Clemson escaped Winston-Salem with an overtime win 51-45. This article will take a look at what happened in the game, and what it means for these teams moving forward.
The Tigers forced a punt on Wake Forest's opening possession and used that momentum to take an early lead. The Demon Deacons did not score on their next drive, allowing Clemson to drive down the field and extend the lead to 14 in the first. After a few pass interference penalties, Sam Hartman dropped a 36-yard touchdown pass right into the hands of Jahmal Banks to cut the Tigers' lead to seven. After a solid drive, Clemson added three to their lead after Wake Forest held the Tiger's offense inside the 10. Jahmal Banks beat his man deep and scored the second Deacon touchdown of the game. Clemson again stalled in the endzone and had to settle for a field goal before the half. Wake Forest entered the second half on fire scoring 14 unanswered points on the Tiger's defense and taking a 28-20 lead. Clemson struck back after a Davis Allen touchdown, and a 2-point conversion tied the game at 28 late in the third. Clemson and ake Forest went back and forth during the fourth quarter and finished with a 38-38 tie leading them to OT. Both teams scored touchdowns in the first OT, and Clemson started the second OT with a touchdown. The Tiger's defense held Wake Forest on 4th and 6 to end the game 51-45.
Clemson stopped Wake Forest late in the game when they could have walked it off with a game-winning field goal. The Tiger's defense had their first stop in a while, and it electrified the entire team as they entered OT. Clemson matched Wake Forest in the first OT and held them in the second, which was huge as their defense struggled throughout the game.
Clemson Game Ball: QB DJ Uiagalelei
The Tiger's signal caller had the best game of his career as he went 26-41, with 372 yards and five touchdowns. Throughout the game, DJ looked poised, making the correct reads and solid throws.
Wake Forest Game Ball: QB Sam Hartman
Despite the loss, Sam Hartman was unbelievable today. Hartman finished with 337 yards and six touchdowns, breaking a Wake Forest school record for touchdown passes in a game.
Game Thoughts and Notes
- Clemson has found their offense. Since the start of the season, the Tigers have struggled to score points which was not the case today as they exploded for 51 points.
- Penalties killed Clemson. The Tigers had over ten flags, amounting to over 100 yards. The Tiger's secondary looked extremely sloppy in a game where they were missing key starters.
- Sam Hartman is back. In his third game back, Hartman once again passed for 300 yards and dominated throughout the game. If Hartman keeps this up, he could become a Heisman dark horse.
What This Means for Clemson:
The Tigers were missing key defensive players, and it showed today in the form of sloppy penalties and huge receptions. I expect the Tiger's defense to impress once they are healthy; however, it is concerning. While the defense struggled, the offense flourished.
What This Means for Wake Forest:
Looking at their schedule, the Demon Deacons have many challenging games left. Wake Forest can still finish with two losses or less this year; however, an ACC Championship appearance may have slipped away today.