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Clemson Tigers Nab Cheez-It Bowl Win with Second-Half Rally, 20-13

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Clemson Tigers (9-3) and Iowa State Cyclones (7-5) brought the action late in the Cheez-It Bowl at Camping World Stadium Wednesday.

The first half was relatively calm in scoring, with neither team scoring any touchdowns, but bandying field goals.

Dabo Swinney’s Tigers got on the board first with a field goal in the first quarter. The Cyclones answered with their own field goal early in the second quarter. At 7:33 in the second, Iowa attempted another field goal, but it was no good.

At 4:07 in the second, Clemson successfully kicked a 51-yard field goal, jumping back in the lead against Iowa State, 6-3. That remained the score at halftime.

Clemson lit things up towards the end of the third quarter, getting the first touchdown on the board with Will Shipley rushing 12 yards with 4:54 left in the quarter. Then, on Iowa State’s following possession, Clemson’s Mario Goodrich intercepted Brock Purdy’s pass and returned it 18 yards for another touchdown for Clemson, burying Iowa State with a 20-3 lead with just four minutes left in the quarter.

During Clemson’s next possession, with 2:27 left in the third, Iowa State gave Clemson a taste of their own medicine. Iowa State’s Jake Hummel intercepted DJ Uiagalelei’s pass at Clemson’s 28-yard line, creating another chance for Iowa State to score. The Cyclones used the opportunity to kick a successful 45-yard field goal, bringing the score to 20-6.

Iowa State finally clinched a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Brock Purdy passed to Charlie Kolar, who ran it eight yards into the end zone. With the extra point, Iowa State narrowed the lead to 20-13–one touchdown and extra point away from a tie.

Despite Iowa State’s late rally, though, they weren’t able to close that gap. Clemson sealed their fate at 20-13 at the end of the game and came away as the 2021 Cheez-It Bowl champions.

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Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | mellissa.thomas@floridanationalnews.com

 

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