Matt Connolly

Thumbs up, thumbs down: Clemson vs. Georgia Tech

Clemson linebacker Dorian O’Daniel made plays all over the field against Georgia Tech.
Clemson linebacker Dorian O’Daniel made plays all over the field against Georgia Tech. AP

THUMBS UP

Ray-Ray McCloud: The sophomore looks like a totally different player from last season as he is playing with more confidence and appears quicker. He led the Tigers with eight catches for 101 yards and added 17 yards on punt returns.

Cornell Powell: The true freshman had a bit of a coming out party with five grabs for 44 yards, including a critical sliding third-down grab in the first half to keep a drive alive.

Dorian O’Daniel: He continued his streak of playing well against Georgia Tech with nine tackles including two tackles for loss. He was all over the field in the first half with six stops in the first two quarters.

Brent Venables: Clemson’s defensive coordinator should offer a clinic on stopping the triple option. In the past two seasons he has held Paul Johnson’s rushing attack to less than 100 yards.

THUMBS DOWN

Running game: The Tigers totaled 138 rushing yards on 38 carries, with star running back Wayne Gallman managing only 59 yards on 17 attempts. The problem isn’t all Gallman, though. The Clemson offensive line didn’t provide much of a push.

Kicking game: Greg Huegel missed a short field goal in the first half and Ray-Ray McCloud fumbled a punt return that could have given Georgia Tech good field position, but the Tigers recovered the fumble. Huegel also had a kickoff go out of bounds.

Georgia Tech’s passing game: The Yellow Jackets completed 4 of 14 passes for 29 yards with an interception. The few occasions when Justin Thomas had an open receiver he didn’t have time to get the pass off.

Officials: There were questionable calls against both teams all night. The most noticeable mistakes included a Clemson pass that traveled three yards forward being originally called a lateral and a Georgia Tech pass that went a couple of yards backward being called forward and not reviewed. Had the call been correctly made, Clemson would have scored on the play.

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