The Clemson Tigers, thought to be one of the national title favorites this year, had their hands full with a resurgent Syracuse program on Saturday. Clemson survived a wild contest despite losing its starting quarterback early.
It didn't look good early for Clemson. The Tigers lost Trevor Lawrence to injury early in the contest and trailed 16-7 at halftime. But the team's defense held Syracuse to just one touchdown in the second half. They emerged with a 27-23 victory.
After Lawrence was named the starter earlier in the week, senior Kelly Bryant announced he'd be transferring from the university. That meant that third-string signal-caller Chase Brice had to step in when Lawrence went down. He did just enough to secure his team the victory.
Syracuse held a 23-20 lead late, but had trouble stopping Clemson's running game, led by Travis Etienne, down the stretch. On Clemson's final drive, Brice found Tee Higgins for 20 yards on an important 3rd-and-3 with just under three minutes to play.
Syracuse got the ball back with 41 seconds to play, but couldn't make any progress. Eric Dungey was absolutely crushed by Xavier Thomas on one of the game's final plays.
With the win, Clemson's national title hopes are still alive. That said, they'll need a healthy Lawrence to truly compete moving forward.