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Clemson hopes for better showing against Tech

Clemson hopes for better showing against Tech

Clemson hopes for better showing against Tech

Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd (10) pr...

    CLEMSON, S.C. — No. 8 Clemson has another chance in the national spotlight — and doesn't want to blow it like last time.
    The Tigers (8-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) hold their first Thursday night game at home in 11 years when they take on Georgia Tech (6-3, 5-2). It was a month ago when college football last centered on Death Valley and the ACC's first top-five showdown in eight years, with Florida State in town.
    Instead of a shootout, it was a Florida State beatdown with the 'Noles scoring the most points ever by an opponent at Clemson in the 51-14 loss that cost Clemson a shot at the ACC title.
    Tigers coach Dabo Swinney likes how his team has bounced back since with sizeable road wins over Maryland (40-27) and Virginia (59-10). Still, he knows his team must keep striving if they hope to have a special season.
    "Not many teams that started in the top 10 stayed in the top 10," he said. "Our team has kind of hung in there and had a really good season to this point, but we're going to be judged on how we finish."
    Defensive tackle DeShawn Williams said the Tigers owe the fans after the Florida State debacle and are ready to make amends against Georgia Tech.
    "It feels like we haven't had a home game in forever," he said. "I think we're going to give a lot of positive feedback."
    Georgia Tech has never made it easy for Clemson and doesn't figure to in this one, either. The Yellow Jackets are trying to keep alive their ACC title hopes — they are among four two-loss teams atop the Coastal Division — and lead the league at more than 311 yards rushing a game this season.
    Tech coach Paul Johnson has won four of the six meetings with Clemson since coming on board with the Yellow Jackets after the 2007 season, several of those when a Tigers victory would've been historic.
    The Jackets spoiled Swinney's head coaching debut in 2008 and beat Clemson for the ACC championship a season later.
    Two years ago, it was Georgia Tech's 31-17 victory that ended Clemson's 8-0 start and run to a national championship. The Yellow Jackets come in off three straight victories.

"We look at it as an opportunity to go in and measure ourselves as a team and see if we've made the progress we feel we've made in the past couple of weeks," Johnson said.

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