(Saturday, October 18th)
Final Score: Georgia Tech 21, Clemson 17
Clemson, SC (Sports Network) - Josh Nesbitt threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas with 5:22 left to play, lifting the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets over the Clemson Tigers, 21-17, in ACC action at Memorial Stadium.
Nesbitt completed 5-of-12 tosses for 91 yards on the day and he also added 77 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. Jonathan Dwyer had 109 yards on 21 carries for Georgia Tech (6-1, 3-1 ACC), while Thomas finished with four receptions for 56 yards and the one touchdown. The Yellow Jackets have now won four games in a row.
Cullen Harper threw for 170 yards and a pair of touchdowns for Clemson (3-4, 1-3), but he was also picked off twice. Aaron Kelly was his main target with seven receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns, as the Tigers suffered a third straight loss and their first under Dabo Swinney, who took over as head coach on an interim basis after Tommy Bowden stepped down on Monday. Bowden had signed a big extension after the 2007 season and was 72-45 during his career at Clemson, but a slow start to the 2008 campaign led to the decision to step aside. The Tigers were just 3-3 under Bowden this season after entering the campaign with lofty expectations and a No.9 ranking. Swinney, an assistant head coach/wide receivers coach, is in his sixth season with the Tigers and he inherits a program that never had a losing campaign under Bowden.
The Yellow Jackets' defense made the biggest impact of the first quarter, as Dominique Reese returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown with just over six minutes left in the period.
With just under five minutes left in the second quarter, Clemson put its first points on the board with a 40-yard field goal by Mark Buchholz.
Georgia Tech, however, responded on the ensuring drive, as it marched 80 yards in nine plays for a five-yard touchdown run by Nesbitt with 30 seconds left in the half.
Just over five minutes into the second half, the Tigers were able to strike with a 32-yard scoring pass from Harper to Kelly.
Harper and Kelly hooked up, once again, late in the third quarter, as their 31-yard scoring play gave Clemson a 17-14 lead.
With 5:22 remaining in the final quarter, Nesbitt threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Thomas and the Yellow Jackets moved ahead 21-17. Georgia Tech's defense did the rest to secure the victory.
The Yellow Jackets limited Clemson to just 249 total yards, while forcing six turnovers. Georgia Tech also outgained the Tigers on the ground, 207-51, in the game.
Clemson was without star tailback C.J. Spiller, who is still nursing a hamstring injured he suffered against Wake Forest on October 9th.
10/18 15:54:48 ET