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Saturday, December 5, 2009
Halftime: Georgia Tech 16, Clemson 13

By Heather Dinich

TAMPA, Fla. -- There's been no shortage of excitement in this game so far, and it's as even as expected. Both teams have made mistakes -- Clemson's interception turned into a scoring opportunity for Georgia Tech, and a missed extra point could come back to haunt the Tigers. Georgia Tech hasn't helped itself with penalties, but both teams have done enough in the first half to help fans forget about their losses last weekend.

Here's a quick halftime analysis:

Turning point: In the second quarter, Georgia Tech was on the Tigers' 7-yard line and charged with three straight penalties. The Jackets were pushed back as far as the 32-yard line and had to settle for a field goal. It minimized the damage and the momentum, and Clemson was able to answer on the ensuing possession. In retrospect, though, the turning point of this game could wind up being Clemson’s missed extra point, which was eerily similar to what happened to Pittsburgh in the Panthers’ loss to Cincinnati earlier today.

Stat of the half: Clemson had 125 total rushing yards when these teams met during the regular season, and C.J. Spiller has already racked that up much on his own.

Best player in the half: Spiller. He has scored his 18th touchdown of the season, and tied the school single-season record in the process. His 41-yard touchdown run put him over 1,000 yards this year He enters the second half with 1,035 rushing yards this season, and has 11 carries for 123 yards and two scores in this game. On Clemson’s final scoring drive of the half, Spiller accounted for all five plays, including the touchdown that tied the game at 13.