Saturday, October 29, 2011
Halftime: Georgia Tech 24, Clemson 3
By Heather Dinich
ATLANTA -- Shocked? Nah. It's the ACC. The second half is where we'll find out what Clemson is really made of. On a roster comprised of 42 freshmen, are there enough veteran leaders to orchestrate a comeback and keep composure? Is the defense good enough to adjust? Stay tuned. This is Clemson's biggest deficit of the season. Here's a look back at the highlights of the first half:
Turning point: Clemson's second possession of the game set the tone. It started when quarterback Tajh Boyd was sacked for a loss of 16 yards, a play that energized Georgia Tech's defense and the crowd. On the following play, D.J. Howard fumbled and Rod Sweeting recovered it at the Clemson 19-yard line. The turnover led to a 7-3 lead for Georgia Tech, and the Jackets have held the momentum since.
What Georgia Tech needs to do: Continue to get the ball to the playmakers on the perimeter. Clemson has had trouble tackling those guys once they get loose, and Georgia Tech has broken free for too many long plays. It's also opened things up in the passing game. In other words, Georgia Tech needs to continue to do what it does best -- run the ball, control the clock, and beat Clemson with its option offense.
What Clemson needs to do: Wake up. Offense, defense, special teams -- everyone needs a makeover in the locker room at halftime. The Tigers need to play more disciplined on defense, sustain some drives, keep Georgia Tech's offense off the field, convert on third downs, and more than anything, refocus.