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Bounce back: No. 7 Clemson, Bryant rebound for 24-10 victory

Clemson, S.C. (AP) Kelly Bryant spent two weeks wondering about himself and his team after Clemson's loss at Syracuse. Both he and seventh-ranked Tigers put the doubts to rest against Georgia Tech.

Clemson's banged-up quarterback passed for two touchdowns and 207 yards as the Tigers topped the Yellow Jackets 24-10 on Saturday night, rebounding from the team's first loss of the season and regaining momentum on the try for a second straight national championship.

''Our players were ready,'' Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. ''They were locked in.''

Especially Bryant, the dynamic junior who had left Clemson's past two games with injuries. He sprained his left ankle in the win over Wake Forest on Oct. 7, then suffered a concussion in the second quarter at Syracuse, where the Tigers lost 27-24 two weeks back.

''We needed this,'' Bryant said. ''Coach challenged us in how we were going to respond and I feel like we responded in a good way.''

Bryant calmed any doubters early on with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Deon Cain less than three minutes into the game. Bryant finished the opening quarter as he zipped a 20-yard scoring pass to tight end Milan Richard that put the Tigers (7-1, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) ahead 14-3.

Clemson's defense made that held up, once again stifling Tech's confounding triple-option attack. The Yellow Jackets (4-3, 3-2) entered leading the ACC in rushing yardage, but left with only 198 yards on the ground - 175 fewer than they're average.

The Tigers had 11 tackles for loss.

''Great response from our team,'' Swinney said. ''All our goals are still in front of us. And now we have the opportunity to achieve them.''

TaQuon Marshall, the ACC's leading rusher with 117 yard average, managed just 23 yards that included his 22-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

KirVonte Benson led Georgia Tech with 129 yards rushing.

Bryant was Clemson's top runner with 67 yards on 12 carries, showing little hesitation or discomfort on his runs.

''That's the Kelly Bryant we all know and love,'' Clemson linebacker Dorian O'Daniel said.

Freshman Travis Etienne added his seventh touchdown of the season, tying Bryant for the team lead, with a 2-yard scoring run in the second quarter.

Georgia Tech defensive end KeShun Freeman said while his team played strongly in the final quarter, it needs to find that same fire early on. ''We want to win these big games and achieve goals,'' he said. ''We have to start as well as we finish.''

THE TAKEAWAY

Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets may lead the ACC in rushing at 373 per game, but coach Paul Johnson might want to find a few new wrinkles to throw at Clemson, which has limited Tech to 364 yards total on the ground the past three games. ... Georgia Tech had fewest punts in the ACC entering the game at 21 through six games. The Yellow Jackets punted nine times at Clemson.

Clemson: The Tigers are now squarely back in control of their ACC and championship destiny. A win at North Carolina State next week would put Clemson in control of the ACC Atlantic Division and a favorite to win its third straight league crown.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

With first College Football Playoff rankings due Tuesday, Clemson should see its fortunes rise between its victory and losses by previous undefeateds Penn State and TCU who were in front of Tigers the past two weeks. Clemson's three victories over top-15 opponents (at the time) in September should still carry weight with CFP voters.

SPECIAL GUEST

Clemson tight end Milan Richard had his first career TD catch, a 20-yarder from Kelly Bryant to put Clemson ahead 14-3. He did it in front of his uncle, Georgia great and College Football Hall of Fame member Herschel Walker.

KICKING STABILITY

After throwing open the kicking competition, Clemson's Alex Spence buckled down against Georgia Tech. He made all three extra points and a 29-yard field goal after missing two field goals in the loss at Syracuse.

CLIMBING THE LADDER

The victory meant Swinney had tied the school's other national championship football coach for second all-time with 96 wins. Frank Howard tops the Tigers list with 165 wins, but just 96 of those came with Clemson in the ACC.

UP NEXT

Georgia Tech plays at Virginia next Saturday.

Clemson travels to North Carolina State on Saturday for a game likely to decide the ACC Atlantic division.

