defense dominates Panthers

Healthy defense dominates Panthers

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Healthy defense dominates Panthers

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Third-ranked Clemson returned to action on Saturday after three weeks without a game and rolled Pitt 52-27 in its final home game at Death Valley this season.

In its last outing at Notre Dame the Tigers were banged up without outside linebacker Mike Jones, middle linebacker James Skalski, and defensive tackle Tyler Davis.

This week all three returned to action and contributed to the team’s success but its secondary was depleted with the absence of Lannden Zanders, Jaylen Phillips and Sheridan Jones.

But a young group of defensive backs stepped up and intercepted Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett four times, who only threw four in his first seven games this year.

Mario Goodrich had a pair of interceptions while Malcolm Greene and Andrew Booth each added an interception.

Clemson held the Panthers to 244 total yards and just 14 yards on the ground. The defense also recorded eight tackles-for loss for 62 yards and six sacks for 53 yards while they forced five turnovers in the game. Pitt was also only 4-for-16 on third down.

Skalski and Davis had not played since the Georgia Tech game on Oct. 17. The graduate linebacker finished the game with six tackles and a tackle for loss while the sophomore tackle added another tackle-for-loss and clogged up the middle of the field.

The Tigers also scooped up a Panther fumble in the final minute of the game to close out the game.

Clemson returns to action next Saturday when it travels to Balcksburg, Va. to face Virginia Tech.

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