CLEMSON, SC - Finally, we see what this team is capable of! They still had plenty of mistakes on offense, especially turnovers, but it was a great job on both sides, especially with their top 4 receivers out! Lol TE Davis Allen had more catches this season than any of today's freshman receivers! With Wake knowing that, and with DJ hobbled and the QB run game out of the equation, the Tigers were still able to run the ball down Wake's throat with Pace and Shipley. Pace had a career day with 191 yards and a pair of touchdowns, Shipley had a pair of rush TD's and a pass TD.
The Tigers' defense was incredible, as always. They allowed 7 more points than I predicted, but I think they let their foot off the gas a little with the big lead in the second half. The Tigers had 7 sacks and didn't allow any. It was an electric atmosphere despite the early noon kickoff, and the fans in Death Valley were allowed to gather at the Paw for the first time since Covid!
I'll have more in a bit. In the meantime, post-game interviews, highlights and notes are below!
WITH THE WIN...
Clemson improved to 69-17-1 all-time against Wake Forest. Clemson’s 69 all-time wins against Wake Forest are its second-most against any opponent in school history, trailing the Tigers’ 71 wins against South Carolina.
Clemson won its 13th consecutive game against Wake Forest, dating back to 2009. It marks Clemson’s second 13-game winning streak in series history, trailing a 15-game streak from 1977-91. Clemson’s 13-game winning streak against Wake Forest is the Tigers’ longest active winning streak against an ACC foe.
Clemson earned its 11th straight home victory against Wake Forest, dating back to 2000. Clemson’s last home loss to Wake Forest came in 1998. Clemson’s 11-game winning streak against Wake Forest at Death Valley is one of seven double-digit home winning streaks against a single opponent in school history.
Clemson evened its all-time record in games against Wake Forest in which the Tigers rank lower than the Demon Deacons in the AP Poll at 2-2. No. 17 Wake Forest beat unranked Clemson, 13-7, in 1944; unranked Clemson upset No. 14 Wake Forest, 31-0, in 1979; and No. 21 Wake Forest beat Clemson, 12-7, in 2008. Both losses were in Winston-Salem, and both Clemson wins have been in Clemson.
Clemson improved to 58-5 against ACC opponents (including postseason play) since the start of the 2015 season.
Clemson defeated an ACC Atlantic Division opponent for the 42nd time in its last 44 opportunities. Those figures include games against traditional Atlantic opponents in a divisionless season in 2020.
Clemson has now won at least six regular season conference games in 11 straight years to pull within three of the longest streak of six-plus-win conference seasons in ACC history (Florida State, 14 from 1992-2005). Clemson's longest streak in school history prior to the current 11-year streak was three (1981-83).
Clemson won its 34th consecutive home game to extend its school record for both the longest home winning streak and longest home unbeaten streak in school history (as well as extend the nation’s longest active home winning streak). Of the 131 players on Clemson’s 2021 roster, 126 have never experienced a home loss in their Clemson careers. Five sixth-year “super seniors” on Clemson’s 2021 roster were on the 2016 team that recovered from a home loss to Pitt by winning the national championship that season.
Clemson (34) moved past 1900-03 Harvard, 1901-06 Nebraska and 1995-2000 Marshall (33 each) for sole possession of the 15th-longest home winning streak in FBS history.
The 2021 Clemson seniors improved to 26-0 at home from 2018-21 and became the second Clemson senior class in the modern era (and in Death Valley history) to go undefeated at home in a four-year span, joining the 2020 seniors.
The 2021 seniors are now Clemson’s second straight senior class to go undefeated at home in a four-year span. The 2020 and 2021 seniors are the first groups with back-to-back undefeated home records over four years since the 1940 and 1941 seniors who played Clemson's final seasons at Riggs Field before the opening of Memorial Stadium in 1942.
