Clemson offense shines in 73-point performance vs. Georgia Tech


by - Senior Writer -
Amari Rodgers had a career day against Georgia Tech. (Photo courtesy of ACC)
Amari Rodgers had a career day against Georgia Tech. (Photo courtesy of ACC)

Trevor Lawrence was frank during his postgame press conference following No. 1 Clemson’s 73-7 evisceration of Georgia Tech Saturday in Atlanta, saying that while the Tiger offense was humming at a high level, there is still room for improvement and too many points left out on the field.

That is scary for future opponents.

In case you missed it, here are a few highlights:

*Clemson’s 66-point victory margin is the largest in a game between two ACC teams since the conference’s inception in 1953. It is tied for the ninth-largest victory margin by an ACC team against any opponent in conference history.

*The 66-point victory margin ties for Clemson’s seventh-largest in school history and its largest since a 66-point win against South Carolina State in 2014. It’s Clemson’s second-largest win all-time against a school presently in the Football Bowl Subdivision, trailing only a 73-0 victory against Georgia Tech in 1903.

*Clemson’s 73 points tied that 1903 contest for its most against Georgia Tech in a game in series history.

*Clemson’s 73 points represent Clemson’s third-most against an ACC opponent all-time, trailing its 82-point performance against Wake Forest in 1981 and its 77 points against Louisville in 2018. However, both of those performances came at home, so Saturday’s output was the most scored by Clemson in an ACC road game all-time, passing its 63 at Wake Forest in 2018.

*Clemson reached the 70-point mark for the 10th time in school history. The 73 points are tied for the seventh-most in a game in school history.

*Clemson’s 73 points tied for Clemson’s second-most points in a road game in school history, trailing its 94 against Furman in 1915 and matching its 73 at Georgia Tech in 1903.

*Clemson opened the game with a modern-era school-record 52 points in the first half. Clemson’s previous high against an ACC opponent in a first half was 49 in its opening two frames against Wake Forest in its national championship campaign in 1981.

*Clemson produced 473 yards in the first half, only 14 yards shy of the school record for yards in a half (487 vs. Duke in 2012).

*Clemson has now scored at least 37 points in each of its first five games, opening a season with five consecutive games of 37 points or more for the first time in school history.

*Clemson has now won each of its first five games of a season by at least 18 points for the third time in school history, joining the 1929 and 2000 seasons. It is the third time since 2000 that an ACC team has opened a season with five straight wins of 18 points or more, joining the 2000 Tigers and the 2004 Virginia Cavaliers.

*Clemson tied a school record for points in a quarter with 35 in the second quarter, matching its second quarter against Wake Forest in 1981 and its third quarter against North Carolina in 2011.

*Clemson gained 671 total yards, ninth-most in school history and its most since a 702-yard effort against Wofford last season. The 671 yards are Clemson’s most against Georgia Tech all-time, surpassing its 632 yards against Georgia Tech last season.

*Clemson threw seven passing touchdowns, breaking the school record of six set previously against Central Michigan in 2007, against Duke in 2012, against North Carolina in 2014 and against South Carolina in 2016.

*Clemson finished with 500 passing yards, its second-most in a single game all-time behind its record 580 passing yards against Pitt in 2016. The total represents Clemson’s most passing yards in a victory and its most passing yards in a road game in school history. Clemson completed passes to 17 different receivers in reaching that total.

In other words, total domination by an offense that seems to get better every week.

Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said the Yellow Jackets were determined to stop the interior run, leaving them vulnerable to the pass.

"They were giving us opportunities in the passing game and part of our job as coaches is to take our pride out of it,” Elliott said. “Yes, we want to be balanced but we are going to take advantage of whatever looks the defense gives us."

Trevor Lawrence threw for a career-high 404 yards and five touchdowns.

“There was just one bad decision right there. Other than that, he continues to play lights out,” Elliott said. “He is definitely a leader of our offense and he understands his responsibility each week is to come out and be the best version of himself. I haven't looked at the stats, but for somebody to come in and get their work done and be done by halftime, they obviously had a good day.

“This is the highest level of football I have seen out of him. Right now, he is doing an unbelievable job of blocking out an external noise about the future and really being present in the moment and I think that is what is contributing to him playing as well as he is. He is trying to hone in on the best version of him he can be for his teammates.”

Lawrence said games like Saturday’s are why they work so hard.

“It's really fun. This is why we practice and work so hard and get the details right and be on the same page,” Lawrence said. “That is what so fun about offensive football - you can just tell when a team is playing together, communicating and everybody is on the same page. It's a lot of fun when the team plays like that. We came out ready, obviously. It was a big game last week with a lot of hype and we came out and took care of business. This week there wasn't any drop-off.”

Despite the large yardage total and 73 points, there is still room for improvement.

“We still should have hit on a few other ones. There was big play to Frank (Ladson) that we missed, and I missed one to Amari (Rodgers) right before I came out in the third quarter that we should have hit,” Lawrence said. “There is two right there. There is still room for improvement. We did well taking what they gave us - they loaded the box with two linebackers and we did a good job with picking up pressures.”

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