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Clemson makes ACC proud, hangs on vs Georgia

Georgia v Clemson Getty Images

And breathe…

Clemson and Georgia was everything it was expected to be on offense, trading blows with each other for most of the night until Clemson finally delivered a knock out blow. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd completed a touchdown pass to Stanton Seckinger midway through the fourth quarter to give the home team their largest lead of the night. Georgia cut in to a double-digit Clemson lead in the final minutes, but an offsides kick was recovered by Clemson to essentially lock up a win in a battle of top ten programs, 38-35.

This one was all about the offenses. Georgia out-gained Clemson in total yards, 544-467. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray passed for 323 yards but failed to throw a touchdown pass (he dud rush for one in the final minutes from the goal line). Murray was also picked off once by Clemson. His counterpart, Clemson’s Boyd, had a much better performance by passing for 270 yards and three touchdowns, rushed for two more and had zero interceptions.

The running backs for both sides also had big time performances. Clemson’s Roderick McDowell rushed for 132 yards, but Georgia’s Todd Gurley led all players with 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns. After making some strong statements in the off-season about his confidence, Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins recorded 127 receiving yards and a touchdown in the season opener.

Both teams showed they have some holes on defense, but perhaps that was expected. Georgia’s defense was not a lock-down type of defense last year but they had a knack for creating turnovers. Georgia created one turnover but the offense lost the football twice.

So, what’s next? Georgia has the tougher road ahead of them of course. Next week the Bulldogs take on South Carolina, a team that has been a hurdle for Georgia in recent years. South Carolina also gets a couple of extra days to prepare for the game after opening their season on Thursday night.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt will surely be placed back in the cross hairs of critics after losing the season opener and some already dipping their pends in the ink well to write off Richt and Georgia against their SEC East rivals from Columbia, South Carolina. It is not an easy situation to be in, but even a loss to South Carolina might not be enough to completely ruin a run for an SEC title. But Georgia was within yards of a spot in the BCS Championship Game last season and fans are waiting to see Georgia get over that hump. A season opening loss to an ACC team, albeit a good ACC team and on the road, will not sit well for Georgia and their fans. Not when Alabama steam rolled Virginia Tech, South Carolina took care of North Carolina and Florida managed to put together a solid effort despite a handful of suspensions.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is as far removed from a hot seat as possible. Clemson became the first non-SEC team to win consecutive games against top ten SEC teams, dating back to the Chick-fil-A Bowl victory over LSU last December. Clemson’s offense lived up to the hype and they should be tough to beat in ACC play. The key games on the schedule remain Florida State and South Carolina, but the Tigers should always be placed on upset alert it seems thanks to a tendency to fall victim to an act of Clemsoning at the least convenient of times.

Next week the Tigers stay home to play host to FCS South carolina State, and it should not be expected that Clemson falls victim to the FCS bug that seems to be going around this opening week. Clemson’s first road trip will come the following week when they take on North Carolina State in an early ACC contest. NC State blasted Louisiana Tech 40-14 in their season opener. The Wolfpack lost quarterback Brandon Mitchell to a broken foot, that will require surgery.

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30 Responses to “Clemson makes ACC proud, hangs on vs Georgia”
  1. Anoesis says: Sep 1, 2013 12:15 AM

    A good game, but I’m wondering how either of these teams got ranked in the top 10 without defenses. A lot of missed tackles. Neither offense seemed particularly overwhelming, but both looked good against the other’s defense.

  2. sillec28 says: Sep 1, 2013 12:26 AM

    Gators will win the East.

  3. taintedlombardis says: Sep 1, 2013 12:51 AM

    Georgia couldn’t even stop them whilst faking injury. I guess that’s how they roll in the SECheat.

  4. babyfarkmcgeezax says: Sep 1, 2013 1:06 AM

    Yet another example of a team shredding the overrated, ESPN-driven mystique of “invincible” SEC defense

  5. drummerhoff says: Sep 1, 2013 1:06 AM

    DeathValley lived up to its reputation. That was the difference.

  6. irishfbfan1 says: Sep 1, 2013 1:09 AM

    What is funnier than hell is the fact that SEC, or should I say Team SEC as they call themselves lol, is the fact that they have commented that NO ACC team could even stay in the game with an SEC team! Well, Team ACC proved them wrong AGAIN!!!


