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Friday, September 11, 2009
Instant replay: Georgia Tech 30, Clemson 27

Posted by’s Heather Dinich

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney admitted it -- “I got my butt outcoached in the first half,” he told reporters after the Tigers’ 30-27 loss to Georgia Tech on Thursday night.
 Paul Abell/US Presswire
 Anthony Allen's 82-yard run put the Yellow Jackets on the board.

He did, but Swinney and his entire team redeemed themselves in the second half, and should be lauded for their effort.

It’s too early to determine Clemson’s path for this season, but the Tigers showed something they didn’t last season under former coach Tommy Bowden -- toughness and resiliency. Instead of folding after falling deep into a 24-0 hole, the Tigers rallied to take the lead in the fourth quarter. It seemed like they were on the verge of making an improbable comeback, and for the second time in a week the ACC delivered another nationally televised page-turner.

A few quick observations:
If Miami was watching -- and it would be hard to believe it wasn’t -- first-year defensive coordinator John Lovett might have learned something from Kevin Steele in the second half. Clemson did a much better job of stifling that option offense and forcing the Jackets into uncomfortable throwing situations.

The lesson learned from this game is that both teams still have room to grow but are capable of leading their respective divisions. It’s not even mid-September yet, and both Clemson and Georgia Tech will improve as the season unfolds. For now, it's Miami and Georgia Tech at the top of the heap, which makes for an exciting game next Thursday.