Lids

GAMEDAY College Football

Orange Bowl: Tennessee 31, Clemson 14

(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Sports Writer

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - Joe Milton completed 19 of 28 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns, and No. 6 Tennessee finished off its best season in more than two decades by topping No. 10 Clemson 31-14 in the Orange Bowl.

Squirrel White, Bru McCoy and Ramel Keyton had the scoring catches for the Volunteers (11-2), who matched their best record since 2001. Jaylen Wright rushed for 89 yards and Jabari Small had a touchdown run for Tennessee.

Cade Klubnik, making his first start for Clemson, completed 30 of 54 passes for 320 yards with two interceptions. But Clemson (11-3) just kept coming up empty on chances; the Tigers got into Tennessee territory on nine of their first 10 possessions - and turned those trips into only two field goals.

Klubnik ran in from 4 yards out to get Clemson within 21-14 with 10:01 left, but Milton connected with Keyton for a 46-yard score on the next Tennessee possession. The Volunteers intercepted Klubnik on a desperation fourth-down heave about a minute later and the celebration wasn't on yet - but looming.

Workers began setting up the postgame stage, including the customary oranges that the winning team gets to toss during the trophy ceremony.

And in this very orange Orange Bowl - both teams have it as their primary color - it was the Tennessee hue that was superior.

Milton, the Orange Bowl MVP, opened the scoring with a 16-yard pass to McCoy late in the first, and Small's 2-yard rush pushed the lead to 14-0 with 9:03 left in the half. The nation's most prolific offense wasn't at its best Friday night - Tennessee led the nation this year in yards and points per game - but it didn't have to be, either.

Clemson got the ball seven times in the first half, getting inside Tennessee territory all seven times and getting to the Vols 25 or better on four occasions.

And somehow, that only added up to three points.

A field goal was the only first-half success for Clemson. The other six possessions: a stuffed fake field-goal run by Drew Swinney, the son of Clemson coach Dabo Swinney; a punt; three missed field goals by B.T. Potter - the most prolific kicker in school history - and a brutal final drive when Klubnik was tackled on a keeper with 6 seconds left. Clemson was out of timeouts, couldn't get the field-goal unit on the field and went into halftime trailing 14-3.

Potter opened the second half with a 40-yarder of the no-problem variety - the 73rd field goal of his career, a school record for the Tigers. But White caught a 14-yard pass with 5 seconds left in the third, giving the Vols a 21-6 lead going into the fourth.

THE TAKEAWAY

Tennessee: The Vols traveled well for this game, predictably - and one fan was particularly thrilled. Peyton Manning was on the sideline pregame and had a prime seat for the contest. When he got shown on the in-stadium screens during the second half, he pointed to his Tennessee hat and nodded knowingly as the Vol fans roared.

Clemson: The three big plays that the Tigers will lament aren't hard to identify. The fake field-goal run was one, Klubnik's time-management blunder to end the first half was another, and the third was a decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 from the Vols 31 late in the third. Will Shipley was stopped on a run to the left, and four plays later, Milton found White for the 21-6 lead.

December 30, 2022


Scoring Summary
First Quarter TennClem
Tenn TD 5:17 Bru McCoy 16 yard TD pass from Joe Milton III (Chase McGrath Extra Point) 7 0
Second Quarter TennClem
Tenn TD 9:03 Jabari Small 2 yard TD run (Chase McGrath Extra Point) 14 0
Clem FG 5:11 B.T. Potter 31 yard field goal 14 3
Third Quarter TennClem
Clem FG 10:57 B.T. Potter 40 yard field goal 14 6
Tenn TD 0:05 Squirrel White 14 yard TD pass from Joe Milton III (Chase McGrath Extra Point) 21 6
Fourth Quarter TennClem
Clem TD 10:01 Cade Klubnik 4 yard TD run (Will Shipley 2pt conversion attempt is GOOD) 21 14
Tenn TD 8:34 Ramel Keyton 46 yard TD pass from Joe Milton III (Chase McGrath Extra Point) 28 14
Tenn FG 3:07 Chase McGrath 32 yard field goal 31 14
Team Stats
  Tennessee Clemson
First downs 19 34
  Rushing 6 10
  Passing 12 20
  Penalty 1 4
3rd Down Efficiency 3-13, 23% 7-19, 37%
4th down efficiency 0-0, -% 0-3, 0%
Rushes-Yards 38-124 45-164
Passing Yards 251 320
Return Yards 50 90
Completions-Attempts-Int 19-28-0 30-56-2
Sacks-Yards Lost 4-19 4-24
Punts 8 3
Fumbles Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties - Yards 8-94 4-30
Tennessee Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
J. Milton III 19 28 251 3 0
Clemson Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
C. Klubnik 30 54 320 0 2
D. Allen 0 1 0 0 0
Tennessee Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
J. Wright 11 89 8.1 0
J. Small 13 38 2.9 1
J. Milton III 11 5 0.5 0
Clemson Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
W. Shipley 17 72 4.2 0
C. Klubnik 20 51 2.6 1
P. Mafah 7 39 5.6 0
D. Swinney 1 2 2.0 0
Tennessee Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
S. White 9 108 12.0 1
R. Keyton 4 76 19.0 1
B. McCoy 4 48 12.0 1
P. Fant 2 19 9.5 0
Clemson Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Ngata 8 84 10.5 0
C. Turner 4 51 12.8 0
D. Allen 4 49 12.3 0
A. Randall 3 44 14.7 0
A. Williams 3 41 13.7 0
J. Briningstool 3 29 9.7 0
W. Shipley 4 21 5.3 0
P. Mafah 1 1 1.0 0
Tennessee Interceptions
Player Int Yards
T. McDonald 1 0
W. Walker 1 0
Clemson Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Tennessee Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
P. Brooks 8 317 39.6
Clemson Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
A. Swanson 3 122 40.7
Tennessee Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
D. Williams 1 9 9.0
Clemson Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Tennessee Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
D. Williams 1 17 17.0
D. Sampson 1 24 24.0
Clemson Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
P. Mafah 2 27 13.5
W. Shipley 2 63 31.5
Tennessee Missed FG
Player Length
Clemson Missed FG
Player Length
B. Potter 55
B. Potter 49
B. Potter 42




PandaHall
D1SportsNet