---

More AP college football at www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Copyright 2017 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 4:43
37-B.King extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
10
24
Touchdown 4:43
16-T.Marshall runs 22 yards for a touchdown.
12
plays
78
yds
04:27
pos
9
24
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 10:36
41-A.Spence 29 yards Field Goal is Good.
10
plays
75
yds
04:19
pos
3
24
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 3:26
41-A.Spence extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
3
21
Touchdown 3:26
9-T.Etienne runs 2 yards for a touchdown.
10
plays
71
yds
03:19
pos
3
20
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 1:56
41-A.Spence extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
3
14
Touchdown 1:56
2-K.Bryant complete to 80-M.Richard. 80-M.Richard runs 20 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
55
yds
02:57
pos
3
13
Field Goal 4:58
37-B.King 25 yards Field Goal is Good.
4
plays
66
yds
02:46
pos
3
7
Point After TD 12:51
41-A.Spence extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
7
Touchdown 12:51
2-K.Bryant complete to 8-D.Cain. 8-D.Cain runs 38 yards for a touchdown.
2
plays
45
yds
00:22
pos
0
6
Team Stats
1st Downs 10 22
Rushing 7 12
Passing 2 9
Penalty 1 1
3rd Down Conv 3-15 7-17
4th Down Conv 1-2 0-0
Total Net Yards 224 428
Total Plays 56 78
Avg Gain 4.0 5.5
Net Yards Rushing 198 221
Rush Attempts 43 45
Avg Rush Yards 4.6 4.9
Net Yards Passing 26 207
Comp. - Att. 3-13 22-33
Yards Per Pass 2.0 6.3
Sacked - Yards Lost 4-6 0-0
Penalties - Yards 2-20 5-45
Touchdowns 1 3
Rushing TDs 1 1
Passing TDs 0 2
Other 0 0
Turnovers 1 1
Fumbles - Lost 2-1 1-1
Int. Thrown 0 0
Punts - Avg 9-46.9 7-38.9
Return Yards 94 46
Punts - Returns 2-12 1-1
Kickoffs - Returns 5-82 3-45
Int. - Returns 0-0 0-0
Kicking 2/2 4/4
Extra Points 1/1 3/3
Field Goals 1/1 1/1
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Georgia Tech 4-3 300710
7 Clemson 7-1 1473024
26 PASS YDS 207
198 RUSH YDS 221
224 TOTAL YDS 428
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
T. Marshall 16 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
23.1% 32 0 0 43.8
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
46.9% 488 5 0 136.7
T. Marshall 3/13 32 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
K. Benson 30 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
16 129 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
133 781 5
K. Benson 16 129 0 65
M. Jordan 11 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 25 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
15 56 1
M. Jordan 4 25 0 12
T. Marshall 16 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
15 23 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
159 727 12
T. Marshall 15 23 1 22
J. Howard 15 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 19 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
20 168 2
J. Howard 3 19 0 9
N. Cottrell 31 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 5 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
23 145 0
N. Cottrell 3 5 0 4
C. Lynch 22 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 -3 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
19 149 0
C. Lynch 2 -3 0 -1
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
R. Jeune 2 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 17 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
17 284 3
R. Jeune 2 17 0 23
J. Howard 15 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 15 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 15 0
J. Howard 1 15 0 15
Q. Searcy 1 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 61 0
Q. Searcy 0 0 0 0
B. Stewart 83 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 39 0
B. Stewart 0 0 0 0
N. Cottrell 31 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
N. Cottrell 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
A. Simmons 93 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
A. Simmons 1-0 0.0 0
A. Saint-Amour 94 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
A. Saint-Amour 1-0 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
B. King 37 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/1 1/1
SEASON FG XP
5/5 4/4
B. King 1/1 25 1/1 4
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
P. Harvin III 27 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
9 46.9 3
SEASON NO AVG IN20
30 46.0 3
P. Harvin III 9 46.9 3 53
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
N. Cottrell 31 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
5 16.4 20 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
14 20.3 20 0
N. Cottrell 5 16.4 20 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
B. Stewart 83 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 6.0 8 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
12 4.8 11 0
B. Stewart 2 6.0 8 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
K. Bryant 2 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
66.7% 207 2 0 139.4
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
67.5% 1582 6 4 136.7
K. Bryant 22/33 207 2 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
K. Bryant 2 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
