JMA Dome–In front of a home crowd of 40,973 the Clemson Tigers earned their third victory of the 2023 season this past Saturday afternoon in a physical battle versus the Syracuse Orangemen. Clemson was led by quarterback Cade Klubnik, he was cool all day in the pocket making every type of throw you can think of. The Tigers 31-14 victory was huge against a hostile crowd in the JMA Dome.
With the win, Clemson improved to 10-2 all-time against the Syracuse Orangemen.
The Orange turned the ball over on its initial drive, with Garrett Shrader fumbling off the hand-off to LeQuint Allen which led to a touchdown for the Clemson Tigers early (7-0). Before you could get comfortable in your seats, the Tigers put 14 points on the board and looked like Orangemen was going to get blown out of their own building.
“Our OL has put us in position to win five games. They can only do their part”, head coach Dabo Swinney said.
Syracuse managed to regroup and put an 8 play, 75 yards with Shrader hooking up with tight-end Dan Villari for a 28-yard touchdown. The Tigers managed to score another touchdown right before the half, Klubnik found Beaux Collins for a 47-yard touchdown reception right before the half ended. The Tigers would take a 21-7 lead at the break.
Both teams struggled to find consistent offense throughout the whole second half. The Orangemen were able to put together a touchdown drive early in the fourth quarter, on the arm of their quarterback. Shrader hooked up with Allen for a 6-yard touchdown pass. That drive took 5 plays for 42 yards and ate up 1:42 on the clock. Cuse scored with 12:23 remaining in the game, the Tigers were up 24-14 and the clock was running out for Syracuse.
The Orangemen had the ball with a little over 7 minutes to play and LB Jeremiah Trotter stepped in front of Shradrer pass to end all hopes of a Syracuse comeback. Phil Mafah sealed the game with his 32-yard sprint over the left side of the line and he never looked back.
In the final minutes, the Cuse attempted comeback but fell short. The Tigers defense stood firm, forcing a turnover on downs.
Running back Will Shipley rushed 17 times for 66 yards and a score for the Tigers.
Cade Klubnik was 23-37 for 263 yards with no interceptions. Klubnik was a total field general, he made plays with his feet and his arm today that was the difference in the game today.
Coach Swinney earned his 164th career win to pull within one victory of College Football Hall of Famer Frank Howard’s career record at Clemson (165).
Wide receiver Tyler Brown recorded career highs in receptions (eight) and receiving yards (151).
Clemson won the turnover margin, 3-1 and finished with a 21-7 edge in points off turnovers which was a key emphasis going into the Syracuse game.
The Tigers’ offense amassed 389 total yards and 263 of them were on the ground.
Syracuse quarterback Garret Shrader finished the game 15 of 29 for 181 yards, two touchdowns and a interception.
“He just made some plays. That’s what the great ones do. Turn on the games tomorrow and you’ll see a lot of that. He’s just growing and growing and growing”, coach Dabo said about Klubnik.
Syracuse travels to play the No. 15 UNC Tarheels.
Clemson will host Wake Forest next Saturday afternoon.