Clemson - Georgia Tech video rewind

When you watch a game at home or in the stadium, you miss stuff.

You're watching with eight or 83,000 of your closest friends, you're cooking, enjoying yourself, watching the wrong thing, and something important slips by.

That's why I've started doing this feature – a weekly rewind of Clemson football, the good and the bad. It helps me pick things up, and I think it'll help you, too.

Without further ado, here's what I picked up from ESPN's broadcast of No.8 Clemson 55, Georgia Tech 31:

For the second time this season, the Thursday night team of Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer and David Pollack joins us for a telecast. Maria Taylor is on the sidelines in place of Samantha Ponder, who we're told has the flu.

Let's see if Palmer takes a more positive tone than he did at N.C. State, shall we?

Davis notes that it's a "special treat" to be in Memorial Stadium at night, although it appears the atmosphere isn't the same as it was for Georgia or Florida State. Empty seats. Clemson starts off with a 12-yard gain by Rod McDowell, a positive omen, and gets Martavis Bryant involved early with a short pass.

When Boyd scrambles, Pollack notes that "we haven't seen much of this because Tajh Boyd hasn't been healthy – the offense is at its best when Tajh Boyd is involved in the ground game."

Alas, the drive stalls inside the Tech 25 as Boyd throws too high for Bryant near the right side of the end zone. Chandler Catanzaro boots a 40-yard field goal, and Clemson leads early 3-0.

Huge for Clemson to force Tech into an early three-and-out. Great read by safety Robert Smith on the pitch to Robert Godhigh.

On the next possession, Boyd sees something in Bryant, and goes deep for him again. This time, he draws a pass interference penalty with cornerback D.J. White tugging on his jersey.

"I'm a quarterback, and I don't think that was pass interference," Palmer says.

Palmer notes that it's really important for Clemson to get off to a fast start, "something it didn't do against N.C. State, Florida State, Maryland or Boston College. Home-field advantage needs to be a factor."

Isaiah Battle is making his first career start at right tackle, but he lets Tech sackmaster defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu go around him and blow up McDowell on a screen pass.

However, cornerback Bashaud Breeland returns the favor on Tech quarterback Vad Lee. A very physical cornerback. A few moments later, Lee can surely feel Vic Beasley breathing down his neck as he throws the ball away.

Adam Humphries has been serviceable but not great as Clemson's punt returner. He's fortunate to get the ball back after he muffs a punt and falls on it.

Taylor reports that Swinney thinks his offense has "sputtered" with great field position but "can beat (Tech) over the top."

It won't get anywhere when it lets Attaochu loose – he goes right between Ryan Norton and Tyler Shatley for an easy sack of Boyd.

Very dump by Tech corner Louis Young to shove Humphries after a first-down catch at the 50. Personal foul. Why give Clemson extra yardage? For the record, even though it doesn't work, I love the idea of Sammy Watkins running the ball on sweeps. Just get him to the edge.

Attaochu is unblockable early. He just gets right around Giff Timothy at right tackle for another sack. Palmer says Clemson needs to leave a back or tight end in to chip him.

No matter, Chandler Catanzaro – who was somehow not a Lou Groza Award semifinalist – nails a career-long kick from 51 yards. Would have been good from 55, at least. 6-0 Clemson.

A Shaq Lawson sack concludes Tech's third consecutive three-and-out. For perspective, the Jackets entered the game with 23 of those in 106 possessions.

On Clemson's possession, didn't love the idea of Boyd going right two straight times on short yardage draws, but it worked.

The payoff? A 41-yard strike to Watkins over – again – White. Watkins nudged him a bit, but not enough to draw a pass interference. 13-0 Clemson. Pollack: "It's a shove, a push, but he got away with it."

Clemson continues to play disciplined football with Tech's option – quarterback, dive, pitch. It's as simple as that, and the Tigers are executing.

Really nice sideline throw by Tajh Boyd to Mike Williams near midfield. Williams has developed as the best of the freshman receivers, redshirt or otherwise, this fall.

And the man he's pushing for playing time isn't too bad, either. Tech cornerback Jemea Thomas has excellent coverage on Bryant, but he makes a beautiful diving catch for 47 yards, converting a third and 18 play.

Boyd goes right back to Williams, who makes a nice back-shoulder fade catch for the touchdown and a 20-0 lead.

