No. 10 Wake Forest came into Death Valley on Saturday looking to clinch the ACC Atlantic Division title with a win over Clemson.
The Tigers had other ideas.
Clemson (8-3, 6-2 ACC) won its 13th consecutive game against Wake Forest (9-2, 6-1), rolling up 543 total yards — including 333 yards on the ground — en route to a 48-27 victory over the Demon Deacons.
“This was an offensive explosion for Clemson,” ESPN analyst Sam Acho said. “333 rushing yards, over 540 total yards.”
Kobe Pace and Will Shipley combined for 303 of those rushing yards and totaled four rushing touchdowns on 43 total carries, averaging 7 yards per attempt between them.
Shipley even got in on the action in the passing game, throwing a 2-yard jump pass TD to Davis Allen for the Tigers, who won their 34th consecutive home game.
“It wasn’t pretty, but that’s a running back throwing a pass, so be excited about that,” ESPN analyst Joey Galloway said.
Among the other offensive highlights for Clemson was D.J. Uiagalelei’s 52-yard completion to Beaux Collins in the first quarter after Uiagalelei evaded a couple of potential sacks in the backfield to get the throw off.
“Stays on his feet, keeps his eyes down the field and throws it up and his receiver makes a play,” Acho said. “That’s what Clemson has been missing — receivers making plays for D.J. U.”
Collins, who also made a spectacular one-handed TD grab in the third quarter, recorded four receptions for 137 yards and the score.
Uiagalelei, Collins’ former high school teammate at St. John Bosco in California, finished 11-of-19 passing for 208 yards and one touchdown with one interception.
Meanwhile, Clemson’s defense held Wake Forest’s offense — which entered the game averaging 44.7 points per contest — to a season-low 27 points while racking up seven sacks and 10 tackles for loss.
“We knew the Wake Forest defense, not very good,” Galloway said. “They had to score a lot of points, which they didn’t do in this game.”
Clemson hopes to carry the momentum from Saturday’s victory into this week’s road matchup against rival South Carolina (6-5, 3-5 SEC).
“All of a sudden, you wake up and Clemson has won four in a row,” Acho said.
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