3 takeaways from Clemson's thrilling comeback win over Syracuse
Clemson completed a fourth-quarter comeback win over Syracuse on Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers trailed 21-10 at the start of the final stanza, but were able to rally to a big victory over the No. 14 Orange.
Here are 3 takeaways from Clemson’s win:
The defense stepped up
Clemson’s defense accepted the challenge over and over again on Saturday afternoon. Even as the Tigers offense committed 4 turnovers in the first 2.5 quarters or so, Wes Goodwin’s unit was able to withstand Syracuse’s explosive offense.
Syracuse averaged only 5.4 yards per play and then, on the final drive, Clemson picked off Garrett Shrader to ice the game. Syracuse didn’t score any points in the second half.
Clemson benched quarterback DJ Uiagalelei after his third turnover in this game. Freshman Cade Klubnik came in and led a trio of scoring drives in the second half to give Clemson the win.
Klubnik finished 2-for-4 for 19 yards. He also ran the ball for 16 yards.
Uiagalelei could still start again in two weeks, but Klubnik proved he has the poise to lead Clemson to points under pressure.
The path is clear
Clemson’s path to the College Football Playoff is now clear.
The Tigers likely won’t face another ranked opponent until the ACC Championship Game. Even then, it’s possible the Coastal champion will be unranked.
Clemson is now 8-0 and has ranked wins this season over Wake Forest, NC State and Syracuse. It also has a road win over a likely bowl team in Florida State and could pick up another one over Notre Dame in November. Clemson’s résumé will likely stand up to that of any team in the country when the College Football Playoff committee begins ranking teams in November.