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Clemson defense proves to be too much for Syracuse

Ashleigh Snyder
Beaux Collins (80), Tyler Brown (6) and Will Shipley (1) each recorded a touchdown against Syracuse this weekend. Pictured celebrating after a successful drive against Florida State.

The Clemson Tigers took down the previously undefeated Syracuse Orange (4-1, 0-1 ACC) 31-14 at the JMA Wireless Dome on Saturday.

The Tigers’ (3-2, 1-2 ACC) defense led the way in their first conference win of the season, as the unit forced three turnovers and tallied a season-high of five sacks. Linebackers Barrett Carter and Jeremiah Trotter Jr. once again dominated with seven tackles each, two of which were for loss.

“We won the line of scrimmage,” head coach Dabo Swinney said after the win. “We did a heck of a job up front.”

After jumping out to an early 14-0 lead and forcing two Syracuse fumbles, the Tigers led 21-7 at the half and added another 10 points in the second half to secure a win.

Offensively, quarterback Cade Klubnik built off his Florida State performance from a week ago, as the signal caller finished 23/37 for 263 yards and two touchdowns.

“I feel like I’m getting better every game,” Klubnik said. “Just continue to get comfortable out there and feel great.”

“He’s just coming into his own,” Swinney said of his quarterback’s recent play. “He’s got a good feel for it. He’s an unbelievable competitor. He loves to prepare.”

Freshman wide receiver Tyler Brown put together the best game of his young career, catching nine passes for 153 yards and adding one rush for 23 yards as he now leads the team with 316 receiving yards.

“Coaches came in with a good game plan,” Brown said. “I feel like we excelled today. We got better today, and we continue to get better every week.”

Wide receivers Beaux Collins and Troy Stellato combined for six receptions and two touchdowns, and running backs Will Shipley and Phil Mafah each added a rushing touchdown as well.

Despite Saturday’s win, Clemson is still struggling in certain areas early in the season.

While the team forced three turnovers, holding onto the ball has been a problem all season, as tight end Jake Briningstool fumbled in the fourth quarter, leading to a Syracuse score. It was Clemson’s sixth lost fumble of the year.

Special teams has been another problem for Clemson. Graduate kicker Jonathan Weitz missed a 42-yard field goal, as Clemson kickers are now 3/8 on field goals this season.

Next up for Clemson will be a matchup against Wake Forest at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 7 in Memorial Stadium.

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Ashleigh Snyder
Ashleigh Snyder, Photo Editor
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