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#5 Clemson loses to Georgia Tech, 31-17. The city of Atlanta has been a nightmare for Clemson over the years, and last night was no different. The Tigers potent offense was held in check, and any shot at a national championship is almost certainly now gone. QB Tajh Boyd's hopes for Clemson's first Heisman Trophy is also probably now history with this poor showing on prime time TV. GT, coming off of two straight losses, should bounce back into the top 25 with the win. The key to this win for Tech was time of possession, as the Yellow Jackets had the ball 39 minutes to Clemson's 21.
As a Clemson fan, I am disappointed but realistic. This team is going to have an outstanding season, but a national championship was probably a bit of a stretch for this young squad. Now that that goal is gone, this team must regroup and focus on winning the ACC. They have a week off to get their minds right, and I expect this team to bounce back with a win over Wake Forest at home in two weeks.
Georgia Tech, meanwhile, remains in the hunt for the ACC Coastal crown. A possible rematch with Clemson could await in Charlotte if GT can beat Virginia Tech at home in eleven days, and CU beats Wake Forest.
The Clemson offense - the main reason the Tigers had gotten to 8-0 in the first place - just never got clicking in this game. They turned it over four times and Boyd seemed off in his decision making. A defining play was when Boyd was picked off in the end zone midway through the fourth quarter on the first play following an interception. A score would have cut the Jacket lead to seven points with over ten minutes to go. But it wasn't to be on this night.
The Tiger defense was unable to stop the Tech rushing attack, so hats off to to GT there. Quarterback Tevin Washington rushed for 176 yards and a TD and picked up key third downs all night long.
The key to this win for Tech was time of possession, as the Yellow Jackets had the ball 39 minutes to Clemson's 21. When you accompany a statistic as dramatic as that with four Clemson turnovers, a loss for the Tigers was unavoidable. Starting running back Andre Ellington did not play, and his replacements, DJ Howard and Mike Bellamy, each lost a fumble.
In the end, my hat must go off to GT. They had a great rushing attack that Clemson could not stop, and they came to play on both sides of the ball.
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