(Thursday, September 10th)
Final Score: (15) Georgia Tech 30, Clemson 27
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Scott Blair hit the eventual game-winning, 36- yard field goal with just under a minute left, and also threw a touchdown pass to help the 15th-ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets avoid an upset and squeak past the Clemson Tigers, 30-27, in an ACC clash.
Josh Nesbitt threw for 83 yards and two interceptions but also ran for 91 yards for the Yellow Jackets (2-0, 1-0 ACC), who won despite allowing Clemson to rattle off 27 straight points and take the lead. Anthony Allen exploded for 127 yards on five carries, including an 82-yard TD dash, and also had a 24- yard catch. Demaryius Thomas tallied 93 yards and a score on three grabs, while Jerrard Tarrant had an 85-yard punt return for a touchdown in the triumph.
"I hope nobody left! We tried to make it exciting for everybody! I am really proud of our team and how we fought back in the fourth quarter," said Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson.
Kyle Parker threw for 261 yards, three TDs and two picks on 15-of-31 efficiency for the Tigers (1-1, 0-1), who faltered after a 37-14 victory over Middle Tennessee in the season opener. C.J. Spiller had 87 yards on 20 touches and added 69 yards and a TD on four catches in defeat. Jacoby Ford notched 109 yards and a touchdown on five grabs. Dwayne Allen also had a TD reception in the setback.
"It was a tough night. I'm sure it was a phenomenal game if you're sitting at home with some popcorn and a coke, watching it," said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney.
Trailing by 17, Clemson took its first possession of the second half 57 yards in seven plays, capped by a nine-yard TD reception by Allen to make it 24-14 with 9:49 left in the third.
The Tigers stopped the Yellow Jackets on each of their next three possessions and capitalized each time to assume the lead. Parker hit Ford for a 77-yard TD for the first strike, then Richard Jackson hit a 21-yard field goal to tie it up and then added a 53-yarder to give Clemson a 27-24 edge with 11:33 left in the game.
Blair added a 34-yard field goal on Georgia Tech's next touch to tie it up.
The Tigers were then forced to punt and the Yellow Jackets took advantage. Starting at its own 35, Georgia Tech drove down to the Clemson 34, thanks in large part to a 39-yard pass to Nesbitt. Four plays later, it was 4th-and-1 but Blair hit a 36-yard field goal to give the home team a 30-27 edge with 57 ticks left to play.
Clemson was stopped on four straight plays to seal the deal.
Allen broke an 82-yard score down the right sideline off the option to give the Yellow Jackets a 7-0 lead with 9:27 left in the opening stanza.
Following a quick Clemson series, Tarrant ran the ensuing punt back 85 yards to the end zone to give Georgia Tech a 14-0 advantage with 6:55 left in the first.
On 3rd-and-13 from the Clemson 34-yard-line, Nesbitt went to the end zone and appeared to be picked off. However, the review showed that the defensive back didn't get a foot down and GT kept the ball. The following play, the Yellow Jackets lined up for a field goal, but on the snap Blair hit a wide open Thomas for a TD that ballooned the difference to 21-0 with 2:38 left.
Blair nailed a 24-yard field goal early in the second to make it a 24-point game. However, the Tigers answered with a 63-yard touchdown pass from Parker to Spiller on their ensuing touch to close it to 24-7.
Last week Tarrant had a 68-yard punt return for a TD...GT outgained Clemson 301-125 on the ground but was outgained 261-117 through the air...The Jackets and Tigers have a long history against one another, with Georgia Tech holding a 48-24-2 lead in a series that dates back to 1898. Last season, Tech marched into South Carolina and clipped Clemson by a 21-17 score.
09/11 01:30:58 ET