Game Day Blog: Clemson 30, Troy 24 (Final)

"Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) scrambles for yardage during the second quarter against South Carolina State at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, SC Saturday, September 6, 2014.  

Rex Brown/Photographer"

Clemson hangs on to beat Troy 30-24. More stories and updates are to come later.


Christian Wilkins caught a one-yard touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson with 13:50 to play in the fourth quarter to give the Tigers a 20-10 lead.

Wilkins became the first defensive lineman in Clemson history to catch a touchdown. His score capped a 13-play, 66-yard drive that took 3:44 off the clock.


After Troy got a 66-yard touchdown run to tie the game, Clemson regained it when kicker Greg Huegel made a 32-yard field with 2:45 to play in the first half.

The field goal followed a Dorian O’Daniel interception, the defense’s third of the game.


Clemson wide receiver Hunter Renfrow made a diving catch while getting one foot down in the left side of the end zone as it gave the Tigers a 10-3 lead with 10:06 to play in the second quarter. The touchdown came after Kendall Joseph intercepted a pass the Clemson 46.

The Tigers cashed in four plays later when Watson scrambled to his left and found Renfrow in the end zone as he made a diving catch for the seven-point lead.


Troy had a bad snap on a 44-yard field goal attempt with 23 seconds left to keep the game tied at 3-3.

Troy outgained Clemson 72-54 and had the ball for 9:30. Deshaun Watson was 4-for-9 for 44 yards.

The defense held Troy to minus-4 rushing yards. Clemson has 10 yards.


Trayvon Mullen also came into the game on that last drive. Clemson is playing a lot of young people right now.


Some notes from the start of the game. Clemson started Marcus Edmond at cornerback and Dexter Lawrence at defensive tackle.

K’Von Wallace got his first action on defense this year on Troy’s third possession.


Clemson tied the game with 7:28 thanks to a 26-yard Greg Huegel field goal. The scoring drive was 10 plays and 57 yards for the Tigers.


After an exchange of punts. Troy kicks a 39-yard field goal by Ryan Kay to take a 3-0 lead with 10:22 to play in the first quarter.


Second-ranked Clemson will host Troy today in Death Valley in its home opener. The game is scheduled to kick off at 12:30 p.m. and will be televised by the ACC Network.

The game will mark the beginning of the 50th season of Howard’s Rock being at the top of the Hill. Clemson first played with Howard’s Rock on its pedestal against Virginia in 1966 as the Tigers rallied from 18 points down in the fourth quarter for a 40-35 victory.

About Troy: Troy began its season with a 57-17 win last Saturday over Aus­tin Peay. The performance was one of the best on offense in school his­tory as the Trojans accumulated 706 yards of total offense. They had 383 rushing yards and 323 passing. Like Clemson at Auburn, Troy had a 200-yard passer, a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver.

Troy’s offense: Quarterback Brandon Silvers finished third in the Sun Belt last season with 216.2 passing yards per game, 20 touchdown passes, and a 61.2 completion per­centage. Troy has an experienced quarterback, but overall it has a young offense. The Trojans have just four seniors available offensively this season, which is the second fewest in the country behind Minnesota. Additionally, Troy’s 15 overall seniors are the 14th fewest in the country.

Troy’s defense: Troy’s defensive coordinator is Vic Koenning, who served as Clemson’s defensive coordinator from 2005-08. During his four years as Clemson’s defensive coordinator the defense ranked in the top 20 in the nation in scoring defense, total defense and pass efficiency defense every year.

Records: Clemson 1-0; Troy 1-0

Injuries: Clemson: Adrian Baker, DB, Knee, out; Austin Bryant, DE, foot, out; Brian Dawkins, Jr., DB, knee, out; Chandler Reeves, OL, Knee, Out.

Series record: Clemson leads 1-0

First meeting: Clemson won 43-19 in 2011

Stat worth noting: Clemson enters Saturday’s game with a school record 16-game winning streak in Clemson Me­morial Stadium. The streak began with a 55- 31 win over Georgia Tech in 2013. The Tigers finished the regular season home schedule that year with a win over The Citadel, and have now posted consecutive 7-0 records at home since then. The 2014 and 2015 seasons mark the first time Clemson has had consecutive perfect seasons at home since 1950 and 1951 when Clemson was 4-0 at home each year.

Second stat worth noting: Clemson is 33-2 at home since 2011. Troy opened the 35-game span when the Tigers began that season with a 49-13 victory over the Trojans.

Mike Williams’s Big Return

Playing in his first game since the 2015 opener, Mike Williams had nine catches for 174 yards in the Tigers 19-13 win at Auburn. The Clemson senior had 70 percent of Clemson’s 248 receiving yards in the game, as he repeatedly made back shoulder receptions from quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Five for Boulware and Johnson

Clemson won the turnover battle at Auburn, 3-2. That is usually a good sign for the Tigers who are 43-4 under Dabo Swinney when winning that stat. Seniors Ben Boulware and Jadar Johnson each had the fifth interception of their respective careers and both of them came in the second half to stop Auburn drives deep into Clemson territory. In fact Boulware made his theft inside the five-yard line.

Boulware has made a name for himself making big plays in key games. Each of the last two years he has had an interception against Oklahoma in a bowl game, the only Clemson linebacker to do that in a bowl game two years in a row.

Johnson had the fifth interception of his career as well, but perhaps more importantly, broke up passes on Auburn’s last two last ditch pass attempts in the endzone.

Great Start for Kendall Joseph

Kendall Joseph was Clemson’s top tackler off stats from the Clemson coaches grading in the season opener at Auburn. The red-shirt sophomore from nearby Belton, S.C. made his first college start and had 14 tackles, including three tackles for loss and a sack. As a freshman in 2015, Joseph had just 11 tackles all year in 63 plays over seven games. He is a former three-time state champion in the state of South Carolina in weight lifting.

Tigers Continue to Dominate with Tackles for Loss

Clemson had 14 tackles for loss in the season opening win over Auburn, tied for the fourth most over the first weekend of college football. It was a balanced performance in that area as nine different players were involved in the stops behind the line of scrimmage. Kendall Joseph led the way with three, the first three of his career in fact. Christian Wilkins had 2.5 and Cordrea Tankersley had two.

Since Brent Venables has been at Clemson the Tigers have done very well in this category. In fact, each of the last three years, the Tigers have led the nation in total tackles for loss. Clemson had 123 in 2013, 131 in 2014 and 126 last year. The Tigers were 28th in the category in 2012, Venables first year, with 87.

Alabama Once Again

For the third game in a row Clemson will play a team from the state of Alabama.

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