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The Cheez-It Bowl in Orlando, Florida between Dabo Swinney’s Clemson team and Iowa State saw Swinney’s Tigers prove they still have plenty left in the tank — winning 20-13.
Iowa State has plenty to blame on the shortcomings made by their hindered depth chart — affected by COVID sit-outs and injuries — but quarterback Brock Purdy seemed out of touch with the game plan, which was already flawed on behalf of Matt Campbell.
The fourth-year quarterback finished by completing 23-of-39 passes for 204 yards, one touchdown and an interception.
Clemson starter DJ Uiagalelei didn’t do much to overshadow Purdy, completing 21-of-32 passes for 187 yards and an interception.
Holding a 20-3 score with four minutes remaining in the third, Wes Goodwin’s Clemson defense recreated the success by Brent Venables’ schematics for Swinney’s team. As Venables leaves for the Oklahoma head coaching gig, and offensive coordinator Tony Elliott departs for UVA’s job, Swinney pushed through for the bowl win amid the changing coaching staff.
A late push by the Cyclones offense with a field goal and touchdown to Charlie Kolar put the contest one score away, which showcased their need for starting running back Breece Hall to play — instead opting for a healthy scratch. Interim running back Jirehl Brock totaled 42 yards on 14 carries.
Questionable time management by Campbell in the late fourth set the offense up to reach the end zone with less than two minutes left.
On 4th-and-second, Purdy scrambled up a broken pocket to gain enough yardage until he fumbled the ball — pushed back to fall short of the first down, completing the win for Clemson with 33 seconds remaining. Both fans and the coach were equally infuriated by the product on the field.
The team’s deflated performance capped the Cyclones’ season with a 7-6 record.
A Gatorade shower for Dabo sealed the win for the Tigers.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela