Clemson leans on defense again to down Syracuse

clemfoot-3celebThe Clemson defense dominated again and Wayne Gallman ran for 101 yards as the Tigers won another physical battle against Syracuse, 16-6. With the win, the Tigers moved to 5-1 in the ACC and 6-2 overall and became bowl eligible.

“We keep finding ways to win,” said Coach Swinney. “As long as we have one more point than the opponent, that’s all that matters. We got it done.”

Gallman finished with a career-high 28 carries for 101 yards, the most rushing yards by a Tiger this season. Mike Williams led the Tigers in receiving yards with 72 and Artavis Scott led with seven receptions.

The Clemson defense played strong again, keeping the Orange off the board in the second half. The Tigers had four sacks, a significant accomplishment considering Syracuse had only allowed five total sacks all season coming into the game.

The Tigers had 12 tackles for loss and held Syracuse to 3-for-16 on third down. The defense also forced three turnovers on the night with interceptions by safety Robert Smith and linebacker Stephone Anthony along with a forced fumble recovery by cornerback Mackensie Alexander. The forced fumble was the first by Syracuse in over 278 snaps, which dated back to their September 20 game against Maryland.

The homecoming crowd was electric and the support was appreciated by the team. “It’s really special when you can go out on defense and everyone gets loud and cheers for you,” Grady Jarrett said. “It’s a very satisfying feeling to know the amount of support we have to get the ball back for our offense.”

In a low-scoring affair, special teams continued to be a solid contributor for the Tigers. Ammon Lakip was 3-for-3 on field goals. The junior kicker has now made 13 of his 14 field goal attempts at home.

“It’s not often that you’re minus in the turnover margin and still win,” said Swinney.

The biggest drive for the Clemson offense came in the second half, when Cole Stoudt orchestrated a seven-play, 73-yard drive capped by an 18-yard touchdown pass to Stanton Seckinger in the fourth quarter to give the Tigers the 16-6 lead.

“We got the running game going, improved on some things and made key plays in the second half,” Stoudt noted.

The seniors recorded their 25th ACC win, the most ever by a Clemson class.

The Tigers have an open date next week and travel to Wake Forest on Thursday, November 6, for their next game.

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