The 2021 Clemson seniors won all six home games in 2021 to tie for fifth in school history in home wins over a four-year span. Clemson’s last four senior classes are all tied for the school record with 27 career home wins each. The 26 home wins for the current group match the three classes preceding the record holders, as Clemson’s 2014, 2015 and 2016 seniors all won 26 home games in four years.
Clemson has now won all of its home games in five consecutive seasons for the first time under Head Coach Dabo Swinney.
Clemson has now won at least six home games at Memorial Stadium for a national-best 11th-straight season. Entering 2021, the next longest streak of six-plus home wins in the country was four years (Memphis and Notre Dame).
Head Coach Dabo Swinney improved to 13-0 as a head coach against Wake Forest. Wake Forest remains one of five ACC schools against whom Swinney is undefeated as head coach, a list that also includes Duke (3-0), Louisville (7-0), Virginia (5-0) and Virginia Tech (6-0).
Swinney improved to 32-3 all-time against teams from the state of North Carolina. It was his 25th win against a North Carolina-based team in his last 26 opportunities since 2012.
The game was played on Swinney’s 52nd birthday. Clemson now 2-0 on his birthday under his watch including a 30-10 win in 2010 in a game that was also played against Wake Forest. (Note: Swinney also served as wide receivers coach for Clemson’s 29-7 win against South Carolina on his birthday in 2004.)
Swinney earned his 148th career win in his 14th season (including an interim stint in 2008) to pass Tom Osborne (147) for sole possession of the fourth-most wins through the first 15 seasons of a coaching career in FBS history.
Clemson earned its 33rd victory against an AP-ranked opponent in a game in which Clemson is unranked in the AP Poll. It was Clemson's fourth such victory under Dabo Swinney, joining wins against No. 8 Miami (Fla.) in 2009, No. 23 NC State in 2010 and No. 21 Auburn in 2011.
Clemson improved to 75-6 in regular season play since the start of the 2015 season. All six of Clemson's regular season losses in that span have been decided by a final margin of 10 or fewer points.
Clemson improved to 55-2 when having a 100-yard rusher since 2011.
Clemson has now won 25 of its last 32 games against top-25 teams since the start of the 2015 season. That includes a 24-7 mark against AP Top 25 teams.
Clemson is now 64-4 when scoring first since 2015.
Clemson is now 71-1 when rushing for 200+ yards under Dabo Swinney and has won each of its last 67 games when hitting that mark.
Clemson is now 56-0 when both passing and rushing for 200+ yards under Dabo Swinney.
Clemson led at halftime, 17-10, and has now won 94 of its last 96 games (including each of its last 57) when leading at halftime. Clemson became the first team this season to hold Wake Forest to 10 points in the first half.
Clemson is now 116-2 since 2011 when leading after three quarters.
Clemson’s 21-point win represented the 23rd time Clemson has defeated a Top 25 opponent by 21 points or more in school history.
Clemson became the first team this season to hold Wake Forest to fewer than 35 points. Wake Forest entered Saturday as the only team in the country to score 35 points in every game this season.
Clemson recorded a season-high seven sacks, including four in the first quarter. Clemson’s previous season high was six, set a week earlier against UConn. Wake Forest had only allowed 17 sacks through 10 games prior to Saturday.
Clemson’s seven sacks were its most in a game since collecting eight sacks at Syracuse in 2019.
Clemson has now posted at least six sacks in consecutive games for the first time since 1996, when Clemson posted eight sacks in consecutive games against Maryland and Virginia.
Clemson has now recorded at least four sacks against four consecutive opponents for the first time since the final two games of 2019 and first two games of 2020.
Clemson held Wake Forest to 36 rushing yards and has now held back-to-back opponents to fewer than 100 rushing yards for the first time since the first two games of the 2020 season.
The game was Clemson’s only ACC game this season to be determined by a victory margin of more than 10 points. Clemson’s seven ACC games decided by 10 or fewer points in 2021 are its most in a season since the conference’s formation in 1953.
