Written by Garin Turner
The No. 2 Clemson Tigers (1-0) started the season off with a bang, beating Furman 48-7. Kelly Bryant got the start at quarterback, but it was freshman Trevor Lawrence who stole the show. Lawrence went 9/15 for 137 yards and three touchdowns. Bryant was 10/16 for 127 yards and a touchdown for the Tigers. “This is the fifth or sixth game in a row where we didn’t allow a point in the first half,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said.
The running game was equally as good as the Tigers ran for a combined 254 yards on 36 carries and two scores. Bryant ran for a score and 44 yards. Freshman running back Lyn-J Dixon ran for 89 yards to lead the Tigers. The other score on the ground came from sophomore running back Travis Etienne who added 63 yards on the ground.
11 different receivers had receptions for the Tigers. No Tiger had more than three receptions. Sophomore Amari Rodgers had 3 receptions for 44 yards and a score. Freshman tight end Braden Galloway, freshman receiver Justyn Ross, and junior receiver Diondre Overton all had touchdown receptions for the Tigers.
Clemson’s first score came when Bryant connected to Rodgers for a 40-yard touchdown with 7:50 left in the first quarter. Lawrence threw his first career touchdown of six yards to Overton with 2:54 left in the first half. The Tigers added another touchdown on Etienne’s seven-yard run just before the end of the half. Clemson took a 27-0 lead into the locker room.
Furman’s lone touchdown came with just 1:18 left in the game when quarterback Darren Grainger connected from 16 yards out to Ryan DeLuca. Third down were a struggle for both teams as Furman went 5/16 while the Tigers went 4/12. Clemson outgained Furman 531-163. Furman did manage to run for 117 yards. “I think we played with outstanding discipline,” Swinney said.
Clemson’s great defense showed why all of their first linemen were named to the pre-season All American team. The Tigers finished with three sacks, 10 tackles for a loss and forced two fumbles. Christian Wilkins, a senior lineman had seven tackles and a sack. Junior linemen Clelin Ferrell also had a sack for the Tigers. Albert Huggins and Jordan Williams, both linemen, shared a half of a sack. “I thought defensively they set the tone right out of the gate,” Swinney said.