No. 15 Clemson expects tough game vs Georgia Tech

Associated Press Modified: October 5, 2012 at 11:17 am •  Published: October 5, 2012
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CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — It would take several more stunning upsets for No. 15 Clemson and coach Dabo Swinney to look past struggling Georgia Tech.

Swinney said the Tigers (4-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) will be focused and ready for the Yellow Jackets (2-3, 1-2) on Saturday, no matter how bad Georgia Tech looked in last week's 49-28 home loss to Middle Tennessee.

"We've had some knock down, drags out with these guys but we haven't won much as of late," Swinney said. "It's a huge game for us."

Georgia Tech has been a thorn in Swinney's side from almost the moment he got the job midway through the 2008 season.

The Yellow Jackets spoiled Swinney's head coaching debut four years ago at Death Valley. They beat Clemson twice the next season, including the ACC title game. And last season, Georgia Tech ended the Tigers' 8-0 start and national title hopes with a 31-17 victory in Atlanta.

"Oh man," Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd said. "That was an awful loss."

The game certainly seems like a mismatch with the Yellow Jackets having lost two straight. Middle Tennessee of the Sun Belt Conference ran for 264 yards and Georgia Tech ranks in the bottom half of the ACC in giving up nearly 400 yards a game on offense.

"This is a team that I know they're coming off a tough loss to Middle Tennessee, but they've had two overtime losses at Virginia Tech and then against Miami," Swinney said. "I think everybody knows the kind of team that Georgia Tech is and the kind of coaching staff that they have. We're going to have to play a great game."

Clemson has had several of those this year, at least on offense. The Tigers surpassed 500 yards of offense for the third time in five games last week, putting up 576 yards in a 45-28 victory over Boston College.

It's the defense that has kept Swinney guessing this year. The Tigers allowed 420 yards to Boston College, although it tightened things up in the second half to take control.

Clemson's defenders, though, have rarely looked good against Georgia Tech's triple-option schemes. Yellow Jackets quarterback Tevin Washington accounted for 176 yards and a touchdown in the victory, continually running past and through tacklers.

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