Sixth-ranked Clemson did what it was supposed to do during the team’s 49-3 win over South Carolina State at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
Here’s a look back at how the Tigers came out on top in their home opener.
Clemson more than emptied its depth chart during the team’s first win of the season.
Taisun Phommachanh, Hunter Helms and Will Taylor took most of the team’s snaps under center for the majority of the second half.
The Tigers entered the halftime locker room with a 32-point lead, but the game was already over, much before then.
Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott went back to the basics — running the ball — something Clemson failed to do effectively in its loss to Georgia. The Tigers rushed for 177 yards in the first half alone. The team’s rushing attack, led by Will Shipley and Kobe Pace, accounted for 235 of the team’s 504 total yards.
Besides that, Clemson was able to pick up where it left off from a defensive standpoint. The team’s defense held S.C. State to just 235 yards on the night, even if the Bulldogs did hold the cards when it came to the time of possession.
Clemson’s first sack didn’t come until around 55 minutes into Saturday evening’s contest. Freshman linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. got into the backfield for the first sack of his young career. Trotter was second on the team with four total tackles.
And yet, it didn’t matter.
The Tigers dominated the Bulldogs in every aspect of the game, as expected.
What went wrong?
D.J. Uiagalelei didn’t have quite the bounce-back performance that Clemson would’ve hoped for.
The sophomore quarterback completed 14 of 24 passes for 171 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Uiagalelei never looked quite right, often making throws flatfooted, leading to errant passes, an interception and some missed opportunities in the red zone.
Clemson’s first-team offense was by no means “stifled” during Saturday’s 49-3 win, but most of the team’s offensive success didn’t come at the expense of QB1.
There was no critical turning point in Saturday’s action. The game was over before it started.
Clemson scored the only touchdown it would need on Uiagalelei’s quarterback keeper to make the score 7-0 with 11 minutes and 38 seconds remaining in the first quarter. From there, the Tigers would tack on 42 more points, while holding the Bulldogs to a mere 27-yard field goal just before halftime.
S.C. State had its chances to find the end zone, but it wouldn’t have mattered. By the end of the first quarter, the scoreboard read: 28-0; and that was that.
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