Georgia Southern falls to No. 2 Clemson 38-7

Ryan Kostesnky

The Eagles rushed for 80 yards in a loss to the No. 2 Clemson Tigers, losing the game 38-7.

The game started off slow with no points being scored for either side, but it was the Eagles’ defense that stole the show. GS recorded a interception and recovered a fumble while Clemson missed a field goal attempt.

GS cornerback Kindle Vildor snatched in the interception from Kelly Bryant, and after the game talked about what it’s like going up against the Tigers.

“Defensively, I think we played good, we played real good.” Vildor said. “Three turnovers, I mean, gave up a couple big plays, but other than that I feel like we had a strong performance.”

Clemson broke open the scoring when they went for three touchdowns in the second quarter with two one-yard rushes on fourth and goal, and a 57 yard touchdown from the freshman Trevor Lawrence, and went into the final quarter of play leading 24-0.

The offense struggled mightily against Clemson’s defensive line. Shai Werts was running for his life for most of the game, getting sacked five times, but it was a trick play that added a little spark late in the game.

Werts threw a backwards pass to wide receiver Obe Fortune, who launched the ball 40 yards down the field before Wesley Kennedy caught it, setting up a red zone possession for the Eagles. Werts would scamper in for a six yard touchdown on the next play, putting GS on the board, 24-7.

Despite scoring the Eagles’ lone touchdown, Shai Werts talked after the game about losing in his home state.

“It hurts,” Werts said. “Of course losing hurts but we can’t really hold our head down too long. We got a bye week, got another one in Paulson, so we’ll be alright.”

During the course of the game, defensive lineman CJ Wright came in the game and was the Eagles’ second leading rusher, gaining 20 yards on five carries.

Coach Chad Lunsford talked about the game, and the addition of CJ Wright to the offense.

“We’ve been working CJ Wright,” Lunsford said. “This has really been the first opportunity to get him in and he did a really good job. I know he put a fumble on the ground later in the game and a lot of that’s got to do with, he played a lot of defense today and he probably got tired. We got to continue work with him on ball security because he can be a weapon for us.”

Clemson would score a pair of touchdowns and extend their lead to 38-7.

Clemson’s quarterback battle was displayed front in center with Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence both splitting snaps. Bryant started the game, but would leave due to an injury, opening the door for Lawrence. In turn, Lawrence went 12-19 with 194 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

GS has a timely bye week before starting Sun Belt Conference play against the Arkansas State Red Wolves. Kickoff time is still to be determined.

Ryan Kostensky, The George-Anne Sports Reporter,