Voting Open to Name Pollard as AFCA Good Works Team Captain

CLEMSON, S.C. — Voting is now open for fans to help name Clemson offensive lineman Sean Pollard as captain of the 2018 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. Fans may browse the candidates and vote for Pollard at this link.

The award celebrates student-athletes for their extraordinary commitment to making a lasting impact off the field. Last week, Pollard was one of only 22 student-athletes out of 169 national nominations to earn the honor.

Pollard, a junior from Jackson Springs, N.C., has been a presence in the community since his arrival at Clemson. He created and coordinated the All Off for Cancer event in 2017 and 2018, raising more than $21,000 to provide funds and activities for pediatric oncology patients and their families.

Pollard is the fifth Clemson player all-time to earn an AFCA Good Works Team distinction. He joined Robert Carswell (1999), Nick Eason (2000), Xavier Dye (2009) and Deshaun Watson (2016) as the only AFCA Good Works Team honorees in program history.

No. 2 Clemson Rushes Past Georgia Southern

CLEMSON, S.C. – Powered by a 595-yard offensive performance, the No. 2 Clemson football team defeated the Georgia Southern Eagles by a score of 38-7 on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. With the win, Clemson remains undefeated on the year at 3-0, while Georgia Southern fell to 2-1.

 

Offensively, Clemson was sparked by Travis Etienne, who ran for 162 yards on 16 carries with two touchdowns, and Trevor Lawrence, who was 12-19 for 194 yards and a score. Justyn Ross also topped the 100-yard mark, totaling 103 yards and adding a touchdown on three catches. Defensively, the Tigers held Georgia Southern scoreless through three quarters, limiting the Eagle offense to just 30 yards in the entire first half. Tre Lamar led the team with 11 total tackles, Clelin Ferrell contributed a team-high 2.5 tackles for loss and two sacks, and Austin Bryant matched Ferrell’s two sacks.

 

The teams were still in a scoreless tie after the first quarter, as the Clemson defense kept the Eagles off the board despite two Tiger turnovers during the first 15 minutes of action. Clemson broke the ice with just under nine minutes left in the first half when Etienne pushed into the endzone for a one-yard score on fourth down, putting the Tigers up 7-0. The Tigers doubled their lead three minutes later when Lawrence connected with a wide-open Ross for a 57-yard touchdown pass. Tavien Feaster punched into the endzone for a second Clemson one-yard rushing score with under a minute left in the first half to give the Tigers a 21-0 advantage, which they took into the break.

 

A 37-yard Greg Huegel field goal opened the second half scoring, giving Clemson a 24-0 lead with just under five minutes gone in the third quarter, and that proved to be the only scoring of that quarter.

 

Georgia Southern got on the board early in the fourth quarter, when Shai Werts capped off a drive started by an Eagle interception of a Lawrence pass with a six-yard rushing score. But Clemson upped its lead back to 24 points with six minutes left in the game when Etienne broke away for a 40-yard scoring run, good for his second touchdown of the day. The Tigers found the endzone one more time four minutes later on an Adam Choice 10-yard run, bringing the final score to 38-7.

 

Clemson goes back on the road to face Georgia Tech next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Ga.

9/15: Massive 2nd and 4th Quarters Propel Tigers to 38-7 Victory Against Georgia Southern

Clemson, SC –

It took until midway through the second quarter for the cannon to fire in Death Valley, as the cannon failing to fire when the Tigers ran down the hill was an omen for the struggles early in the game.

 

Clemson’s first three drives would result in three different mistakes: an interception on a tunnel screen, a missed 39-yard field goal by Greg Huegel, and a fumble by Adam Choice.

 

Those three drives would leave the Tigers with 144 total yards in the first quarter, while Georgia Southern’s drives ended with twelve drives on eight plays. The score after one quarter? 0-0.

 

After Georgia Southern’s fourth consecutive punt, Trevor Lawrence and the Tigers trot out to the seven-yard line, desperate for points.

 

Just like Bryant’s command of the offense and mobility turned the tide at Texas A&M, Lawrence’s big arm was just the spark that the Tigers needed to get on the board.

 

Clemson’s methodical drive was highlighted by Hunter Renfrow’s 31-yard wide open catch down the seam to take the Tigers inside the red zone for the first time of the game.

 

Even the first touchdown drive couldn’t finish without another near miss – as it took four downs to gain the two yards necessary to put the Tigers up 7-0 midway through the second quarter.

