November 15, 2014 Atlanta - Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets fans cheer after Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defensive back Jamal Golden (4) scored a touchdown against the Clemson Tigers in the first half at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, November 15, 2014. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Two big run plays ease pressure on Tech offense

Remove Georgia Tech’s two longest plays, and the Yellow Jackets averaged 2.9 yards per rush against Clemson. But, with A-back Broderick Snoddy’s 46-yard run in the second quarter and quarterback Justin Thomas’ 65-yard run on the first play of the third, the Jackets sheared off enough yardage on two different drives to produce the offense’s first 10 points, helping break open the game.

Snoddy’s run was the big play in Tech’s opening scoring drive, resulting in a Harrison Butker field goal. Thomas’ run, his season long, set up his five-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DeAndre Smelter that made the score 16-3 in Tech’s favor. Both were career longs for the two players.

Clemson entered the game with the No. 1 defense in yards per play, third-down conversion rate and tackles for loss. B-back Synjyn Days called Clemson’s defensive line probably the best Tech has played this season. Tech finished with 251 rushing yards on 50 carries, well below its average of 335.6 yards per game.

“I definitely have to give it up to those guys,” he said. “They were making it hard on us on offense.”

Days ran 20 times for 89 yards. B-back Zach Laskey, coming back from a shoulder injury that kept him out the previous three games, played just one series, gaining 13 yards on four carries but losing the ball on a fumble. With his total, Days cleared 1,000 rushing yards for his career, becoming the 45th player in Tech history to reach that standard.

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