Georgia 19, Clemson 17
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) _ Freshman Torin Kirtsey’s 195 yards rushing helped Georgia to a 19-17 victory over Clemson on Saturday night and rekindled the Bulldogs’ running legacy in the closing game of one of their longest rivalries.
Kirtsey, the Bulldogs’ third tailback this season, continually danced through Clemson (3-3) to set up all four scores and finish with the most yards in a game for Georgia this season.
Brian Smith, Georgia’s third-string quarterback, hooked up with Juan Daniels on a 29-yard TD that put the Bulldogs up for good in the third quarter.
Kirtsey was playing because of injuries to tailbacks Robert Edwards and Larry Bowie. He quickly became the unlikely star of Georgia’s 60th and final meeting with Clemson. The series began in 1897 and featured such standouts as Herschel Walker.
With the Tigers up 7-0, Kirtsey broke a 23-yard run on a drive that finished with Selma Calloway’s 6-yard TD run. Kirtsey had runs of 9, 8 and 7 yards to led to Kanon Parkman’s 25-yard field goal just before halftime.
And Kirtsey had a 38-yard burst to start the Bulldogs’ final scoring series, which ended with Parkman’s 42-yard field goal.
Emory Smith had TD runs of 1 and 6 yards to bring Clemson within two points, but the Tigers’ last chance died when quarterback Nealon Greene ran out of bounds on fourth down with 1:49 left.
Kirtsey rushed for more yards than Georgia gained in each of its last four games. It was the most yards given up by Clemson since Maryland’s Steve Atkins rushed for 197 yards in 1978.
The victory spoiled the start of Clemson’s year-long football centennial celebration, featuring fireworks, old-time replica uniforms from 1939 and only the second night game at Death Valley in 40 seasons.
It was a lot like old-time football in the first half, with Clemson and Georgia running back to their roots.
The Tigers ran for 93 yards on 26 carries in the opening half and scored on a 1-yard TD burst by Emory Smith, the seventh rushing score this season by the younger brother of the Dallas Cowboys’ Emmitt Smith.
The Bulldogs ran for 103 yards in the opening two quarters, which took only an hour to play.
Jeff Sauve knocked through a career-best 47 yard field goal for Clemson.
Georgia finally took flight _ sort of _ when Brian Smith, the Bulldogs’ third quarterback in three games, completed four passes before Parkman’s field goal made it 10-10 at the break.