Matt Connolly

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Clemson vs. Wake Forest

Dabo Swinney recaps Clemson's win over Wake Forest

Tigers defense plays well in 28-14 win
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Tigers defense plays well in 28-14 win

THUMBS UP

Austin Bryant

The junior had seven tackles, two tackles for loss and forced a fumble. Wake Forest led the nation in tackles for loss entering Saturday’s game, but the Tigers finished with eight while the Demon Deacons had five.

Ray-Ray McCloud

The Florida native caught five passes for 38 yards and returned four punts for 58 yards with a long of 23. McCloud would have finished with even more return yards but penalties brought two back.

Clemson pass defense

Even without its starting quarterback, Wake Forest took several shots down field. Clemson’s secondary and linebackers played great for three quarters before the backups had a couple of busts late, but Wake’s Kendall Hinton completed less than 50 percent of his passes for 203 yards.

Tee Higgins

The freshman caught three passes for 39 yards, including a long of 20. He also showed off his strength by running over a Wake Forest defender near the sideline. The Tennessee native has a bright future.

THUMBS DOWN

Kickers

Clemson and Wake Forest were a combined 0-for-3 on field goal attempts. Wake Forest kicker Mike Weaver missed two, and Clemson kicker Alex Spence missed one.

Penalty problems

Clemson had nine penalties for 79 yards, including some critical ones. Tigers coach Dabo Swinney was disappointed his team did not play with more discipline.

Student section

Swinney challenged the student section and crowd to stay the entire game and create the best environment of the season, but there were lots of empty spots on the hill early in the third quarter.

Wake Forest’s injury report

The Demon Deacons had a pretty big omission from their injury report as quarterback John Wolford did not start with a shoulder injury. Wake did not announce the move, and Clemson did not know until the game started.

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