Third-ranked Clemson missed several key starters in its last several games. But, the Tigers brought a much healthier team to the field on their way to a 52-17 beat down of Pitt at Death Valley last Saturday.
Linebackers James Skalski and Mike Jones and defensive tackle Tyler Davis all returned to play the Panthers and made a massive impact. Clemson shutdown Pitt and held them to 246 yards of total offense, 16 yards rushing, sacked quarterback Kenny Pickett six times and forced five turnovers.
Davis feels the defense has recovered at an opportune time and that makes Clemson dangerous as it gears up for the final stretch of the 2020 season.
“Everybody is getting back healthy so that’s great, we are coming back strong and we are going to be strong down the stretch,” he said.
Davis said he rolled his ankle in practice after the Georgia Tech game and that Clemson’s sports medicine team decided to rest him for a few games. He has struggled to stay healthy this season and has played in just four of the Tigers’ nine games to this point.
Last Saturday, Pitt averaged less than one yard per carry and Davis finished the game with a sack and a pass deflection that led to an interception for freshman Malcolm Greene.
“It felt great being back and it felt good getting that deflection to set up my boy Malcom for an interception,” Davis said. “It felt good getting a sack because I haven’t done that in a long time.”
Davis says he feels back to 100-percent, but was pretty sore after missing nearly five weeks due to the injury. But the sophomore felt relieved to run down the hill again on Saturday.
“It was very hard, but I loved seeing how other guys stepped up in my position group,” Davis said. “It felt great being back out there, it was fun for my first time coming down the hill again.”
Clemson travels to Blacksburg, Va., for a 7:30 p.m., kick against Virginia Tech on Saturday. A win over the Hokies will secure a sixth straight trip to the ACC Championship Game for the Tigers.
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