 

Trevor Lawrence’s 57-yard touchdown pass to fellow true freshman Justyn Ross on the next drive put the Tigers firmly in the driver seat that they wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the game.

 

With a two-score lead in hand and another chance to score after a defensive stop, Travis Etienne put the Tigers on his back as he rushed 66 of the 76 yards the Tigers needed to reach the end zone. Tavien Feaster finished what Etienne started as his three runs punched the Tigers in from the six-yard line to pay dirt.

 

In a fashion similar to the first two games, the Tigers first half struggles were ameliorated midway through the second quarter once the offense found their rhythm and posted a three score lead to enter the locker room up 21-0.

 

Kelly Bryant’s day was over as he was injured (apparently he was breathing really fast), giving Trevor Lawrence extended playing time in the second half.

 

An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty turned 4thand 3 into 4thand 18, giving Greg Huegel a chance to make up for his missed kick earlier. Greg Huegel made good of his second chance and pushed the score to 24-0 on a 37-yard field goal to open up the second half.

 

The rest of the third quarter was uneventful with no new scores. Clemson’s last drive of the third quarter ended in another Greg Huegel miss from 47-yards, this time from wide left.

The start of the third quarter brought a spark of energy to the game in a flurry of interesting events. A Georgia Southern fumble was recovered by Nyles Pinckney as he rumbled for eleven yards before being tackled near midfield. Two plays later, Trevor Lawrence’s pass was tipped and picked by linebacker Rashad Byrd.

 

The Eagles seized this opportunity and used a double pass trick play where wide receiver Obe Fortune threw a 40-yard pass to slot player Wesley Kennedy who was downed at the six-yard line.

 

Star sophomore quarterback Shai Werts ran the six yards for six points on the next play, and all conference kicker Tyler Bass nailed the extra point with 13:54 left in the game. Travis Etienne scored his second touchdown of the day on a 40-yard run that extended Clemson’s lead to 31-7 with six minutes left in the game. The run also put him over the thousand-yard mark for career rushing yards.

 

Adam Choice’s 10-yard rushing score late in the game polished off the Tigers final drive of the game for a 38-7 win over the Eagles.

 

Clemson’s defense cleaned up most of its mistakes from last week, with the only major blunder occurring on the Eagles’ trick play. On the other hand, the Eagles rarely passed the ball – which is where most of Clemson’s mistakes against A&M occurred.

 

Clemson’s running game performed well with multiple running backs and quarterbacks, and Travis Etienne again asserted his role as the lead back in the offense. Clemson’s six rushers ran for 309 yards, and Etienne’s 162 yards accounted for over half of the Tiger’s production on the ground.

 

Both quarterbacks showed why they are necessary to Clemson’s success. Bryant struggled in the passing game, but his mobility was impressive to watch before he left the game with an injury. Trevor Lawrence’s extended playing time gave him invaluable experience as he wowed fans with his next-level arm.

 

Lawrence completed 12 out of 19 passes for 194 yards along with a touchdown and an interception, and Kelly Bryant completed seven out of ten passes for 68 yards and a pick before his day ended early with an unknown injury.

 

True freshman Justyn Ross was Clemson’s leading receiver with 103 yards on three catches and the only passing score of the day. Out of the fourteen players who caught the ball, Ross was the only one to eclipse the 50-yard mark, catch more than two passes, or score through the air.

 

Clemson’s defense only allowed 140 yards and one touchdown to the Eagles’ potent offense. Tre Lamar’s eleven tackles led the Tigers, while Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant each notched two sacks of Shai Werts.

 

A massive second and fourth quarter propelled the Tigers to victory, but the Tigers haven’t shaken off their early season rust. Between early turnovers, missed field goals, and struggles near the goal line, the coaches will have plenty to correct before the Tigers head to Atlanta next Saturday.

 

Although the Tigers got the win to move to 3-0, the game itself was filled with the mistakes that coaches were looking to eliminate after last week’s close call against Texas A&M.

 

 

9/15: Halftime Report: Clemson 21 Georgia Southern 0

Key events:

  • Greg Huegel missed a 39-yard field goal that would have put the Tigers up on the board with five minutes left in the first quarter.
  • Clemson’s second score of the game was a 57-yard strike from true freshman Trevor Lawrence to true freshman Justyn Ross. The pass put the Tigers up by two scores just minutes after breaking the 0-0 tie.

