Death Valley lived up to its name as No. 8 Clemson handed No. 5 Georgia a 38-35 loss and dealt a serious blow to the Bulldogs’ national title hopes on Saturday at Clemson. Tiger quarterback Tajh Boyd boosted his Heisman credentials by compiling 312 total yards and 5 TDs, while not committing a turnover.
Much-hyped Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray struggled on the night, committing 2 turnovers and only scoring 1 touchdown. With the loss against No. 8 Clemson, Murray moved to 1-10 against top 15 teams in his Georgia career.
After ending last season with a Chick-fil-A Bowl victory over LSU, Clemson has now won back-to-back games against SEC teams ranked in the top 10.
The atmosphere at Death Valley was electric as Clemson struck first, opening up a 7-0 lead in the 1st quarter. Georgia answered on their very next offensive possession, foreshadowing the seesaw nature of the first half that ended in a 21-21 tie.
The Clemson Tiger defense came out strong in the second half, forcing an interception and holding the Bulldogs to empty possessions early in the third quarter. Georgia running backTodd Gurley woke the Bulldogs out of their offensive slump with a number of big runs and a rushing touchdown to tie the game 28-28 in the 3rd quarter.
Gurley put in an impressive effort for Georgia, ending the night with 154 yards on 12 carries and 2 touchdowns, but it was not enough. Boyd orchestrated a clutch 87 yard, 4 minute drive in the 4th quarter that ended with a 9-yard touchdown pass to put Clemson up 38-28 and put the game out of reach.
Clemson’s win prevented the ACC from going 0-3 against the SEC in the first weekend of the season. The Tiger’s will face South Carolina State next weekend.