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Clemson Survives Against Syracuse, as Tigers Come Away With 17-14 Road Win

Clemson needed a missed field goal by Syracuse to hold on and defeat the Orange 17-14 on Friday night in the Carrier Dome.

Once again, the Tigers had to grind out a close win.

Clemson beat Syracuse 17-14 on Friday night in the Carrier Dome to improve to 4-2 on the season, and 3-1 in ACC play. The Orange drop to 3-4 on the season and 0-3 in the conference. 

All five games the Tigers have played against FBS competition have been decided by one score, and this one was no different. With Syracuse in position to tie the game with under a minute remaining, Orange kicker Andre Szmyt missed a 48-yard field goal attempt.

Clemson took a 17-7 lead on a B.T. Potter 40-yard field goal with nine minutes remaining in the contest. However, Syracuse came right back on the next possession as quarterback Garrett Schrader connected with Trebor Pena on a 62-yard touchdown pass to pull the Orange back to within three points.

Coming out of a bye week, quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei had what was arguably his best performance of the season, going 21-34 for 181 yards, with one touchdown. The sophomore got the scoring started when he hit Joseph Ngata for a 19-yard touchdown pass with 9:02 left in the second quarter, giving Clemson a 7-0 lead. 

The Orange would come right back, though, as Schrader ran in untouched for a touchdown with 5:33 remaining in the second quarter, tying the game at 7-7. Clemson would go up 14-7 on a Kobe Pace 2-yard touchdown run with nine seconds left in the first half, finishing off a 13-play, 58-yard drive. 

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Pace was a key part of the Tigers offense for the second consecutive game, with the sophomore running back rushing for 76 yards on 14 carries. 

It was the Tigers' first road win of the season and keeps Clemson very much alive in the race for a seventh consecutive ACC Championship, despite the fact they do not control their own destiny. 

Key Play: Facing 4th and 5 from the Syracuse 41, Dabo Swinney sent Will Spiers out to punt after a timeout. Instead of kicking the ball away, Spiers found Davis Allen down the right sideline for a 17-yard gain. Clemson would go on to score a touchdown on the drive, taking a 14-7 lead into the half.

Player of the Game: Tight end Davis Allen had a career-high and team-high eight catches for 49 yards. One coming on the fake punt on the big fourth-down play late in the second quarter.

Freshman Impact: Phil Mafah didn't have quite the same impact as he did in his debut against Boston College, but the freshman was still productive in the win over Syracuse. He carried the ball nine times for 30 yards and showed off his hands, reeling in three catches for 27 more yards.

Up Next: Clemson will play their second consecutive road game as the Tigers will travel to Pitt for a 3:30 pm matchup with the Panthers next Saturday.

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