12 67 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
113 460 7
K. Bryant 12 67 0 17
A. Choice 26 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
8 54 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
39 202 4
A. Choice 8 54 0 28
C. Fuller 27 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
8 50 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
36 172 3
C. Fuller 8 50 0 12
T. Etienne 9 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
7 43 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
58 489 7
T. Etienne 7 43 1 13
T. Feaster 28 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
7 35 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
73 424 3
T. Feaster 7 35 0 10
H. Johnson 15 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 4 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 4 0
H. Johnson 1 4 0 4
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
D. Cain 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 57 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
28 356 3
D. Cain 4 57 1 38
R. McCloud 34 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 40 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
34 354 1
R. McCloud 4 40 0 22
D. Overton 14 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 21 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
9 132 0
D. Overton 2 21 0 16
M. Richard 80 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 20 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
13 175 1
M. Richard 1 20 1 20
T. Feaster 28 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 12 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 91 1
T. Feaster 2 12 0 13
H. Renfrow 13 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 11 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
35 357 0
H. Renfrow 1 11 0 11
T. Higgins 5 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 10 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
7 75 0
T. Higgins 1 10 0 10
T. Thompson 1 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 9 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 50 0
T. Thompson 1 9 0 9
A. Rodgers 3 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 8 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
9 56 0
A. Rodgers 2 8 0 5
A. Choice 26 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 7 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 27 0
A. Choice 1 7 0 7
Ca. Smith 84 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 7 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 20 1
Ca. Smith 1 7 0 7
C. Powell 17 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 5 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
7 53 1
C. Powell 2 5 0 3
Defense T-A SACK INT
T. Lamar 57 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 2.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 2.0
T. Lamar 2-0 2.0 0
D. O'Daniel 6 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
9-1 2 2.5
D. O'Daniel 1-0 1.0 0
A. Bryant 7 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 1.0
A. Bryant 1-0 1.0 0
K. Joseph 34 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
K. Joseph 1-0 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
Al. Spence 47 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/1 3/3
SEASON FG XP
3/7 19/20
Al. Spence 1/1 29 3/3 6
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
W. Spiers 48 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
7 38.9 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
40 43.0 1
W. Spiers 7 38.9 1 47
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
T. Etienne 9 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 16.5 27 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
7 20.3 27 0
T. Etienne 2 16.5 27 0
R. McCloud 34 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 12.0 12 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 12.0 12 0
R. McCloud 1 12.0 12 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
R. McCloud 34 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 1.0 1 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
16 9.6 1 0
R. McCloud 1 1.0 1 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:55 GATECH 24 1:15 4 21 Fumble
12:44 GATECH 16 1:21 3 -2 Punt
7:44 GATECH 26 2:46 4 66 FG
1:48 GATECH 26 1:18 3 3 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:12 GATECH 43 2:12 4 -3 Punt
8:36 GATECH 15 1:36 3 4 Punt
3:18 GATECH 25 0:18 3 -5 Punt
2:16 GATECH 25 1:07 4 23 Punt
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
10:25 GATECH 28 1:41 3 3 Punt
6:48 GATECH 21 1:34 3 -2 Punt
4:08 GATECH 25 1:52 3 6 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
0:36 GATECH 31 0:31 9 42 Downs
9:10 GATECH 21 4:27 12 79 TD
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:13 GATECH 45 0:22 2 45 TD
11:13 CLEM 35 3:22 8 39 Fumble
4:53 CLEM 30 2:57 9 55 TD
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
0:18 CLEM 21 0:00 4 7 Punt
10:42 CLEM 19 1:59 6 36 Punt
6:45 CLEM 29 3:19 10 71 TD
2:52 CLEM 36 0:29 3 4 Punt
0:58 CLEM 2 0:13 3 9 Halftime
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:55 CLEM 13 4:19 10 75 FG
8:34 CLEM 16 1:34 5 22 Punt
5:02 CLEM 47 0:44 4 9 Punt
2:07 CLEM 25 1:22 5 8 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:10 CLEM 25 1:52 3 9 Punt
4:38 CLEM 28 4:19 11 29 Game