CLEMSON — Clemson hummed along Saturday, picking up its 11th win of the season and its FBS best 14th in a row. The Tigers did not play their best, but did enough to put Wake Forest away in a 33-13 romp at Death Valley.
Several Tigers on both sides of the ball sat the game out with minor injuries. Wayne Gallman, MacKensie Alexander and Tyrone Crowder each took the day to rest while younger players got quality reps.
Without Gallman, the Tiger rushing attack was held in check for much of the day. Zac Brooks started for Clemson and picked up only 14 yards on seven carries. In fact, the top two rushers for the Tigers were quarterbacks Kelly Bryant and Deshaun Watson.
While the Demon Deacons were committed to stopping the run, they were burned all day through the air. Watson continued putting up big numbers, this week completing 24 of 35 passes for 343 yards and would accumulate four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing). He did throw two interceptions indicating he was possibly too relaxed in the pocket.
The Tiger offense has been on a tear, gaining over 500 yards of offense in each of their last six games, the defense has struggled a bit of late.
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables called his players out this week, questioning if they really were as good as advertised or if the first few weeks had been smoke and mirrors.
The defense would answer those questions Saturday as they held Wake Forest to only 152 total yards of offense. Wake’s first touchdown would come on a two-play, 11-yard drive set up by a Deshaun Watson interception. Their second score would come late in the fourth quarter against Clemson’s bench.
With the win, Clemson now has won 16 straight at home, and the Tigers senior class became the winningest in Clemson history at 43-7. Clemson will travel to Columbia on Saturday to face South Carolina before their ACC Championship match-up with North Carolina next week.
Reach James Inabinet at 803-635-4016.