Clemson over Syracuse, 17-14

B.T. Potter’s 40-yard field goal with 9:22 to play to give Clemson a 10-point edge proved to be the difference as Clemson held on to defeat Syracuse, 17-14. Clemson (4-2, 3-1 ACC) won its fourth in a row in the series and improved to 8-2 all-time against the Orange, who fell to 3-4 with the loss. Syracuse placekicker Andre Szmyt’s 47-yard game-tying field goal attempt sailed left with 38 seconds to play, allowing the Tigers to seal the victory.

Clemson controlled the clock offensively, tallying 32:59 of possession and racking up 20 first downs to keep the chains moving. Kobe Pace tallied 76 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, and quarterback DJ Uiagalelei was 21-34 for 181 yards and a score through the air, and added 26 yards on the ground.

Defensively, Clemson forced four three-and-outs, piled up six tackles for loss, broke up eight passes and tallied two sacks on the night. Baylon Spector led the Tigers with 10 stops,

Joseph Ngata capped a 12-play 87-yard drive with 1:03 to play in the first quarter, as he hauled in a twisting catch in the right side of the end zone, getting his right foot down just before falling out of bounds. Syracuse answered on the next drive with a 91-yard drive of their own to tie the score at 7-7.

After trading punts, Clemson took over with 2:06 to play in the half on its own 32 yardline. The Clemson drive appeared to stall out before punter Will Spiers hit Davis Allen for 17 yards on 4th-and-5. Uiagalelei hit Justyn Ross over the middle to bring the Tigers to the two yardline, when Kobe Pace punched it in to cap the 13-play, 58-yard drive with just nine seconds to play in the half.

Following Potter’s 40-yard field goal, the Orange’s Trebor Pena scored with 7:18 to play in the game on a 62-yard pass from Garrett Shrader to cut the Tigers’ lead to 17-14.

After Syracuse was able to get a defensive stop, the Orange went on a 14-play, 63-yard drive to get into field goal range, converting on a 3rd-and-15 and 4th-and-7 during the drive. That set up Szmyt’s attempt, which missed left, and gave the Tigers the ball back with 38 seconds to play.