GAMEDAY College Football

Clemson 41, Georgia Tech 10

By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA - DJ Uiagalelie threw for one touchdown and ran for another, overcoming a sluggish start in the season opener as No. 4 Clemson pulled away for a 41-10 victory over Georgia Tech.

Uiagalelie completed 19 of 32 passes for 209 yards, including a 6-yard scoring play to Beaux Collins that gave the Tigers a two-touchdown lead in the first half.

Georgia Tech, looking to improve on three straight three-win seasons that have put coach Geoff Collins on the hot seat, kept it closer than expected much of the way.

But the Yellow Jackets couldn't overcome two blocked punts, both of which led to short touchdown runs by Will Shipley.

Georgia Tech pulled within 14-10 on an impressive drive in the third quarter, culminating with Jeff Sims tossing a 13-yard TD pass to 6-foot-7 transfer E.J. Jenkins.

But Uiagalelie, in what was probably the play of the game, appeared headed for a sack when he was cornered by two Georgia Tech defenders on the third-and-4. But the quarterback managed to stay upright just long enough to flip a lateral to Shipley, who rumbled 10 yards for a first down that kept the Clemson offense on the field.

The Tigers went on to drive 74 yards for a touchdown that finally buried the Yellow Jackets. Uiagalelie ran it in from 9 yards out to push Clemson's lead to 24-10.

Clemson scored its first touchdown on special teams after both teams had early struggles on offense.

Carson Donnelly broke through the line untouched and smothered a punt by David Shanahan. Brannon Specter scooped up the ball at the Georgia Tech 18 and took it down the 5 before he was knocked out bounds.

The Yellow Jackets put up a stout goal-line stand, but Shipley finally ran in on fourth-and-goal from the 1.

Sims threw an interception on Georgia Tech's first play of the season, an ill-advised deep throw while under pressure that was picked off by Andrew Mukuba.

The Yellow Jackets' third-year quarterback is considered a key to the team's chances of a turnaround season, so much so that Collins brought in Chip Long as offensive coordinator and Chris Weinke as quarterbacks coach with the specific goal of getting more consistent play out of Sims.

He showed flashes both throwing and running, but it wasn't nearly enough to pull off the upset. Sims threw for 164 yards and led the team in rushing with 41 yards.

The second Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game of the Labor Day weekend was played before a crowd at 47,712 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where the upper deck was closed off to prevent it from looking like a Clemson home game.

As it was, at least half the crowd appeared to be decked out in orange.

THE TAKEAWAY

Clemson: Coming off a 10-3 season that was considered a disappointment by the Tigers' lofty standards, this team still appears to be a work in progress.

For the first time in Dabo Swinney's 14 full seasons as coach, Clemson is breaking in two new coordinators, so it might take a while to get everyone on the same page.

But the offensive line hardly looked dominating and there was a stark difference between the nation's third- and fourth-ranked teams. No. 3 Georgia blew out No. 11 Oregon 49-3 in the first Kickoff Game on Saturday.

Georgia Tech: Collins appears to have done little to correct some familiar problems that plagued his first three years in Atlanta.

There were far too many penalties, including a host of false starts, an unnecessary pass interference penalty that extended a drive when the Yellow Jackets had momentum, and a targeting call that led to the ejection of Charlie Thomas.

Plus, the special teams were a mess. Two blocked punts are inexcusable.


Scoring Summary
Second Quarter ClemGaTech
Clem TD 9:53 Will Shipley 1 yard TD run (B.T. Potter Extra Point) 7 0
Clem TD 3:52 Beaux Collins 6 yard TD pass from DJ Uiagalelei (B.T. Potter Extra Point) 14 0
GaTech FG 1:15 Jude Kelley 45 yard field goal 14 3
Third Quarter ClemGaTech
GaTech TD 9:47 E.J. Jenkins 13 yard TD pass from Jeff Sims (Jude Kelley Extra Point) 14 10
Clem FG 5:41 B.T. Potter 29 yard field goal 17 10
Clem TD 1:18 DJ Uiagalelei 9 yard TD run (B.T. Potter Extra Point) 24 10
Fourth Quarter ClemGaTech
Clem FG 8:45 B.T. Potter 31 yard field goal 27 10
Clem TD 6:27 Will Shipley 3 yard TD run (B.T. Potter Extra Point) 34 10
Clem TD 1:35 Will Taylor 3 yard TD pass from Cade Klubnik (Robert Gunn III Extra Point) 41 10
Team Stats
  Clemson Georgia Tech
First downs 22 13
  Rushing 7 5
  Passing 11 8
  Penalty 4 0
3rd Down Efficiency 7-16, 44% 2-16, 13%
4th down efficiency 1-1, 100% 2-3, 67%
Rushes-Yards 40-120 30-74
Passing Yards 258 164
Return Yards 12 11
Completions-Attempts-Int 23-38-0 23-36-1
Sacks-Yards Lost 3-19 2-12
Punts 6 8
Fumbles Lost 1-1 2-0
Penalties - Yards 3-10 10-86
Clemson Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
D. Uiagalelei 19 32 209 1 0
C. Klubnik 4 6 49 1 0
Georgia Tech Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
J. Sims 23 36 164 1 1
Clemson Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
W. Shipley 10 42 4.2 2
P. Mafah 8 28 3.5 0
D. Uiagalelei 13 20 1.5 1
D. Thomas 3 13 4.3 0
K. Pace 5 13 2.6 0
C. Klubnik 1 4 4.0 0
Georgia Tech Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
J. Sims 13 42 3.2 0
D. Smith 9 30 3.3 0
D. McDuffie 3 5 1.7 0
H. Hall 4 1 0.3 0
M. Carter 1 -4 -4.0 0
Clemson Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
B. Collins 3 54 18.0 1
D. Allen 2 44 22.0 0
A. Williams 4 37 9.3 0
D. Swinney 2 26 13.0 0
W. Taylor 2 23 11.5 1
K. Pace 4 22 5.5 0
W. Shipley 1 14 14.0 0
J. Briningstool 1 12 12.0 0
B. Spector 2 11 5.5 0
E. Williams 1 8 8.0 0
J. Ngata 1 7 7.0 0
Georgia Tech Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
N. McCollum 6 55 9.2 0
E. Jenkins 3 34 11.3 1
M. Carter 2 24 12.0 0
D. McDuffie 3 19 6.3 0
D. Smith 3 16 5.3 0
M. Rutherford 1 10 10.0 0
L. Benson 2 9 4.5 0
H. Hall 3 -3 -1.0 0
Clemson Interceptions
Player Int Yards
A. Mukuba 1 0
Georgia Tech Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Clemson Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
A. Swanson 6 267 44.5
Georgia Tech Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
D. Shanahan 6 284 47.3
Clemson Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
W. Taylor 2 12 6.0
Georgia Tech Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
N. McCollum 1 11 11.0
Clemson Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Georgia Tech Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Clemson Missed FG
Player Length
Georgia Tech Missed FG
Player Length
J. Kelley 50




LovelyWholesale
D1SportsNet