Momentum: After UNC received the ball with good field position in Clemson’s territory, Marquise Williams found T.J. Logan for a 46-yard touchdown pass on the next play. Williams scrambled to right side, avoided a defender and threw the ball across the field, behind the line of scrimmage. No one was in sight, as Logan ran to the end zone untouched.
Key player: Deshaun Watson. The sophomore quarterback runs and throws for first downs. He threw a 42-yard pass down field to wide receiver Artavis Scott to the UNC 11. Two plays later, Watson threw a 16 yard pass to running back Wayne Gallman.
UNC 9, Clemson 7
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Momentum: On a 4th and 15 from Clemson’s 20, the Clemson punter received the snap, but instead of punting took off with the ball to the left side of the field. He was quickly bottled up after gaining 4 yards. The run looked like a design, but the reaction of Clemson’s coach Dabo Swinney said otherwise. He immediately went to the punter and was seen yelling at him. UNC got the ball on Clemson’s 34-yard line and eventually scored on a 1 yard pass from UNC quarterback Marquise Williams to wide receiver Ryan Switzer. Before that play, Clemson seemed to have the momentum.
Key player: Deshaun Watson. He used his legs more in the second quarter. His 3rd and 7 conversion from Clemson’s 7 yard line led to an eventual rushing touchdown by Watson. It capped off a 96-yard scoring drive. He also completed a 1-yard touchdown pass with two seconds left in the half. At the half Watson is 19 of 32 passes for 191 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also has 99 yards rushing and 1 touchdown.
Clemson 21, UNC 16
Momentum: Clemson’s Deshaun Watson had completed 13 straight passes before having one tipped at the line. The ball went high in the air before UNC defensive tackle Nazir Jones dove for it and caught it for an interception at Clemson’s 42. The play was reviewed and looked to be bobbled, but it stood.
UNC would eventually capitalize on that turnover, with Williams scoring on a 1-yard quarterback keeper.
Key player: Nazir Jones. The defensive tackle intercepted a tipped ball at the line of scrimmage that led to a touchdown score. Before that interception, Clemson had all the momentum and seemed to be running away with the game.
Clemson 35, UNC 23
Momentum: Down 45-37 with less than a minute remaining, UNC tried to make it interesting with an onside kick. It appeared as if UNC’s players recovered the ball. However, the officials called an offside penalty and the Tar Heels were forced to kick the ball again. Clemson recovered the second time and held on.
Key player: Wayne Gallman. The running back ran for a total of 187 yards on the ground, 155 in the second half. UNC’s defense just couldn’t stop him as he found holes in the defense time and time again. UNC’s defense seemed to get tired as they stayed on the field most of the second half.
Clemson 45, UNC 37
Jonathan M. Alexander