June 14, 2024

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Clemson did almost everything right, except one thing – score.

The seventh-ranked Tigers struggled to get the football in the end zone, and they struggled to make field goals. Tennessee on the other hand did not.

The sixth-ranked Volunteers got three touchdown passes from quarterback Joe Milton and a 2-yard scoring run from Jabari Small in a 31-14 victory in the 89th Orange Bowl Classic. Eleven times Clemson journey into Tennessee territory and had just 14 points to show for it.

Nine of those 11 possessions reached the Tennessee 32 or further.

Clemson ran 36 plays on the Volunteers’ side of the field in the first half but had just three points to take into the locker room. The Tigers ran up 273 total yards and punted just once.

However, kicker B.T. Potter missed kicks of 55, 49 and 42 yards, and failed to pick up a first down on a fake field goal attempt on their opening drive.

After Clemson’s fake field goal attempt went bad, the Volunteers (11-2) drove the football 75 yards in 11 plays. Milton capped off the drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Kwauze McCoy with 5:17 to play in the first quarter.

Again, following another missed field goal by Potter, Tennessee extended its lead to 14-0 with 9:03 to play in the first half when Small rumbled in from two yards out. The key play of the drive was a 50-yard pass from Milton to White that set the Vols up at the Clemson two.

The Tigers (11-3) again failed to finish a drive. This time Shipley was stopped a half yard shy of the first down on fourth-and-two from the Vols’ 31.

It did not take Tennessee long to capitalize, as Wright rushed up the middle for a 42-yard run, and Milton found Squirrel White across the middle for a 14-yard touchdown pass and a 21-6 lead with five seconds left in the third.

The Tigers rallied on their ensuing possession with a 12-play, 71-yard drive that finally ended with them landing in the end zone. Cade Klubnik capped the drive with a four-yard run. Will Shipley then ran the ball in on the two-point try to cut the score to 21-14 with 10:01 to play in the game.

The Volunteers answered right back as Milton threw his third touchdown pass of the night, this time a 46-yard toss to Ramel Keyton, who some how got behind Clemson’s Toriano Pride for a 28-14 lead with 8:34 to go in the game.

Player of the Game: Linebacker Jeremiah Trotter finished the night with a team-high nine tackles and had 1.5 tackles for loss.

Key Play: Trailing 14-6 late in the third quarter, Clemson once again moved the football deep into Tennessee territory and faced a fourth-and-two from 31-yard line. However, Shipley was stopped a half yard shy of the first down and the Volunteers took over with 1:27 to go in the quarter. Tennessee scored a touchdown on its ensuing drive to go up two scores.

Freshman Impact: Klubnik threw for 320 yards and ran for 51 more, including a four-yard touchdown.

Stat of the Game: Clemson scored just 14 points, though it journeyed into Tennessee territory 11 times. The Tigers ran 101 plays.

Injury Update: Clemson cornerback Sheridan Jones did not play in the Orange Bowl. Toriano Pride started the game in place of Jones. Defensive end K.J. Henry suffered a foot injury in the third quarter, but he did return to the game.

 

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