Catches in the clutch

Stanton Seckinger bookended his redshirt sophomore season with game winning touchdown catches in each of Clemson's two biggest win of the year.

Against Georgia, Seckinger tiptoed up the visitor's sideline before diving into the West End Zone to push Clemson's lead to 38-28. On the field, the refs ruled that Seckinger stepped out of bounds before crossing goal line, but replay review overturned the call. The Tigers would go on to win 38-35.

His score go-ahead scoring grab against Ohio State in the Orange Bowl was a little more clear-cut. The sideline wasn't even a factor. Neither were any of the 11 Buckeye defenders.

"It's kind of like a bloop," Seckinger said. I just saw the whole defense flowing to the right. I just told myself, ‘Hey, this is it. You're going to be open.' And I caught it."

Then, as the ball hung in the air, for what probably seemed like forever, Seckinger just kept telling himself one thing.

"The ball was floating up in the air a little bit. I was like, ‘Man, just don't drop the ball, just don't drop the ball, just don't drop the ball,'" he said. "Luckily, I was able to catch it and make the play."

It was the biggest catch of the 21 he had all season. Seckinger finished with 244 yards and four touchdowns. Among Clemson tight ends, he was first in every category.

More importantly, for him, and every other Clemson player who was in Sun Life Stadium for both Orange Bowls, the Tigers avenged their embarrassing loss to West Virginia.

"It almost makes this win that much sweeter," Seckinger said. "To know and have the experience from the lowest of lows here, to come back two years later and experience the highest of highs, it almost helps you appreciate it a little more."

The win also helped ease some of the pain from a fifth-straight loss to South Carolina.

"Our team, we faced some adversity," Seckinger said. "We were able to re-group and make a strong push here at the end, especially during bowl practice, where we kind of took a step back, re-evaluated ourselves and just got stronger in the different points that we needed to."

According to Seckinger, a good portion of the credit leading up to and during the win over Ohio State went to the quarterback.

"Anytime you have a leader like [Tajh Boyd] on the field leading you, you're going to be hard to beat," Seckinger said. "That guy, he just has ice water in his veins. Even when he threw the pick right on the goal line, he came back and said, ‘My bad. We're going to get them later.'

"He's just cool, calm, collected and when you have a leader like that, it makes it so much easier to get out a W." Top Stories