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Clemson v Syracuse Recap: Tigers outlast Orange despite injuries


Chase Brice (7) filled in for the injured Trevor Lawrence during Clemson’s win over Syracuse on Saturday

     Clemson and Syracuse played an eerily similar game in Death Valley to last year’s game in the Carrier Dome, but this time, 12:00 p.m. Saturday, September 29th, Clemson came out with the win, defeating Syracuse 27-23. Once again Clemson’s starting quarterback was forced to exit the game due to a head injury in the first half. Last year it was Kelly Bryant; this year it was Trevor Lawrence.

      Clemson did not get off to a great start, as they turned the ball over early in the game when Lawrence missed a hand-off, giving Syracuse great field position. However, Clemson’s defense was able to keep Syracuse out of the end zone for the second time in the game, and hold them to only a field goal. Clemson’s defense consistently pressured Syracuse quarterback, Eric Dungey, resulting in some big stops.

     In the 2nd quarter, Clemson wasn’t able to take advantage when Syracuse fumbled, as Greg Huegel missed a 47-yard field goal. Later, Lawrence tried to convert to a first down by running the ball, but after getting hit hard in the head, he was forced to leave the game. At the end of the first half Syracuse led Clemson 16-7, with Clemson rushing for 95 yards, and passing for 93 yards and Syracuse rushing for 48 yards and passing for 173 yards.

     In the second half, Clemson relied on their defense and run game to keep them in the game without their starting quarterback. Clemson’s running back, Travis Etienne, stepped up big, scoring all three of Clemson’s touchdowns and setting new career high in rushing with 203 yards.

     As expected, back-up quarterback, Chase Brice, started off a little rusty. But, the more he played, the more confident he became. In the beginning of the 2nd half Brice threw a bad interception, but late in the second half he lead their offense 94 yards for a touchdown. With 2 minutes left in the game, he threw a 20-yard pass to Tee Higgins on 3rd down, and then ran the ball another 17 yards to keep the drive moving at a fast pace.

     Clemson started the season with two of the best quarterbacks in all of college football, but earlier this week, Bryant announced he planned on transferring because head coach, Dabo Swinney, named Lawrence as their starting quarterback this week. If Bryant had stayed on the team, he would have come in when Lawrence got hurt, instead of former four-star recruit, freshman Chase Brice. Swinney commented that if Kelly Bryant were to change his mind and want to return, he would welcome him with open arms. Now, the question is how long will Lawrence be out and will this change Bryant’s mind about transferring?

     With a win today, Clemson extends their undefeated record to 5-0 and will face Wake Forest next Saturday.

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