Clemson recorded a season-high 543 yards of total offense, its second 500-yard game of the season (504 vs. South Carolina State). It was Clemson’s largest yardage output since last November against Pitt (581).
After recording 476 yards last week, Clemson has now exceeded 475 yards in consecutive games for the first time since the Miami (Fla.) and Georgia Tech games last season.
Clemson exceeded both 200 rushing yards and 200 passing yards in a single game for the third time this season (vs. SC State and Boston College). Clemson is undefeated (56-0) when reaching the 200-yard mark in both categories under Swinney.
Clemson rushed for a season-high 333 yards. Clemson’s season high in rushing yards coming into the game was 242 against South Carolina State.
Clemson’s 333 rushing yards were its most since rushing for 419 yards against Wofford in 2019. It was Clemson’s most rushing yardage against an FBS opponent since rushing for 411 against Georgia Tech in the 2019 season opener.
Clemson’s four rushing touchdowns were its most since rushing for seven touchdowns at Georgia Tech in 2020.
Clemson has now rushed for at least three touchdowns in consecutive games for the first time since last season against Pitt and Virginia Tech.
Clemson has now scored at least 30 points in four consecutive games for the first time since the first 11 games of the 2020 season.
Clemson has now scored 40 points in back-to-back games for the first time since a three-game streak against Notre Dame, Pitt and Virginia Tech last season.
For the first time since 2008, Clemson and Wake Forest played a game in which the Demon Deacons entered ranked higher than the Tigers in the AP Poll. Clemson lost that previous game in 2008 to No. 21 Wake Forest, 12-7, then named Dabo Swinney as interim head coach the following week.
The game marked only the fourth time in 87 meetings that Wake Forest entered a game against Clemson ranked higher than the Tigers in the AP Poll.
Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei completed 11-of-19 passes for 208 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also added 30 yards on eight rushing attempts.
Uiagalelei completed a 52-yard pass to Beaux Collins in the first quarter.
In the third quarter, Uiagalelei hit Collins for a 58-yard touchdown pass, Clemson’s longest touchdown pass of the year.
Collins has now caught a touchdown in three straight games for the first time in his career. He became the first Clemson true freshman to accomplish the feat since Deon Cain recorded a touchdown reception in five straight games in 2015.
Collins finished the game with a career-high 137 yards on four receptions, his second career 100-yard receiving game and his second in the last three games.
Collins’ 137 receiving yards were the most by a Clemson player this season, the most by any Clemson player since 2021 (Cornell Powell, 139 vs. Ohio State) and the most by a Clemson true freshman since the 2018 season (Justyn Ross, 153 vs. Alabama).
Running back Kobe Pace rushed for a career-high 191 yards on 24 carries with two touchdowns. His 191 yards were the most by a Clemson player since Travis Etienne’s 212 rushing yards against Wofford in 2019.
Pace scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the year and of his career on an eight-yard third-quarter run. He later added his fifth rushing touchdown of the season and of his career in a two-yard run later in the quarter.
Running back Will Shipley finished the game with 112 rushing yards on 19 carries with two rushing touchdowns and a passing touchdown.
With his eighth and ninth rushing touchdowns of the season, Shipley (nine) passed Ronald Williams (eight in 1990) and tied James Davis (nine in 2005) for third on Clemson's leaderboard for rushing touchdowns by a true freshman since 1972.
Shipley rushed for multiple touchdowns in a fourth game this season to tie Travis Etienne (four in 2017) for the most games with multiple rushing touchdowns by a Clemson true freshman since 2000.
Shipley became the first Clemson true freshman with multiple 100-yard rushing games in a true freshman season since 2018 (Lyn-J Dixon, two).
Shipley scored on a one-yard touchdown run on Clemson’s second possession.
Shipley threw a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Davis Allen in the second quarter on his first career pass attempt.
Shipley’s touchdown pass was the first by a Clemson non-quarterback since Sammy Watkins' 52-yard touchdown pass to Andre Ellington at Florida State in 2012.
