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Paws up, paws down: Clemson vs. Syracuse

Ella Crawford, Contributor

Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik (2) celebrates with his teammates in the end zone during the Tigers’ game against Syracuse in Memorial Stadium on Oct. 22, 2022. 

In a game filled with turnovers, a quarterback change and a game-sealing interception, every play counted down to the final seconds of Clemson’s 27-21 victory over Syracuse last Saturday. 
Here are some paws up and paws down from the Tigers’ come-from-behind win over the Orange.
Paws up: Cade Klubnik brings the momentum
It was the fourth possession of the second half when true freshman quarterback Cade Klubnik took over for DJ Uiagalelei, and he was able to turn the tide for the Tigers. 
The former five-star prospect out of Texas brought the energy that the offense desperately needed.
Reeling from a 21-10 deficit to win the game 27-21 was no small feat for a quarterback who has seen very few snaps in his collegiate career.
It wasn’t always smooth sailing for the true freshman, but his composure and ability to stay calm in the moment awards him a paws up.
Paws down: Turnovers 
They always say to win a football game, you have to win the turnover margin. Although Clemson won the game, that is something the Tigers didn’t accomplish against the Orange. 
Clemson had four turnovers on the day, including a fumble in the red zone that Syracuse returned for a touchdown. 
With the lack of ball security, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney had to turn to Klubnik to try to reignite the offense.
It seemed that an early interception thrown by Uiagalelei and an uncharacteristic fumble by running back Will Shipley caused errors to proliferate as the game progressed. 
Paws up: Clemson’s defensive line 
In their second game at full strength, the Tigers’ defensive front played a vital role in the win. Filled with future NFL Draft picks, Clemson’s defensive line helped shut Syracuse’s offense out in the second half.
Defensive tackle Tyler Davis picked up two sacks, while Bryan Bresee also came up with a big play late in the game.
With five sacks on the day, the defensive line played physical football and truly kept Clemson in the game.
Paws down: Penalties
It wasn’t just the turnovers that affected Clemson’s offensive progress on Saturday, but also some untimely penalties that cost the Tigers good field position in important moments.
Senior wide receiver Joseph Ngata picked up an uncharacteristic personal foul penalty early in the game. 
Meanwhile, freshman right tackle Blake Miller had two false start penalties, which were detrimental when Clemson was trying to regain the lead. 
Although these penalties did not dictate the outcome of the game, they could easily cost the Tigers a win in the future. 
Paws up: Will Shipley
It wouldn’t be a Clemson game this season without a standout performance from sophomore running back Will Shipley.
Shipley picked up 172 yards on 27 carries and was a consistent force in Clemson’s run game on Saturday. 
Shipley also scored two touchdowns, one of which was a 50-yard rush at the 11:26 mark in the fourth quarter. 
Time and time again, fans are seeing Clemson’s lead tailback look like a veteran on the field, and when Clemson needed him against the Orange, he performed his best.

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