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Clemson Gets Tough Win Before Bye

Clemson Gets tough Win Before Bye

Clemson played a tough, gritty Wake Forest team for its homecoming game this past Saturday. These two teams seem to play each other very well whenever they match up. This year’s game proved to be no different as the Tigers edged out the victory 17-12. The game saw both teams play very good defense, but they also looked like two teams with first-year starters at quarterback. In the end, it was Clemson’s ground game that helped them overcome a good Wake Forest football team.

Defense Answers the Challenge

Coming into this game, we talked about Wake Forest’s unique offense and how important it is for the Tigers’ front seven to stop it. The defense showed up looking more than ready to take on that challenge. Coming into the game the Deamon Deacons’ offense averaged 426.5 total yards of offense per game. The Clemson defense held them to nearly 200 yards less giving up 239 yards of offense.

The Tigers’ front kept the pressure on Mitch Griffis all game long. Clemson’s defense held him to under 150 yards passing as he finished completing 15 of 25 passes for 137 yards. Ruke Orhorhoro seemed to be living in the backfield during the game with all the pressure he put on Griffis. The graduate defensive tackle both blew up plays and made an impact all day long. Orhorhoro finished with three total tackles, one tackle for loss, and a sack. He was not the only one to get into the backfield though. Overall the Tiger defense totaled four sacks and eight tackles for loss.

Run Game Makes the Difference

Neither team’s offense had a great day especially when it came to passing the ball. Cade Klubnik also did not reach 150 yards through the air. Klubnik finished the game completing 18 of 28 passes for 131 yards. His only touchdown on the day came when he ran one in from seven yards out. Yet for some reason it took until the second half for the Tigers to use the run game more effectively. Will Shipley and Phil Mafah both only had four touches each in the first half. They combined for 20 total rushing yards in that half. That completely changed when the third quarter rolled around.

To start the second half Shipley broke off two big runs for Clemson first downs. This helped set the precedence for what would win the game for the Tigers. Shipley would ultimately finish the game with 19 rushes for 97 yards and a touchdown. Mafah would get himself going a bit too adding a pair of 20-yard runs in the second half. One of those runs helped to seal the game on Clemson’s last drive. Mafah finished with 9 rushes and 63 yards himself on the day. The Tigers would finish with 207 yards on the ground. This would be 105 more rush yards than Wake Forest gained. Every touchdown scored in the game from both teams was a rushing touchdown.

Looking to the Bye Week

Now after six straight weeks of football games, the Tigers get a week to regroup. It is hard to ask for a much better bye week than right in the exact middle of the season. There is more than enough film for both coaches and players to evaluate. For the Tigers, there will be so much good stuff to look at as well as so many mistakes to find and clean up. They must get it right during this week though because the second half of the schedule is much tougher. If Clemson wants to keep the momentum going this must be another week of work for them, not of rest.

 

Clemson Gets tough Win Before Bye
Photo courtesy: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

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