#5 Clemson Takes Down #21 Deacons in Exciting Double Overtime Thriller

Clemson VS Wake Forest: The Game Of The Year?

By: Grayson Mann

Here we go! The meat of the Clemson schedule is finally here, with back-to-back top 25 matchups as the ACC continues to heat up and improve. Clemson faces off against the Demon Deacons in their first ranked matchup of the season. Here is how the Tigers performed in Winston-Salem.

The first quarter started similar to a fireworks show, with DJ and company lighting up the Demon Deacons on their first two drives. You got a little bit of everything with the offense, Shipley’s long run to start the game, and the tight ends being utilized more than they have been all season. Davis Allen and Briningstool got in the action very early, with formations and route combos that would give fits for Wake early. The offensive line’s play was an auspicious aspect of the first quarter, giving DJ time to scan the field and dissect the defense. This was the case as DJ would find Briningstool for a twelve-yard score, scanning the area with all the time he could hope for as a quarterback. This would continue in drive number two, with DJ finding Spector for a 41-yard score on a throw down the seam. However, Wake would not let Clemson roll away with the game, with Hartman and company capitalizing on Clemson penalties to get seven of their own. The first quarter would conclude with Clemson up seven.

The second quarter would feature a slugfest between Wake and Clemson; trading blows with nothing to show. Antonio Williams seems to be a consistent topic to write about when covering this team, as he came up in a big way early in the second down the sideline that allowed Clemson to set up Potter for an easy field goal. The theme of the second quarter was the ongoing struggle with Clemson’s defensive backs against Wake Forest’s wideouts. The size and length of the receivers made 50/50 balls an easy call for Hartman to make. Clemson’s penalties were again the catalyst for a Wake Forest touchdown drive. Clemson would respond with a five-minute drive to end the half but could not get into the end zone, leaving it up to B.T. Potter to give Clemson a six-point cushion going into the half. Overall, Clemson’s first half can be summed up as a great start offensively, but penalties from the inexperienced DBs allowed Wake to stay in the game. Clemson dominated the first half in almost every category, whether it was yards, time of possession, or third-down percentage, but Wake would stay in the game heading into the locker room.

The big question going into the half was if Clemson would be able to clean up their mistakes and leave Winston-Salem with their fourth straight win.

The third quarter would start with a Wake Forest rally and a significant punch to the Tigers. Hartman would lead two scoring drives resembling the first half’s struggles. The offensive game plan for Wake was straightforward; let the Wake receivers work the Clemson defensive backs. Clemson on defense to start the third had seemingly no answer for whatever Hartman and company were cooking up. Hartman would throw for three touchdowns in the third quarter and put the Tigers on their heels. The secondary has to be addressed as the season progresses; it was a significant factor today. DJ, however, would lead some critical drives in the third, allowing his receivers to make plays, such as Beaux Collins, who had a third down catch and a catch for a two-point conversion. Clemson would trail seven going into the fourth but push towards another scoring drive. The fourth quarter of what would be an absolute classic was sure to have a wild finish.

The fourth quarter would begin with a Tigers scoring drive, courtesy of the most challenging one-yard run in Shipley’s career. The game would be tied at 35. If you are a neutral football fan of this game, you love every second. On the other hand, fans of both teams were understandably stressed beyond belief. Going late into the fourth, B.T. Potter had one of the biggest kicks of his career, nailing a 52-yard field goal to tie the game. The score would stay that way as this game would head to overtime. With all the twists and turns this game had, overtime was very fitting. Wake Forest would strike first with a wide-open touchdown to A.T. Perry. The film review for this week’s game will be a very interesting one. Having one of the best games of his career, DJ would find Beaux Collins in the end zone for his fourth TD pass of the day. Clemson would again look for DJ to make the big throws when they needed him most; Davis Allen would make an incredible grab to give Clemson a six-point lead. Clemson would hold on for what could be the game of the year as Nate Wiggins would make the game-winning deflection.

What. A. Game.

There is a lot to unpack here. The Tigers certainly have their work cut out for them on defense as DJ Uiagalelei has the game of his life to lead the Tigers to a 51-46 victory in Winston-Salem. Next week the Tigers will take on NC State in Death Valley, with Gameday potentially making the trip to Clemson.

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