Shipley became the first Clemson non-quarterback to both rush for a touchdown and throw for a touchdown since C.J. Spiller — Shipley’s position coach — did so at NC State in 2009.
The touchdown reception was Allen’s third of the season and his third in the last four games.
Shipley added a career-long 42-yard run on the first play of the third quarter and added a three-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
With the performances by Pace and Shipley, Clemson had two 100-yard rushers in a single game for the first time since 2018 when Travis Etienne, Lyn-J Dixon and Tavien Feaster all reached the century mark on the ground against Louisville.
Defensive tackle Etinosa Reuben recorded a career-high 2.0 sacks.
Reuben recorded his first full sack in the first quarter. He added his second full sack in the third quarter.
Linebacker James Skalski recorded a sack on the game’s first play from scrimmage. It was his 10th career sack.
Defensive end K.J. Henry and linebacker Trenton Simpson split Clemson’s third sack of the first quarter.
Simpson and defensive tackle Tyler Davis split Clemson’s fourth sack of the first quarter.
Simpson added to his single-season career high in sacks (6.0).
Simpson has now recorded at least a half-sack in five consecutive games for the first time in his career.
Simpson became the first Clemson player with at least half a sack in five straight games since Kevin Dodd in the final five games of the 2015 season.
Linebacker Baylon Spector and defensive end Myles Murphy split Clemson’s fifth sack of the game.
In the third quarter, Murphy added his second forced fumble in as many weeks, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Spector.
Murphy became the first Clemson player to force a fumble in consecutive games since Vic Beasley against NC State and Wake Forest in 2013.
Murphy now has five career forced fumbles.
The fumble recovery was Spector’s first of the season and the fourth of his career. He has one fumble recovery in each of the last four seasons.
Murphy added a full sack in the third quarter, giving him 1.5 sacks for the game to make him the first Clemson player with 1.5 or more sacks in consecutive games since Clelin Ferrell against Texas A&M and Georgia Southern in 2018.
Cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. recorded his first interception of the season in the second quarter. It was his third career interception and his first since Nov. 28, 2020 vs. Pitt.
Defensive tackle Tyler Davis recorded Clemson’s third takeaway of the game, recovering a fumble in the third quarter. It was his second career fumble recovery and his first since 2019 at NC State.
Clemson’s three takeaways tied its season high set against Boston College.
Wake Forest converted a third-and-three in the second quarter. It ended a streak of 24 consecutive third-down attempts faced by Clemson without allowing a first down. That streak included Louisville’s final six third downs on Nov. 6, all of UConn’s 14 third downs on Nov. 13 and the first four of Wake Forest’s first downs on Saturday.
Kicker B.T. Potter kicked a season-long 50-yard field goal on Clemson’s opening possession.
The field goal was Potter’s sixth career field goal of 50 yards or more, giving him sole possession of the school record for career 50-yard field goals shared previously with Chris Gardocki (1988-90) and Donald Igwebuike (1981-84).
Potter added a 35-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to end a 11-play, 57-yard drive lasting 7:41. With his second field goal of the game, Potter(47) passed David Treadwell (47 from 1985-87) for eighth-most career field goals in Clemson history.
Punter Will Spiers started his 67th game to add to his school record for career starts. Wide receiver/holder Will Swinney's career total as Clemson's primary holder parallels Spiers' run as starting punter.
In addition to serving as Clemson’s holder for a 67th consecutive game, Swinney made his first career start at wide receiver on Saturday. He became the first son of a Clemson coach to start a game on offense or defense since 1963, when halfback Jimmy Howard started for Head Coach Frank Howard.
Spiers, Swinney and linebacker James Skalski each played in their 67th career games to extend their school record for most career games played.
Captains for the contest were linebacker James Skalski, linebacker Baylon Spector, punter Will Spiers and wide receiver Will Swinney.