Final score: Clemson 59, S.C. State 0. Clemson improved to 3-0 on the season, while S.C. State fell to 0-3. Deshaun Watson threw for three touchdowns, and Clemson totaled 555 yards of total offense while holding the Bulldogs to just 102. Four different Clemson receivers caught a touchdown pass, led by Ray-Ray McCloud who had two. Freshman running back Tavien Feaster scored his first career touchdown and led Clemson in rushing with 12 carries for 83 yards. Defensively, Clemson recorded five sacks from five different players and had 10 tackles for loss.
Freshman running back Tavien Feaster scored his first career touchdown on a 4-yard run in the third quarter to give Clemson a 52-0 lead.
Trevion Thompson tacked on with a 7-yard touchdown reception from Kelly Bryant at the 0:55 mark of the third quarter to make the score 59-0.
Deshaun Watson said he was coming out on Saturday with a renewed since of purpose and attitude. And his teammates followed suit.
Watson threw touchdown passes of 7 and 36 yards to Ray Ray McCloud and 17 yards to Deon Cain, while completing 12 of 15 passes for 152 yards as Clemson leads 45-0 at the break.
Backup quarterback Nick Schuessler was 4-for-5 passing for 64 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown pass to Diondre Overton.
The Tigers had 319 total yards in the opening half to S.C. State’s 55. Clemson’s defense forced two turnovers – a fumble and an interception. The Tigers scored 10 points off of those turnovers.
Up 14-0 with 5:20 to play in the opening quarter S.C. State’s Ahmaad Harris flipped the ball to the official without taking a knee after the Greg Huegel kick went in the end zone. He then realized it was still a live ball but Clemson’s Denzel Johnson recovered it for a touchdown and a 28-0 lead.
Huegel later made a 26-yard field goal after the Overton touchdown for a 31-0 lead.
Watson later hit McCloud for a 36-yard touchdown pass, putting the Tigers up 38-0 with 13:41 left in the second quarter. The two also connected in the first quarter on a seven-yard touchdown pass.
McCloud, now with a career-high two touchdowns, set up the score with a 31-yard punt return.
That drive was a quick 3 plays for 39 yards in 1:05.
A 17-yard touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson to Deon Cain puts the Tigers up 45-0 with 9:56 to go in the second quarter.
Freshmen running back Tavien Feaster and receiver Cornell Powell both contributed heavily on the drive.
That was a 6 play 49-yard drive as Clemson continues to pile on points in the first half.
Deshaun Watson opened up the second quarter y throwing a 36-yard touchdown pass to Ray Ray McCloud, the second time the two hooked up this afternoon. That made the score 38-0 with 13:41 to play in the half.
McCloud set the Tigers up at the SC State 39 with a 30-yard punt return.
Clemson leads 38-0.
What a crazy first quarter. Clemson took a 31-0 lead as it got a Deshaun Watson touchdown pass to Ray Ray McCloud, a Wayne Gallman run and then a 45-yard touchdown pass from Nick Schuessler to freshman Diondre Overton.
SC State also gave the Tigers a gift after the Gallman touchdown S.C. State’s Ahmaad Harris flipped the ball to official without taking a knee after the Greg Huegel kick went in the end zone. He then realized it was still a live ball and Clemson’s Denzel Johnson recovered it for a touchdown.
Huegel later made a 26-yard field goal for a 31-0 lead.
Clemson opened the game with a 10-play, 69-yard dive that took 3:27 off the clock. Quarterback Deshaun Watson connected with Ray Ray McCloud for a seven-yard touchdown pass to cap the drive with 11:22 left in the first quarter.
Watson was 4-for-4 on the drive for 43 yards, including the seven-yard touchdown pass to McCloud.
Third-ranked Clemson will host S.C. State on today in Death Valley. The game is scheduled to kick off at Noon, and will be televised by the Fox Sports Regional Network.
Clemson enter the game with a 2-0 record, the sixth time in Dabo Swinney’s eight years the Tigers have started a season 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 or 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.
About S.C. State: This will be South Carolina State’s third straight game against an FBS opponent to open the season. The Bulldogs have opened with road losses at Central Florida and Louisiana Tech.
S.C. State’s offense: Buddy Pough’s team is quarterbacked by Caleb York and he has thrown for 271 yards in two games and for a pair of scores. He is also the team’s top rusher with 78 yards on 16 attempts. His top target has been Lynard Jamison, who has eight receptions for 83 yards. Quan Caldwell and Deangel Frazier have been the recipients of his scoring passes. The Bulldogs have given up just two sacks thus far.
S.C. State’s defense: Darius Leonard is the top tackler with 18 stops. Jason Baxter is second on the team with 13.5. Dayshaw Taylor leads the team in tackles for loss with three, including a sack. The Bulldogs have six sacks as a team.
Injuries: Clemson: Out: Adrian Baker, DB, Knee; Austin Bryant, DE, foot; Brian Dawkins, Jr, DB, knee; Chandler Reeves, OL, Knee; Hunter Renfrow, WR, Hand. Doubtful: Ben Boulware, Sr., LB, ankle.
Records: Clemson 2-0; S.C. State 0-2
Series record: Clemson leads 3-0
First meeting: Clemson won 54-0 in 2008
Last meeting: Clemson won 73-7 in 2014
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.