Clemson Football

Clemson football QB Cade Klubnik leads comeback to win 27-21 vs. Syracuse

Clemson had a big win. And maybe an interview with the quarterback.

 Cade Klubnik

Freshman quarterback Cade Klubnik left the sideline in the second half to replace struggling starter D.J. Uiagalelei and led Clemson to back-to-back touchdown runs Saturday to a 27-21 victory against Syracuse at Memorial Stadium.

Clemson’s commanding lead in the ACC 

Fifth-ranked Clemson (8-0, 6-0) heads into its opener with a commanding lead in the ACC Atlantic Division. Syracuse (6-1, 3-1) struggled to push the Tigers to the top.

Clemson set an ACC record with its 38th straight home win. It was the first game between undefeated teams with at least six wins in Memorial Stadium history. The Tigers lead 8-0 in the ninth. In the previous seven, they went to the game for the national championship.

Kubik entered with Clemson trailing 21-10 in the third quarter after Uiagalelei’s third-down turnover. Kubik led an 80-yard drive and the Tigers scored on two plays on the next drive, with Will Shipley running 50 yards for a TD. On the two-point conversion for a 24-21 lead, Klubnik escaped the sack and found Joseph Ngata in the back of the end zone.

Clemson has complete control of the ACC

The Tigers were in danger of losing control of the ACC, but they recovered with a second-half comeback and are now on the verge of wrapping this thing up. he should wait a few weeks. Going into the open date and the game at Notre Dame, Clemson can clinch the Atlantic Division by winning either the Oct. 19 games against Miami if anyone is still within striking distance by then. Meanwhile, Syracuse has ACC games remaining against Pitt, Florida State, Wake Forest, and Boston College.

Turnovers were costly for Clemson

Clemson had three turnovers in the red zone. DJ Uiagalelei threw an interception and then had a fumble that was returned 90 yards for a Syracuse touchdown. The Tigers also converted on two of their first three possessions of the second half. Uiagalelei’s second interception came on the next drive when the Tigers were inside the 20 again.

Clemson running backs split the load

Clemson used a different approach with its running backs in the first half. Instead of going mostly with Will Shipley in one series and then mostly Phil Mafah the next, they favored each other on the same possession. The result was nearly split in the first half, with Shipley having 13 carries for 57 yards while Mafah had 10 carries for 60. Mafah had a short TD run in the second half and Shipley had a long one of 50.

The defense struggled against the Syracuse QB early

Clemson’s defense has discussed the need to stop Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader against the run all week, but the Tigers did little to stop him in the first half. Some runs were decisions made in the pocket. The Tigers said they were ready for it, but they didn’t seem to have a spy on him.

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