No. 2 Clemson (6-0, 4-0 ACC) kept the wins coming with a 28-14 victory in Death Valley over Wake Forest (4-2, 1-2 ACC), but the health of starting quarterback Kelly Bryant will be in the spotlight. Bryant came out of the game in the third quarter with an apparent lower-body injury that left him limping.
the hit that took Bryant out occured near the goal line, just before Clemson managed to push its lead to 21-0. Bryant remained on the field to finish the drive before being evaluated by trainers.
Zerrick Cooper was the first quarterback off the sideline to replace the injured Bryant (who had already completed 21-of-29 pass attempts for 200 yards and a score with one interception), and Hunter Johnson also got in the mix in backup duty. Johnson added a touchdown pass to help push the Clemson lead in the second half for a 28-0 lead. Clemson had score don their first two offensive possessions of the game in the first quarter, but the offense did enough to avoid a decent scare at home against Wake Fores, although Wake Forest scored a couple of touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
It was not a perfect day for Clemson, however. The Tigers lost the turnover battle with two giveaways to none, but the Tigers defense continued to lead the charge and avoided allowing Wake Forest many opportunities to do much of anything. Wake Forest was playing with backup quarterback Kendall Hinton as well, which didn’t help their cause much either.
Clemson heads up north to play Syracuse next week. For now, the Tigers are still sitting in a good spot for a second-half run to the ACC crown, although Clemson fans will keep a close eye on the status of Bryant moving forward.
Wake Forest will have next week off, which is needed after back-to-back losses against Florida State and Clemson. When they get back in action, they will be on the road against Georgia Tech, with Louisville looming after that.