Tigers fumble away the first half


It looked like Ray Ray McCloud’s 75-yard punt return for a touchdown with 1:38 to play was overturned when it was determined the sophomore let the ball go before crossing the goal line.

Replay ruled the ball was a fumble and Troy recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback. Troy kicker Ryan Kay missed a 48-yard attempt with two seconds left as the second-ranked Tigers took a 13-10 lead into the locker room.

It was an ugly 30 minutes for the Tigers. McCloud’s fumbled highlighted a first-half in which the offense dropped passes, missed blocks and threw an interception.

Clemson totaled 200 yards in the opening half, but were 2-for-9 on third down conversions. Wide receiver Deon Cain dropped one touchdown pass and might have had another but he dropped a long pass down the sideline.

Watson  14 of 26 for 175 yards, but he threw an interception that he threw right to Troy defensive back Jalen Roundtree.

The Clemson defense was not much better. The Tigers allowed Troy to gain 243 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown run by Jabir Frye that tied the game with 7:52 to play in the second quarter. That came on a fourth-and-one play.

Clemson did get two Greg Huegel field goals and Hunter Renfrow made an incredible 35-yard grab on the left side of the end zone that gave the Tigers a 10-3 lead with 10:06 to go in the second quarter.

However, the Tigers could have been up two scores, but Deon Cain dropped a 36-yard touchdown pass and then McCloud, who made a spectacular punt return in which he made several guys miss and broke one tackle, let go of the football just as he was about to cross the goal line.

Replay took away the touchdown and instead of being up by at least two scores, the Tigers are clinging on to a 13-10 lead.

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