Although he's only 5-6, Godhigh is impressive. He burns Clemson for a 32-yard wheel route after safety Travis Blanks is caught staring in the backfield, and follows it up with a 32-yard run to set up Tech's first score. Poor tackling on that play by an unidentified pitch defender and Vic Beasley.

No matter. Boyd goes up top to Bryant – who burns Young for a 76-yard strike down the right sideline for a 27-7 lead. Bryant caught it at the 35, and he was gone. Amazing.

"Martavis Bryant is having his coming-out party," Palmer says. "You don't see a lot of 6-5 receivers that can run a 4.4 40, but Tajh Boyd sees it every day in practice."

On the sidelines, McDowell gives Boyd a Wayne's World "We're not worthy" bow. Fitting, since Boyd just set the ACC's all-time passing touchdown record.

Pollack on Bryant: "That dude has the NFL look about him."

Great awareness by Grady Jarrett to jump on Charles Perkins' fumble caused by Corey Crawford. Clemson should have capitalized on that turnover, but Boyd makes a terrible throw into coverage intended for tight end Sam Cooper. Tech defensive tackle Adam Gotsis has "got this" with an easy pick.

Still, the Tigers should have stopped Tech before the half, if not for an overeager Daniel Rodriguez jumping offsides on a punt block try.

Clemson is lucky the mistake doesn't lead to a touchdown after Godhigh beats Christian for a big gain down the right seam – he then bobbles a sure touchdown catch in the end zone, leaving Tech for a field goal try that makes it 27-10 at the half. The mistakes continue with the second half's opening kickoff, when linebacker/special teams ace Ben Boulware is flagged for targeting Tech returner Lynn Griffin.

The targeting rule has been controversial, but it's clear that Boulware earned his ejection and suspension for the first half of The Citadel game. He led with the crown of his helmet and hit above the shoulders.

Then, he raised the roof on the sidelines while the hit was reviewed. Nice.

For a moment, Georgia Tech makes this interesting. Godhigh takes a pitch right and rumbles 65 yards for a touchdown, cutting the lead to 27-17.

It appeared that Stephone Anthony got swallowed in the clutter, while Blanks took a bad angle in open space. Godhigh is small, but he can make a major impact.

In past years, this might have been a point where Clemson lost momentum. Not this year.

Boyd leads an efficient drive that – once again – targets Bryant deep over D.J. White. Boyd finishes the drive with a touchdown run, and it's 34-17, just like that.

I'm not surprised that Paul Johnson went for it on fourth and 2 from his own 43, but the playcall was weak. Crawford easily blew up Godhigh – unblocked – for a loss.

Then, Boyd applies the final dagger with a perfect screen to Watkins.

As Davis said: "Boyd. Sammy. Watkins. Goodbye!"

41 yards later, it's 41-17 Tigers. Great block by Williams to help spring Watkins, who was gone once he reached the second level. Watkins is a special talent. Savor him, guys.

Breeland gets called for a questionable pass interference, but he keeps showing up in my notes for big hits and smart plays. He had a heck of a game.

Just after Godhigh finishes a Tech touchdown drive to bring the score to 41-24, the Orange Bowl is brought up again.

"If you had under a minute left in the third quarter for us to mention 70-33, Orange Bowl vs. West Virginia, you win," Davis says.

Palmer: "We just mentioned the bowl game. You mentioned the score, the beatdown."

Davis: "There might be people who aren't aware of the scenario. Clemson fans are painfully aware."

Far more painful: Boyd's final play. Following a seven-yard rush at the end of the quarter, he grabs his left clavicle area. He appeared to be hit by Attaochu and another Tech lineman on his way down, though not maliciously.

Memorial Stadium is totally silent as Boyd pops up and jogs off the field.

However, backup Cole Stoudt fills in quite nicely, finishing the drive Boyd started with a touchdown run.

Early in the fourth quarter, a "Jess-E Pal-MER" chant fills the stadium. The broadcast team doesn't acknowledge it.

Stoudt does fumble the ball, but Shatley gets a moment in the sun with an alert scoop and advancement.

Following a nice Stoudt-Mike Williams connection, McDowell applies the final blow for a 55-24 lead with just over nine minutes left.

Tech's late 85-yard scoring drive angers Brent Venables, but it's merely cosmetic.

Boyd is fine, and Clemson hangs a double nickel on Tech while playing three quarterbacks.

It's hard to imagine a better finish to the 2013 ACC season in Death Valley. Top Stories