In the first week three weeks of the season, Clemson’s coaches had no issues trying to get their team motivated to play. The Tigers were the only Power 5 Conference team to play a Power 5 opponent in each of the first three games.
However, that changed Saturday when Clemson hosted C-USA member Charlotte at Memorial Stadium in Clemson.
“Our goal today was to really show some maturity,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said after the Tigers’ 52-10 victory over the 49ers. “I challenged them on Monday because obviously this was a game ‘you’re supposed to win’ and all of that type of stuff, but they showed some maturity for our preparation process.
“We really tried to take the week to teach a lot of the young guys on our team but how we handle ourselves and how we do things regardless of who the opponent is, and I thought the guys really bought into that and played well. It was fun to see so many guys buy into that.”
Clemson played a school-record 111 players in the contest. The record for player participation in a single game prior to Saturday was 94, set initially against The Citadel in 2017 and again against Louisville last season.
“One hundred eleven guys got in the game and it was a lot of fun,” Swinney said. “It is good momentum going into this game. It is another road game heading up there to North Carolina and then have an open date after that.
“I just like where our team is right now. We are healthy.”
19 straight wins. Clemson won its 19th straight game, which was already a school record. However, the 19 straight is now the second longest winning streak in ACC history, second only to Florida State’s 29 straight win from 2012-’14.
Clemson tied its longest unbeaten streak in non-conference home games in school history, matching a 20-game unbeaten streak from 1978-84 that included 18 wins and two ties.
Tigers win 14th straight by 14. Clemson won its 14th consecutive game by 14 points or more, tying the 2012-13 Florida State Seminoles and 1955-56 Oklahoma Sooners for the third-longest streak in the AP Poll era (since 1936).
First time for everything. Clemson has now scored 40 points in three of the first four games of a season for the first time in school history. Clemson has now scored 40 points in back-to-back games for the first time since the South Carolina and Pitt games of last year.
Tigers get offensive. Clemson has now posted 2,099 yards of offense this season, the team’s most through the first four games of a season, surpassing the 2,054 posted by the 2017 squad through four games.
Lawrence passes Watson. The 58-yard touchdown pass was to Tee Higgins was Trevor Lawrence’s 11th career touchdown pass of 50-plus yards, breaking a tie with Deshaun Watson for sole possession of second-most by a Clemson quarterback since 1950. Tajh Boyd holds Clemson’s top mark in that category since 1950 with 17.
Etienne is No. 2. Running back Travis Etienne scored on a two-yard rush in the second quarter. The rushing touchdown tied him with Travis Zachery (41 from 1999-2001) for the second-most career rushing touchdowns in school history.
The game was the first contest played by Clemson all-time against a Conference USA opponent. Prior to Saturday, Clemson had played seven other current members of Conference USA, but all of those contests came during programs’ tenures with other conferences.
—Clemson Athletic Communications contributed to this story
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