Georgia Tech: 44
Standing at 3-0, the 9th ranked Yellow Jackets would face the Clemson Tigers in what had become one of the hardest fought annual games on the Tech schedule. The rivalry had been decided by exactly three points in each of the previous five seasons. Tech had not played in either of the previous two weeks, as a scheduled bye on September 22nd was preceded by an unexpected week off due to the September 11th terrorist attacks. The September 15th game against Florida State would be rescheduled for the first week in December.
Clemson went into the second quarter holding a 7-6 lead. Luke Manget hit field goals of 22 and 47 yards for the Jackets, while Travis Zachary scored on a three yard touchdown run for the Tigers.
The momentum swung towards Tech in the second quarter, however, as the Jackets took a 13-7 lead on a 16 yard pass from George Godsey to Will Glover. The Ramblin’ Wreck lead increased later in the period when Joe Burns scored on a one yard run. But Tech missed on a two point conversion attempt and their look stood at 19-7.
With little time remaining in the second quarter, it looked as if Tech would take a twelve point lead into the locker room. But Clemson’s Woodrow Dantzler had other plans, and as time expired the Clemson quarterback scrambled for a 38 yard touchdown run to cut the Yellow Jacket lead to 19-14.
The Tigers snatched back the lead on their first drive of the second half when Dantzler hit Matt Bailey for a 55 yard touchdown pass to make it 21-19.
Godsey regained the lead for Tech later in the quarter with a 35 yard touchdown pass to Kelly Campbell, and the Jackets led 26-21.
But Clemson again answered when Zachary scored from 4 yards out to put the Tigers back on top. A missed two point conversion attempt left them with a one point lead at 27-26.
The Tigers extended their lead to 8 in the fourth quarter when Zachary scored his third touchdown on a two yard run to make it 34-26.
Tech soon fought back to steal the lead from its rival, scoring on touchdown runs of 1 and 10 yards by Burns and Sidney Ford, respectively. The Jackets missed two point conversions after each score though, and their lead stood at just 38-34 late in the fourth quarter.
The Ramblin’ Wreck defense looked to have done its part when it had the Tigers staring at 4th and 13 at their own 37 with roughly two minutes to play. But Dantzler refused to quit in the pocket, buying time for his receivers to get open. The extra time allowed J.J. McKelvey to get open, and Dantzler found him for a 63 yard touchdown to take a 41-38 lead with 1:58 remaining.
Godsey coolly entered and led his offense 87 yards in 10 plays to the Tiger 3 yard line. But Tech was unable to punch the ball in the end zone and Luke Manget was called upon to hit a game tying field goal that would send the teams into overtime knotted at 41.
Clemson won the toss and elected to play defense first. Tech gained just nine yards before Burns came up short on third and one from the 16. Starting at a little more than a yard, O’Leary elected to kick a field goal and the Jackets took a 44-41 lead with the Tigers taking the field for their overtime possession.
Tech’s rival gained a first down to the 15 before the defense stepped up to force a 3rd and 6 at the 11 yard line. Dantzler then put a final exclamation point on the game, scrambling for a score and a 47-44 victory in Atlanta.
Clemson’s victory broke a four game losing streak against the Jackets. The Tigers improved to 3-1, but would win just three of their remaining games to move to 6-5 before the bowl season, where they would eventually defeat Louisiana Tech 49-24 in the Humanitarian Bowl.
CLEM – 27
GT – 26
CLEM – 248
GT – 196
CLEM – 254
GT – 216
CLEM – 0-0
GT – 0-0
CLEM – 0
GT – 1
CLEM – 11-108
GT – 6-48
Game Summary: http://www.ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/092901aaa.html