Swinney attempts to sell Georgia Tech as a good team

Swinney attempts to sell Georgia Tech as a good team

Football

Swinney attempts to sell Georgia Tech as a good team

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Clemson has won six straight over Jackets by an average of 31 points

On Saturday, the sixth-ranked Clemson Tigers begin their journey to repeat as ACC Champions for a seventh straight year.

The Tigers (1-1), open ACC play by hosting Georgia Tech at Death Valley. Clemson has defeated the Yellow Jackets in each of the last six years. The average margin of victory in those six games has been 30.7 points, including last year’s 73-7 victory in Atlanta.

“Everyone played really well,” Clemson defensive tackle Bryan Bresee said about last year’s 66-point victory. “It just kept going. Everyone just kept working and just kept doing what we do.”

Things got so bad Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney put punter Will Spiers in the game to play quarterback. Walk-on quarterback Hunter Helms threw two touchdown passes prior to Spiers entering the game.

The Tigers finished the afternoon with 671 total yards of offense, while holding Tech to 204.

With Clemson’s offense still finding its way, the oddsmakers don’t think Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. kick (on ABC), will be as bad as last year’s. They have the Tigers listed as a 28.5-point favorite.

“They are a much improved team in all areas,” Swinney said.

That is hard sell considering the Yellow Jackets opened the season losing to a Northern Illinois team that was winless in 2020. Granted, they did bounce back last week with a 45-17 victory over Kennesaw State but are the Jackets an opponent to be taken seriously?

Swinney thinks so.

“They had kind of a crazy opener against Northern Illinois, who is a good team and a good program,” Swinney said. “That is the danger of openers, you don’t know a lot about the teams, and they came out there and, I think, they caught them off-guard from a schematic standpoint. It was some of their unbalance sets and things that really hurt them.

“They went for two to win it, and that was a heartbreaker for (Georgia Tech). But they bounced back, which is a sign of their maturity as well and their culture growing.”

After being steamrolled by Clemson last year, Tech (1-1) closed the year by losing five of its last six games. They lost each of those five games by 10 or more points.

“I think they are a much, much improved team and you see that belief growing,” Swinney said. “They are committed and believe in their philosophy in what they do, and I think that is important.”

A sellout crowd in Death Valley will get an opportunity to see just how improved the Yellow Jackets are under third-year coach Geoff Collins.

Football season has finally arrived. Time to represent your Tigers and show your stripes!

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