  7. sssjim7 says: Sep 1, 2013 1:31 AM

    Whew! Being a Clemson fan is definitely nerve wreching… I swear they sit up at night and think of ways to lose in the last 5 minutes…

    Gurley ran all over us tonight… 3-5 mis-tackles on every run. Fortunately, we had 6-7 players there to bring him down most of the time. We definitely need to learn to tackle better…

    The coaches need to start mass substitutions early and frequently, and forget they ever heard about a prevent defense…

    Other than me losing my voice yelling at the TV for 3 hrs (yeah, they probably can’t hear me anyway)… it was a good night. We should be ok until the Florida State game – hopefully we will get a lot better at defense by then.

    Just my .02

  8. classyjacklambert says: Sep 1, 2013 2:29 AM

    Tajh Boyd should be a top 5 Heisman candidate after that performance.

  9. dgbk says: Sep 1, 2013 2:42 AM

    Ppl bash sec fans for sticking together but coming together bashing the sec is basically doing the same thing. I won’t say it’s all other conferences fans but it seem to be a select few other conferences fans who come together to do this. While bashing the sec ur taking part of being a member of “teambutthurtfan.”

    Cheer for ur team when they play a sec team but don’t act like ur proud of Clemson if ur not a fan. If u cheer for uconn nd ur hype cause Clemson beat ga, that’s as silly as a Kentucky fan pop-locking when bama wins.

  10. hardballtalkusername says: Sep 1, 2013 2:53 AM

    I need a translator to read dgbk’s post.

  11. denverdude7 says: Sep 1, 2013 7:05 AM

    Clemson lucked out and won a game without any semblance of a defense. Congratulations.

    That said, everyone knows Clemson will now promptly lose a game they have no business losing. It’s simply in their DNA. It happens every year.

  12. patriottony says: Sep 1, 2013 7:45 AM

    Here is the biased way this will work out.

    SC will get credit for an “overwhelming” win against an unranked ACC team. They will move up.
    Meanwhile Clemson will get no love for beating the 5th ranked team “SEC Powerhouse”, and probably remain 8th or maybe 7th.
    Living in SC, we hear all the time the ACC is bush league, yet when the VAUNTED SEC loses a game to Clemson, no credit is offered.
    SC should remain 6th,,,Clemson should at the least be tied with them at 6th. SC hardly looked like a powerhouse beating an unranked UNC team at home. The telling tale will be this week, going to GA, who will be pissed off…

  13. Deb says: Sep 1, 2013 9:04 AM

    Game of the day! Big congrats to Dabo and Clemson!! And to Georgia for fighting to the last. That’s what football is all about.

    Congrats as well to the SEC haters who seem to be having a marvelous time on this board. Guess you have to take your pleasures where you can, don’t you, irishfbfan1? Bless your heart.

    Since the SEC doesn’t speak as one, I’m not sure who said no ACC team could hang with an SEC team. That would be a silly comment. Seven consecutive championships does give a conference a certain mystique, but that doesn’t mean individual teams can be beaten on any given Saturday.

  14. harbourimages says: Sep 1, 2013 9:20 AM

    Deb, I love your posts! Articulate, rational, and always on-target. Good stuff.

    GO BLUE!

  15. thegloriousone says: Sep 1, 2013 9:57 AM

    Don’t worry all you Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Arkansas, fans…

    You can still fawn all over Alabama.

    ACC! ACC!

  16. thegloriousone says: Sep 1, 2013 10:05 AM

    Alabama Crimson Tide T-shirt sales just went through the roof in Georgia.

    SEC! SEC! Your school’s great! Your school’s great!

  17. cometkazie says: Sep 1, 2013 10:11 AM

    Right on, Deb, as usual!

    It was a good game as was whatever they call the Peach Bowl earlier this year. The better team won.

    A much better game than the Tigers against the Christians.

  18. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 1, 2013 10:18 AM




  19. jmb795 says: Sep 1, 2013 10:20 AM

    The Clemson crowd was worth 7 points last night. Before, during and after, quite a show. Applause to all.

  20. classyjacklambert says: Sep 1, 2013 11:19 AM

    As a huge Clemson fan, I’m cautiously optimistic. Auburn was supposed to be pretty good when we beat them in the first game last year and we all realized the truth as the season unfolded. Lets see a couple weeks down the road before we start the back patting.

