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Clemson Back on Track

By Carlos Pineda
SouthernPigskin.com
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The Clemson Tigers returned to action on Saturday night, two weeks after suffering their first loss of the season.

The Clemson Tigers returned to action on Saturday night, two weeks after suffering their first loss of the season.

The Tigers rebounded from their loss to Syracuse by knocking off Georgia Tech 24-10 in Death Valley.

Despite soggy conditions all game-long, No. 7 Clemson used a balanced attack on offense while the defense kept Tech's dangerous option under wraps to pick up their third straight win in the series.

Clemson picked up its 38th win over its last 41 games going back to 2014.

Kelly Bryant returned under center after leaving early during the Syracuse with a concussion injury. In his return, the quarterback threw for 207 yards with two touchdowns, while leading the team with 67 rushing yards. Receivers Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud each had a team-best four receptions.

The Tigers' 10-ranked defense played with intensity, forcing a fumble on the first drive of the game, while forcing the Yellow Jackets to punt on eight consecutive possessions. Tre Lamar led the way with 11 tackles and two sacks.

The defense held to No. 2 rushing offense in the country to 198 rushing yards. The Yellow Jackets entered the game averaging 372.8 yards on the ground.

Despite only winning by a two-touchdown margin, Clemson was in control from the beginning. The Tigers offense took advantage of the fumble recovery, as Bryant connected with Cain twice on its opening drive for seven yards, and 38 yards to take an early 7-0 lead.

After a Tech field goal on the ensuing drive, Clemson once again took advantage of good field position to score another touchdown and take an 11-point lead. The Tigers took a 21-3 lead into the half.

Clemson improved to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in the ACC.

Dabo Swinney picked up his 96th win, tying him with Danny Ford for second all-time in wins at Clemson.

The Tigers remain the favorites to win the ACC, but travel to Raleigh next week, where they face NC State in what should be a winner take all game for the Atlantic Division title. NC State has surprised many this season as it heads into the game with a 4-0 conference record, having picked up wins against Florida State and Louisville.

Despite their loss to Syracuse, Clemson remains one of the team's projected multiple nations outlets to make the four-team playoff.

Clemson’s remaining schedule includes NC State in the annual Textile Bowl next week, followed by games against Florida State, The Citadel and South Carolina.

Carlos Pineda - Carlos Pineda is a featured writer for Southern Pigskin. He covered the UCF Knights football team for Florida Today in 2010. Carlos' work has been published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Business Journal. He attended the University of Central Florida. Follow Carlos on Twitter @CarlosFPineda.