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Clemson vs. Georgia Tech first half thoughts/takeaways

Matt Mynes, Asst. Photo Editor

Clemson wide receiver Beaux Collins (80) catches a 6-yard touchdown pass from DJ Uiagalelei against Georgia Tech on Sept. 5, 2022. 

At halftime, Clemson is winning against Georgia Tech, 14-3. Here are our halftime thoughts on the Tigers. 
Offense/Special Teams
—Although he struggled in most of the first half, junior quarterback DJ Uiagalelei led the Tigers on an eight-play, 67-yard drive that ended with Uiagalelei connecting with wide receiver Beaux Collins for a 6-yard score. Still, Uiagalelei didn’t have any sort of breakout performance, as he finished the first half completing 73.3% of his passes for 108 yards and one touchdown. Uiagalelei also lost a fumble early in the first quarter, ending a promising 48-yard drive.
—While the Tigers entered halftime with an 11-point lead, Clemson’s offense as a whole looked very similar to 2021. Clemson had 145 total yards compared to Georgia Tech’s 130.
—Beaux Collins led Clemson in receiving in the first half, with 54 yards on three receptions. Collins split playing time with E.J. Williams, while Joseph Ngata played on the majority of offensive snaps. Outside of Collins, Clemson’s other receivers combined for 26 yards.
—In his first career start, Aidan Swanson had a strong first half punting the ball for the Tigers. He averaged 48.5 yards on his four punts.
— Sophomore safety Andrew Mukuba started the game with a bang for the defense, intercepting the first pass from Georgia Tech quarterback Jeff Sims. The 6-foot, 185-pound sophomore also tallied three total tackles in the first half. 
— Sophomore linebacker Barrett Carter was all over the field in the first half. The former five-star from Georgia made tackles in the open field and looked very solid in pass coverage. Carter finished the half with seven total tackles.
Nate Wiggins dropped an interception late in the second quarter that would have likely been a pick-six. Sims was pressured on the throw and delivered a pass that hit Wiggins in the hands. The Yellow Jackets capitalized on Wiggins’ drop and hit a 45-yard field goal to get on the board. 
— The Tigers’ pass defense did its job against the Yellow Jacket offense. Allowing 111 passing yards, the unit didn’t allow a pass completion over 16 yards and did a good job of not getting beat deep by Georgia Tech receivers. 
Clemson’s defensive line picked up right where they left off last season, generating pressure with its pass rush and clogging the line of scrimmage. The unit combined for four tackles for loss and allowed 19 rushing yards.

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