Clemson’s defense holding continued its dominance for a third straight week, Georgia Tech out of the end zone in a crucial goal-line stand for the 14-8 win on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.
The Tigers’ veteran defense has kept each opposing offense out of the end zone in all three of its games. The last time the unit had such a start to the season was in 1950.
Meanwhile, Clemson’s offense continues to adjust and make improvements where necessary, utilizing the run game against the Yellow Jackets. Here’s what Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney had to say after the game:
On going shotgun instead of under center on the final series of the game: “That’s just what we do and that’s what we’ve always done. We definitely thought about going under, but we’ve got a young quarterback. We just went with what we’re comfortable with and we had a good play. It’s not like we didn’t have a good play. We just dropped the ball, so it doesn’t matter if you’re under center or what. If you drop the ball, you put yourself in jeopardy.”
On the five-hour, 27-minute game, which included a nearly two-hour lightning delay: “Never, ever, ever in, I entered college in 1988, and I have never, ever, ever experienced a game like that. … I’ve never come out and had to finish a half and then go right into the third quarter. It was really a crazy day, but man, what an unbelievable effort by our guys. Super, super proud of our team.”
On Georgia Tech’s defense: “They absolutely lined up in nothing that we prepared for. They decided that they were going to just play odd double cloud and play corners up, play overhangs and make us go everything in between the tackles and give us the opportunity there to do that and just not let us have the big play. That’s just kind of what they were going to do.”
On sixth-year senior James Skalski’s performance, which included the goal line stand: “You see his speed, his athleticism. I told our guys, all those young backers in the locker room after the game, man that’s what preparation looks like. That’s what experience and knowledge and preparation is all about. He was tremendous, just tremendous. He’s the heart and soul over there and really, of our team. Just really proud of him and the effort that he has.”
On LaVonta Bentley stepping in for Baylon Spector: “We find out that Baylon’s not going to be able to go. He had a little flareup, inflammation in his knee on Thursday. I thought he was going to be able to go and then came in after pregame and just said he just didn’t think he could do it, so LaVonta found out right then he was going to have to go and I thought he did a great job for us.”
On using DJ Uiagalelei more in the run game: “We always run our quarterbacks, but that’s what we had to do to win the game. Just their style of play and how they were, the structure of their defense tonight, that was the weakness. I guess they thought we couldn’t do it or wouldn’t do it consistently, so proud of our guys for doing what they had to do to win this game.”
This story was originally published September 18, 2021 11:42 PM.