Clemson Races Past Yellow Jackets, 73-7

Brad Senkiw

Clemson didn't just beat Georgia Tech on Saturday. 

The No. 1 Tigers ripped out the Yellow Jackets' stingers and stomped on them for 60 minutes in a 73-7 victory at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. 

It tied the 1903 team for the most points Clemson has ever scored against Georgia Tech. Trevor Lawrence went off for career-highs in passing yards and touchdowns to help the Tigers improve to 5-0 on the season. 

Most of Lawrence's damage came in the first half, which Clemson led 52-7 at halftime. It's the same number of points the Tigers scored in 60 minutes against the Yellow Jackets in last year's season opener. 

After giving up an early touchdown, Georgia Tech (2-3) came back to tie the game in the first quarter on a 59-yard TD pass from Jeff Simms to Jalen Camp, but Clemson defense bounced back, forced a turnover to help the offense score 24 points over the next 15 minutes of gameplay. 

Key play: Following that GT touchdown that tied the game, the Tigers needed just one play to regain the lead: An 83-yard bomb from Lawrence to Amari Rodgers, who got behind the Jacket defense and ran untouched for his first of two TD catches. 

Player of the game: Lawrence was nearly flawless except for the one interception that ended his streak of 366 passes without one. He finished with 404 passing yards and five touchdowns, all in the first half, on 24-of-33 passing. His 12.2 yards per pass attempt was his second-highest of the season and best with at least 10 attempts. 

Freshman impact: Linebacker Trenton Simpson, along with sophomore Andrew Booth, led the Tigers with six tackles, including four solo. He entered the game with four tackles the entire season.

Coaches decision: With No. 2 quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei out because of shoulder stiffness, Taisun Phommachanh entered the game in the third quarter, but the coaches didn't let him finish the game. They gave preferred walk-on Hutner Helms a chance in the fourth quarter, and the freshman led the Tigers on a 14-play, 65-yard drive capped by a 7-yard TD pass to Kobe Pace.

Stat of the game: Clemson's offense finished with 677 yards, making it the most against an ACC opponent since putting up 698 against Wake Forest in 2018. 

Up next: Clemson returns home to take on Syracuse at Memorial Stadium at noon next Saturday. The Orange, who took the Tigers to the wire in their last trip to Death Valley, lost 38-21 to Liberty on Saturday to fall to 1-3 on the season. 

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