It’s Game Day in Death Valley where No. 3 Clemson battles S.C. State as the Tigers look to move to 3-0 on the season.
Location: Memorial Stadium (Death Valley)
Kickoff: 12:04 p.m.
Television: Fox Regional Network
Announcers: Wes Durham, James Bates, Jenn Hildrith
2016 Record: Clemson 2-0 South Carolina State 0-2
ACC Record: Clemson 0-0
Series History: Clemson leads 3-0
Last Meeting: Clemson won 73-7 in 2014
Tigers Start 2-0
Clemson enters Saturday’s game with a 2-0 record, the sixth time in Dabo Swinney’s eight years the Tigers have started 2-0. It might not seem like a big accomplishment, but it is in terms of Clemson history over the last 60 years. Between 1961 and 2008 Clemson started 2-0 just 13 of 48 seasons. Danny Ford started 2-0 just five of his 11 years, and did it just twice in his first eight years. The two victories this year have been by a touchdown of less, the first time Clemson has started a season with a pair of wins by that close a margin since 2005, and just the second time since 1958. In 2005 Clemson defeated Texas A&M 25-24, then defeated Maryland on the road 28-24 to open the season.
Pick Six Clemson has played South Carolina State three times and in each game the Tigers have had at least one pick six. In 2008 Chris Clemons returned an interception 32 yards for a score. In 2013, Martin Jenkins ran 52 yards for a touchdown with an interception. Later in the game Darius Robinson retuned one 35 yards for score. It was the first time since 1940 that Clemson had two interception returns for touchdown in the same game.
Then, in 2014, current senior Jadar Johnson raced 60 yards for a touchdown with an interception. That was a special play for Johnson, who is from Orangeburg, S.C., the site of the South Carolina State campus.
Watson Breaks Boyd Mark
Deshaun Watson threw for 292 yards and three scores in Clemson’s win over Troy. He has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in 18 consecutive games a school record. Tajh Boyd had a streak of 17 in a row between 2011 and 2013. His streak was broken in a win over South Carolina State.
Over the streak Watson has thrown at least two touchdown passes 13 times. The Troy game was the seventh time during the streak and ninth time in his career he has thrown for at least three touchdowns in the same game.
For his career, Watson now has 53 career touchdowns, ninth among active players at the FBS level. He also has 17 rushing touchdowns to give him 70 scores in terms of touchdown responsibility for his three years. That ranks seventh best among active FBS players. His passing efficiency rating is 157.2 is fourth among active FBS players and he is third in completion percentage at .660.
Watson went over the 6,000-yard passing mark against Troy when he accumulated 292 yards. He is the fourth Clemson quarterback to do it joining Boyd, Charlie Whitehurst and Woody Dantzler.
Wilkins Touchdown a First
Clemson sophomore defensive lineman Christian Wilkins is rapidly getting a reputation as one of the most all-around football players in the nation. Wilkins burst on the national scene in the Orange Bowl last year when he caught a 31-yard pass from punter Andy Teasdall on a fake punt against Oklahoma. That was a momentum changer for the Tigers in their 37-17 victory.
Then, in the 2016 season opener against Auburn, he threw a key block in Clemson’s goal line offense to allow Wayne Gallman to score a key touchdown in the Tigers six-point win. Gallman was quoted as saying, “That was the easiest thing I have done at Clemson.”
Wilkins brought his offensive exploits to a new level against Troy last week when he caught a one-yard touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson on a third-and-goal play to give the Tigers a 20-10 lead. With the reception, Wilkins became the first defensive li
Clemson Has Longest Active Streak of Top 5 in AP Poll
Clemson has been ranked in the top five in the nation in 11 consecutive AP polls. That is the longest active streak in the nation and the longest streak of top five rankings in Clemson history. The national record is 55 consecutive weeks in the AP top five by Miami (FL) from 2000-03.
Clemson has an active streak of 23 consecutive polls in the top 25, the sixth longest active streak. Clemson has been ranked in the top 10 for 14 straight polls, tied for the second longest active streak with Alabama. Ohio State has the current longest streak at 25 in a row in the top 10.
Tigers With 17 Game Home Win Streak
Clemson enters Saturday’s game with a school record 17-game winning streak in 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 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
Swinney 47-6 at Home
Head Coach Dabo Swinney is 47-6 at home at Clemson, including the 17-game active winning streak. His Tigers have lost more than one game at home just once, in 2010 when the Tigers were 5-2 at home.
Swinney and the Tigers lost their first home game, in 2008 by a 21-17 score against an unranked Georgia Tech team. That is the only unranked team Swinney has lost to at home. He enters the South Carolina State game with a 42-game winning streak against unranked teams in Death Valley. In the 17-game winning streak, Clemson has an average margin of victory of 24 points per game. Only three teams have been within 10 points of Clemson at home in the 17-game streak.
In 2014, Clemson beat Louisville 23-17 and in 2015, beat Notre Dame 24-22. Last week Troy lost to the Tigers by six in Memorial Stadium. Fourteen of the 17 wins in the stretch have been by at least 10 points and eight have been by at least 20 points.
Robert – Clemson 52 South Carolina State 10
Gavin – Clemson 45 South Carolina State 10
Will – Clemson 28 South Carolina State 0
Qualk – Clemson 55 South Carolina State 3