NCAA Game Summary - Clemson at Georgia Tech
(Saturday, October 29th)
Final Score: Georgia Tech 31, (6) Clemson 17
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Tevin Washington rushed for 176 yards and a score, and Orwin Smith added two touchdowns on the ground as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets handed the No. 6 Clemson Tigers their first loss of the season with a 31-17 upset victory.
Washington completed four of his nine pass attempts for 60 yards and an interception for Georgia Tech (7-2, 4-2 ACC).
Smith carried the ball seven times for 37 yards, and David Sims had 68 yards and a score on 15 carries as the Yellow Jackets snapped a two-game losing streak.
"I am really proud of our guys, I thought they played hard. We played with a lot of emotion and it was a great team win," Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson said.
Tajh Boyd went 23-for-40 through the air for 295 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted twice in a losing effort.
Sammy Watkins caught 10 balls for 159 yards and a TD, and Mike Bellamy ran for 67 yards on eight carries for Clemson (8-1, 5-1).
After forcing a Georgia Tech punt on the opening possession of the game, Boyd hit Watkins for a 17-yard gain and later found Jaron Brown for an 11-yard strike, but the drive stalled in the red zone and Chandler Catanzaro capped the 12-play march with a 34-yard field goal.
That would be the only time Clemson would have the lead in the game.
The Yellow Jackets were held to a three-and-out, but then forced a D.J. Howard fumble on Clemson's ensuing drive and took over deep inside Tigers' territory. Smith finished the 19-yard drive by taking a pitch on 4th-and-goal at the one and running untouched into the right side of the end zone for a 7-3 lead late in the first.
Washington broke a 46-yard run down the right sideline on the first play of the second quarter, but the drive was halted in the red zone and Georgia Tech had to settle for a Justin Moore 23-yard field goal.
Georgia Tech's defense then forced Clemson to punt, and the Yellow Jackets moved 80 yards down the field without completing a single pass before Smith snuck just inside the right pylon from three yards out to make it a 17-3 game late in the second quarter.
After Catanzaro missed a 40-yard field goal wide left, Stephen Hill made a diving, 44-yard catch to move the Yellow Jackets deep into Clemson territory. Two plays later, Washington rumbled in for a three-yard score and a 24-3 Georgia Tech lead at the half.
Clemson came out firing after the break when Watkins beat his defender with a double move and took off down the field for a 48-yard touchdown grab, but Georgia Tech quickly answered with a five-play scoring drive.
Washington broke another long gain on the drive -- a 56-yard rush down the right sideline -- before Sims' 11-yard TD run up the middle.
The Tigers tried to answer, but a Bellamy fumble inside Yellow Jackets' territory gave the ball back to Georgia Tech at its own 39.
Georgia Tech ran off over six minutes of clock with an 11-play drive down to the Clemson one-yard line, but Washington was stripped by Rennie Moore as the defensive tackle jumped through the line before Washington could hand the ball off and Clemson recovered.
Boyd found Watkins for gains of 28 and 26 yards on the ensuing possession, then capped the 96-yard drive with a one-yard sneak to open the fourth quarter, making it a 31-17 contest.
Georgia Tech was held to a three-and-out, giving Clemson a chance to move within a touchdown, but the Tigers were forced to punt from the Yellow Jackets' 46.
Washington then attempted just his ninth pass of the game on the first play of Georgia Tech's drive and Rashard Hall ran in front of the floater in the middle of the field, returning it to the Yellow Jacket nine.
But Boyd overthrew his receiver in the end zone on Clemson's first play and Jemea Thomas intercepted the errant throw with 10:33 left in the fourth quarter.
"If we get that, it's a one score game with about 10 minutes to go, and we were right back where we wanted to be," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. "But we turned it right back over, and that kind of finished us off."
The Tigers would not see the ball again until there was 1:29 left in the game as Georgia Tech put together a 16-play march down to the Clemson 27. Washington was tackled a yard short of the first down on a 4th-and-6 rush to end the nine minute drive.
Boyd was then picked off by Thomas on third down to seal the victory for Georgia Tech.
Georgia Tech has a record of 43-13-2 in games played in Atlanta...Boyd needs three more touchdown passes to break Clemson's single-season record. He now has 25, trailing Cullen Harper's mark of 27 set in 2007...Georgia Tech outgained Clemson on the ground 383-95, but the Tigers held a 304-60 advantage through the air.
10/30 01:36:03 ET