GRADES: Buzz kill

CUTigers publisher Roy Philpott assigns grades after Clemson's impressive win against Georgia Tech.

Over 50 points. More than 540 yards. It was a textbook Chad Morris kind of game as virtually everything the Tigers did worked to perfection. There was a scare with Tajh Boyd going down in the fourth quarter but outside of that, it was another strong day at the office for the Clemson offense. Boyd was on point... completing 20 of 26 passes for 340 yards and four touchdowns while setting more records in process. And how about Martavis Bryant? We thought this would be his breakout game and indeed it was as he caught five passes for a career-high 176 yards and a touchdown. Sammy Watkins continued his good work as well, hauling in another five passes for more than 100 yards and two more scores. And Mike Williams even got in the mix more with four catches for 53 yards another score. Finally, the Tigers added just over 150 yards on the ground for good measure. All in all, it was a great performance for one of the most explosive offenses in school history.

For the first time in a long time, Georgia Tech's offense looked slow and out-of-sync against Clemson. Part of it was Vad lee isn't the same kind of quarterback Paul Johnson wants to run his offense. But a bigger part was Clemson's front seven. Time after time Georgia Tech ran some strange form of the triple option and time after time Clemson's defense made it look like an offense without options. At the end of the night Georgia Tech managed just 176 yards rushing before a last meaningless drive than netted the Jackets with 232. While Tech did make strides in the downfield passing game, it didn't matter. The interior of Clemson's defensive smashed the A-gaps, forcing Lee to go to other options that never panned out.

Chandler Catanzaro converted two field goal attempts, including a 51-yard bomb to give the Tigers an early six-point lead, not to mention all seven of his extra points. Catanzaro also smashed Chris Gardocki's record of 23 field goals of 40-yards or further with the 51-yard kick. However, Bradley Pinion was average with his punts and kickoffs and that certainly needs correcting. Also, Adam Humphries dropped a punt momentarily. There weren't any major mistakes, but there's plenty of work to do here these final two games, hence the "B-."

From my perspective, this comes down to one key point: it never felt like the outcome was in jeopardy. Clemson jumped out in front of the Jackets 13-0 and never truly looked back. Against this pesky team from Atlanta, that deserves an "A" in my book. The offense set the tone early and the defense, while ultimately giving up 31 points, was better against the Jackets than it was a year ago. Tonight's win essentially locks in Clemson's third 10-plus win season in a row. Pretty impressive.

Georgia Tech has been a thorn in the side of the Tigers for quite some time, but perhaps no longer. Clemson claimed its second straight win in the series, this time in dominating fashion. With two games remaining on the 2013 schedule, the path to the BCS is clear: win and you're in. While there are several scenarios that would send Clemson to the Orange Bowl even with another loss, no one is interested it in. The bottom line is this: this team, this year, can have one of the top seasons in Clemson history by winning the next two games. The reward would likely be another trip to south Florida to face Oregon. Call me crazy but that would be another huge step in the right direction for Dabo Swinney and company. There's work to be done next week against The Citadel and South Carolina looms larger than ever but there's little doubt this team is starting to play its best football of the season. Let's see how it plays out. Top Stories