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The Journal Gazette

September 23, 2016 1:01 AM

Clemson 26 Georgia Tech 7

Tigers jump out early on Jackets

PAUL NEWBERRY | Associated Press

ATLANTA – Deshaun Watson and No. 5 Clemson finally turned in the performance everyone was expecting, dominating Georgia Tech in the first half on the way to a 26-7 win Thursday night.

After sluggish wins over Auburn and Troy, and a practice-like rout of FCS school South Carolina State that meant nothing, the Tigers (4-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) won at Georgia Tech for the first time since 2003 to set up a huge showdown with No. 3 Louisville.

Watson was 32 of 48 for 304 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams and a 9-yarder to Jordan Leggett with just 4 seconds left in the half to complete lopsided showing that wasn’t reflected in the 23-0 lead.

Georgia Tech (3-1, 1-1) didn’t get into positive yards until the second quarter and the halftime stats were almost comical: Clemson held a 347-22 lead in yards, was up 19-3 in first downs, and ran 56 plays to only 21 for the home team.