NCAA Football

Tennessee vs. Clemson score: No. 6 Vols turn pressure on No. 7 Tigers to complete best season since 2001

Tennessee vs. Clemson score: No. 6 Vols turn pressure on No. 7 Tigers to complete best season since 2001

No. 6 Tennessee has controlled the Orange Bowl since feet met leather in a 31-14 victory over No. 7 Clemson on Friday night. Volunteers Joe Milton III, making his second start since first-team All-SEC quarterback Handon Hooker was injured, threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Ramel Cayton with 8:34 left to give the Volunteers a 14-point lead that iced the game .

Milton completed 19 of 28 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns on the night, including a 14-yarder to Squirrel White with five seconds left in the third quarter to keep momentum on the Vols’ sideline as the teams switched sides in the final frame.

Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik made his first career start since winning ACC Championship Game MVP honors, coming off the bench in place of an ineffective DJ Uyagalelei. Clubnik had his ups and downs against the Vols, completing 30 of 54 passes for 320 yards and two interceptions. He had a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter to make it a one-score game, but he was pressured all night and had both interceptions under pressure.

Tennessee’s defense was relentless from the moment the game began and ended the night with seven tackles for loss and four sacks while holding Clemson to 4.8 yards per play. More important, however, were the empty possessions they forced. All six of Clemson’s first-half possessions ended in Tennessee territory, but the Tigers got just three points from them; kicker BT Potter missed three field goals and the Tigers turned the ball over twice more on long drives. Clemson ran a total of 101 plays, an Orange Bowl record, but the Volunteers’ defense refused to break, no matter how hard it bent.

The Volunteers improved to 11-2 on the season – their first 11-win season since 2001. Clemson fell to 11-3 on the year and has lost two of its last three games.





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