CLEMSON — With emotions high for Senior Day and serious conference implications on the line, Clemson took a 17-10 lead over No. 10 Wake Forest into the locker room at the half at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
The Demon Deacons are going for an ACC Atlantic title with a win, while the Tigers can stay in the hunt with a victory.
Here's a look at how the first half went in this key ACC showdown:
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- Clemson had opportunities to build an even bigger lead and possibly put the game away, but the Tigers turned the ball over twice in the half and missed some big plays in the passing game early.
- Still, the Tigers played inspired ball against an ACC-undefeated team and were backed by a loud crowd in the first half.
- Clemson's defense came out super aggressive. In Wake's first seven plays, the Tigers produced three sacks.
- Clemson's defense was stifling early in the game. Wake had 10 total yards and 10 penalty yards in the first quarter.
- Meanwhile, Clemson got going early, averaging 7.2 yards per play on offense and leading 10-0 after the first 15 minutes.
- Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei completed 9 of his 16 passes for 132 yards and one interception in the first half. He showed some good touch on a few passes and avoided two sacks on one play to find Beaux Collins for a 60-yard heave that set up the first touchdown of the game.
- With the Tigers short on receivers, Dacari Collins, Beaux Collins and Will Swinney go the start. That forced Davis Allen, a tight end, into a large role in the passing game. He had 6 catches for 53 yards.
- Kobe Pace ran well in his first game since he was injured on Nov. 6, rushing for 78 yards, but he put the ball on the carpet and it was recovered by Wake.
- Clemson rolled the dice on a 4th-and-goal play from 1-yard line with Will Shipley easily diving into the end zone.
- Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman was 17-of-27 passing for 195 yards in the first half, but he was sacked four times.
- Andrew Booth Jr. recorded his first interception of the season with 8 seconds left in the second quarter to make sure Wake didn't get any
- The Deacs offense finally found a rhythm in the second quarter, speeding the Tigers up and getting the ball out of Hartman's hand quickly on screens. However, Clemson's defense held up in the red zone and forced a short field goal that got Wake on the board.
- Wake kept it going late in the half when the Deacs marched 75 yards in 11 plays and converted three third downs to get within a touchdown with 1:22 left in the half.
- Play of the first half came on a jump pass from Shipley to Allen for a 2-yard touchdown. It's the second time in as many weeks that Dabo Swinney has pulled out a trick play. They ran a fake field goal against UConn last week.
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