Cade Klubnik passed for 263 yards and two touchdowns as visiting Clemson notched a 31-14 victory over Syracuse in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup Saturday.
Playing in just his fifth career game, Tyler Brown racked up 151 yards on eight catches for the Tigers (3-2, 1-2 ACC), while Will Shipley and Phil Mafah combined for 104 rushing yards and two scores.
Garrett Shrader passed for 181 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for Syracuse (4-1, 0-1), which suffered its first blemish following an unbeaten run through nonconference play. LeQuint Allen chipped in 90 total yards and a touchdown.
Clemson surged out of the gate with two touchdowns in the game’s first 10 minutes — both scores set up by Syracuse fumbles.
Shrader was hit and fumbled near midfield on the opening possession of the game, and the Tigers were in the end zone seven plays later. Klubnik rolled out to his right on third-and-7 and found Troy Stellato for the first points of the contest.
Later in the half, Allen fumbled and Xavier Thomas returned it 20 yards to the Syracuse 3. Two plays later, Shipley plunged into the end zone for a 2-yard score, making it 14-0.
The Orange promptly answered with a 75-yard drive, capped by Shrader’s 28-yard TD pass to Dan Villari.
However, the momentum swung back in Clemson’s favor late in the first half. With about 3 1/2 minutes left before intermission, Orange kicker Brady Denaburg came up short on a 57-yard field goal. The Tigers then took advantage of the good field position as Klubnik found Beaux Collins wide open down the sideline for a 47-yard score.
The third quarter featured five punts with the only scoring courtesy of Clemson’s Jonathan Weitz, who kicked a 38-yard field goal on the half’s opening drive to make it 24-7.
The Orange took advantage of a Tigers fumble early in the fourth, cashing in on Shrader’s 6-yard scoring pass to Allen with 12:23 to play.
However, Clemson put an exclamation point on its strong performance with less than seven minutes left. Jeremiah Trotter Jr. made a diving interception at the Syracuse 32 and, on the next play, Mafah sprinted into the end zone to cap the scoring.
–Field Level Media