  21. wvucolumbus says: Sep 1, 2013 11:32 AM

    I may be wrong but I’m fairly certain that most Clemson fans/alum could care less if “they make the ACC proud”. Teams like FSU and Clemson in the ACC and WVU (when we were in the Big East) could care less about conference affiliation, when the identity of said conference doesn’t fit w/ that of the university. Clemson and FSU aren’t ACC schools. They actually pride themselves on football…..and good for them!

  22. longtallsam says: Sep 1, 2013 12:39 PM

    As a Clemson fan, I get a bit tired of everyone always pointing at Clemson, as if they are the only team that ever loses when they are expected to win. Admittedly, they have done that on occasion, as does everyone else. Of course, a team like Alabama can lose at home, and still find their way into the BCS championship game. My biggest complaint with the SEC is that when one of their top teams lose, they don’t get penalized as much as most other teams.

  23. noaxetogrind says: Sep 1, 2013 1:14 PM

    First and foremost great game last night. Great credit to both teams. Obviously could have been won by either team and a botched snap on a PAT length FG utimately was the difference. Clemson should and will rise in the polls and UGA should drop minimally in my opinion, losing on the road to a top 10 team in game that came down to the end. All that being said, as a college football fan I must ask..why all the vitriol against the SEC? If you don’t like their fans, then complain about their fans, I get that. I have no dog in the hunt but can anyone who is objective disagree that the SEC is not clearly the most dominant conference? What criteria do you want to use? You pick it. National Championships, All Americans, Players in the Pros, All time highest winning percentage out of conference, recruiting rankings. If your claim is that the media just loves the SEC. Okay, I will humor you. I have 2 questions for you: If that is your claim then your premise is that media bias (we will just forget that computers are involved too) allows SEC teams into National Championship games in place of other more deserving teams. If these SEC teams weren’t deserving doesn’t it stand to reason they wouldn’t do very well once they got there? The record speaks for itself. Secondly, if you are crying conspiracy, does the media have the NFL GM’s and scouting departments fooled as well? It’s not a mystery folks. Since 1980 the SEC has won 12 National Championships with SIX different teams. In that same time span the ACC has won 3 (FSU twice and Clemson 1981). If you think the SEC is overrated, fine then just support your argument with some type of factual rebuttal.

  24. Deb says: Sep 1, 2013 7:41 PM

    Thank you, harbourimages! Hello, amos and cometkazie!

  25. dallasdominates says: Sep 1, 2013 8:01 PM

    Let me just say this. Yes I am a Clemson fan. Yes my opinion is biased. But let me try to be objective here. This was a real good game IMO. There is alot of people who won’t give Clemson it’s due credit because we have a tendency to fall on our faces. They even had a segment on College Gameday about believing in Clemson which to me was kinda disrespectful. Having said that, you have to be a hater to see the potential our team has going forward this year because again .. We proved that we can beat a quality team despite the odds. All I see is Clemson played well but.. Georgia was this.. Georgia was that.. If this happened. Like come one. Someone even had the nerve to say Georgia wasn’t even into this game.. REALLY.. Give us credit for once. We played well n at the end of the day.. We got the W. so be respectful.

  26. cometkazie says: Sep 1, 2013 8:14 PM

    Right on Deb and Amos.

    I liked the way Clemson played and I hope they do really well.

  27. greggatx says: Sep 1, 2013 9:15 PM

    This shows how weak the sec really is. Against stiff competition the sec can’t hang in there.

  28. clemsonstillsucks says: Sep 2, 2013 9:29 PM



    @ everyone else with a 3 digit IQ

    Clemson deserves all the credit for this victory. They came ready to play. Georgia showed in the 4th quarter they could have won the game had they shown up. Clemson played an excellent game and deserves all the credit for the victory.

  29. sillec28 says: Sep 3, 2013 9:40 AM

    FSU and Clemson have no defense. Can’t wait for the FSU-Clemson game, it could set a new record for most points scored in a game. . Also can’t wait for the FSU-Florida game. Florida’s defense will decimate FSU’s offense.

  30. longtallsam says: Sep 3, 2013 9:54 PM

    It is true that Clemson is not yet consistently good on defense. However, after that first quarter in which UGA scored on three straight possessions, the Tiger defense did an excellent job of shutting down the Dogs for 7-8 consecutive possessions, mostly three and outs, while they were dominating the line and getting to Murray.

    Georgia’s defense is extremely young, and so is Clemson’s secondary. I expect both to greatly improve as the year progresses.

    For those who still think both defenses are terrible, the two great offenses had something to do with that.

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