CLEMSON- Clemson kept it's ACC Atlantic hopes alive on Saturday in dominating fashion as the Tigers knocked off No. 10 Wake Forest 48-27 on Senior Day in Death Valley.
The Tigers were in control from beginning to end and notched its 13th straight win over the Demon Deacons.
Suffocating Defense: Brent Venables' unit appeared to be out to prove something on Saturday and that they did. Wake Forest came in with one of the nation's most prolific offenses but could never gain much traction against this Clemson defense. The Demon Deacons were held to just 36 yards rushing (1.2 YPC) and the Tigers registered seven sacks and 10 tackles for loss on the day. Five of those sacks came in the first half when Clemson really set the tone. The Tigers also forced three big turnovers in the win.
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Rushing Attack: Kobe Pace and Will Shipley had their way with the Wake Forest defense. Pace finished the day with 191 yards and averaged eight yards per carry, while Shipley had 112 rushing yards and averaged 5.9. Both backs had two touchdowns via the ground and Shipley also had one passing. DJ Uiagalelei was even effective running the ball, for the most part, totaling 30 rushing yards.
Offensive Efficiency: While the Tigers certainly didn't light it up through the air, they did play efficiently on the offensive side of the ball. Outside a couple of early off-target throws, Uiagalelei managed the game well, throwing for 208 yards and helping guide the team to 543 yards of total offense. It is that kind of balance the coaching staff has been searching for all season. Even more important, the offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage, something that just hasn't happened much this season.
Turnovers: Clemson turned the ball over three times in the win, fumbling it away twice and throwing one interception. The Tigers also had a third fumble they were fortunate to recover. This team absolutely will need to take better care of the football when they travel to Columbia next week to take on in-state rival South Carolina.
Injuries: The list of players either out or playing through injury continues to grow. WR EJ Williams missed Saturday, and DT Tre Williams left early and was seen after the game in a walking boot. Tyler Davis also had to be helped off but was able to return. One of the biggest stories to follow next week just might be which players are able to go next weekend in Columbia and which ones might not be able to play.
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