Yellow Jackets Get Their Swagger Back by Wrecking Clemson

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Yellow Jackets Get Their Swagger Back by Wrecking Clemson
Freshman linebacker Chaz Cheeks gets a life from the Yellow Jacket faithful after the victory over #5 Clemson (JCrawford/AJC)

Coming into this game, Georgia Tech had a lot to be down about. After starting the season 6-0, they then dropped two in a row on the road, with the offense looking completely out of sync. Many pundits and fans were putting the coaches and players under heavy fire for the seemingly lackluster performances.

To top that, they then had to deal with a seemingly unstoppable Clemson team that was ranked No. 5 in the BCS.

Well, Tech didn't only step up to the bell, but they rung it. Hard.

The Rambling Wreck opened up a 24-3 lead at the half and managed to keep the high-powered Clemson offense at bay in the second half, resulting in a 31-17 win for the folks in the white and gold.

Everything seemed to go right for the Yellow Jackets. QB Tevin Washington made the right reads and did not fumble on any plays where the defense was on its own side of the line. He did have one interception, but his 176 yards and two touchdown more than made up for it.

Nose tackle TJ Barnes and defensive back Jemea Thomas left their marks all over the field and led the Tech defensive to, arguably, its best performance of the season. Thomas probably had the most important play of the game, as he intercepted Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd in the end zone right after the Clemson defense had its own interception and had the ball on the Tech 9-yard line.

And, most importantly, the Yellow Jacket special teams was largely unnoticed. The past few weeks, the special teams and coaches had drawn the ire from many fans over the numerous and costly mistakes that were being made. Not this week.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
B-Back David Sims reaches for the endzone, which extended the Tech lead to 21

Now, Tech has new life. A shot at the ACC title game, where they would likely face Clemson again, seems very possible. The players seem to have a new fire ignited under them. Plus, the fans still have adrenaline running after storming the field after the victory.

Georgia Tech has three games on the schedule. Ranked teams Virginia Tech and Georgia still have to visit Bobby Dodd Stadium, with a road game at Duke separating the two. After the upset, the Yellow Jackets still have a shot at a 10-win season.

As coach Paul Johnson said, "just let us finish the season before you do our tombstone."

Bo Churney is an Atlanta resident and Georgia Tech student who enjoys and writes about college football and the NBA

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