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Thursday, September 10, 2009
Instant analysis: Georgia Tech 30, Clemson 27



Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich


Turning point: With the game tied at 27 in the fourth quarter, Clemson had a 38-yard play nullified by a holding call on guard Thomas Austin. It erased a beautiful pass from Kyle Parker to Jacoby Ford, and forced the Tigers back to third-and-21 instead of landing inside Georgia Tech’s 30. They had to punt it away with just under 3 minutes remaining and gave Georgia Tech the possession that resulted in the game-winning field goal.

Stat of the game: Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt was 3-of-13 with two interceptions before a 39-yard pass play with 1:15 left in the game to Demaryius Thomas at the Clemson 27 for a first down.

Player of the game: Georgia Tech kicker Scott Blair. His surprise 34-yard touchdown pass to Thomas put the Jackets up 21-0 in the first quarter, and his three field goals of 24, 27 and 30 yards accounted for the remainder of Georgia Tech's points.

Best call: Richard Jackson’s 53-yard field goal attempt on fourth-and-8 with 11:33 left in the fourth quarter put the Tigers ahead 27-24. With the way Clemson’s defense was playing, Dabo Swinney showed confidence the Tigers would get the ball back anyway, and he showed confidence in Jackson.

Second guessing: To pass or not to pass? Was it really a good idea for Nesbitt to keep throwing the ball? The Jackets got away from their identity, a run-based offense, and Paul Johnson is the one who calls the plays. Clemson’s defense showed Nesbitt no respect in totally committing to stopping the option. Johnson might have tried to loosen them up by throwing, but for the most part, it didn’t work.