 

Positives:

  • Clemson’s defense is stifling Georgia Southern’s offense by daring Georgia Southern to throw. The Tigers bring the safeties down and stack the box to stop the run and the Eagles aren’t countering.
  • Despite the offensive struggles, Clemson is outgaining the Eagles 383 yards to 30 total yards. Clemson’s dominance on the defensive line allowed the offense to struggle before finding their groove.

 

Areas for Improvement:

  • The Tigers are moving the ball well but they struggled to finish drives early on. On the first two drives the Tigers had 116 yards with no points – while the Eagles had 11 yards and no points.
  • Clemson’s performance at the goal line was underwhelming. It took four runs to gain the two yards necessary for the first score of the game, and almost every play was a run up the middle.

 

Things to Look For:

  • As the defensive line rotates more later in the game, see if the defense is still dominating the Eagle’s offensive line and giving the Tigers offense more time to operate.
  • Although the Tigers are winning, pay attention to their use of tempo. The Tigers normally run at least 80 plays but only ran 55 in last week’s win at College Station. They already have 50 through one half of football.

9/14: Clemson Georgia Southern Preview (The Game is On)

PSA: My thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by Hurricane Florence. Despite the time change earlier in the week to noon, I was thinking that the game would eventually be canceled. While Florence is still dangerous due to flooding, the impact on the upstate won’t be as bad as initially thought and it will arrive later than anticipated. Therefore, the game will rightly go on at the earlier time of noon on Saturday. If you have any doubts about coming to the game, err on the side of safety.

 

 

 

Coach Swinney’s mantra about Georgia Southern being a four quarter game that will test Clemson is not merely coach speak to keep the team focused – the Eagles have the potential to upset the Tigers and at the very least keep the game competitive into the fourth quarter.

 

The Eagles are a lesser known and only slightly less dominant version of Appalachian State that won six national championships before moving up to the FBS level.

 

The former head coach is gone along with several staff members, the interim coach was promoted to head coach (Chad Lunsford), they landed the top recruiting class in the Sun Belt, and they Eagles are currently 2-0.

 

Georgia Southern was once coached by Paul Johnson and running the ball is as sacred as Howard’s Rock is to the Tigers, but the Eagles offense will look different than Georgia Tech’s next Saturday. Instead of the flexbone, the Eagles will run the ball out of shotgun and pistol formations similar to New Mexico. They look like the spread-to-run teams commonly seen in college football, but with less passing and more veer influences. The coaching change also switched their defense to a base 3-4 predicated on speed with experienced players.

 

Coach Swinney praised their sophomore quarterback Shai Werts from Newberry HS – a player that he said Clemson offered as an athlete that also turned down a scholarship to South Carolina. Although their identity as a team is built around running the football, they are capable of passing when the situation calls for it.

 

Georgia Southern has six players on the 2018 Preseason Sun Belt All Conference Team (1stor 2nd). Senior defensive end Logan Hunt and junior cornerback Monquavion Brinson represent the Eagles on the first team.

 

Three seniors represent the Eagles on the second team along with junior kicker Tyler Bass: Running back Wesley Fields, tight end Ellis Richardson, and center Curtis Rainey.

 

Clemson is favored by 33.5 points, and the Over/Under line is 47 per betfirm.com. Given the impending hurricane (regardless of the weather) – this should be a fast and low scoring affair.

 

Prediction: Clemson 35 Georgia Southern 6

CLEMSON VS. GEORGIA SOUTHERN TO KICK OFF AT NOON

CLEMSON, S.C. – In response to the potential effects of Hurricane Florence, kickoff for the Clemson vs. Georgia Southern game on Saturday has been moved up from 3:30 p.m. to noon.
Clemson University officials continue to work with emergency management personnel, the ACC Office and Georgia Southern officials this week in preparation for Hurricane Florence and how it may alter operations for the game on Saturday. As the storm continues to be monitored, additional updates will be distributed by the athletic department and fans are encouraged to check ClemsonTigers.com for the most up-to-date information.
As with last season’s home opener vs. Auburn, fans are asked to make plans to arrive early, expect delays in gameday traffic and parking and exercise patience in their commute to and from campus. Again, visit ClemsonTigers.com for parking and traffic information as the weekend draws closer.
Plans for the ESPN television broadcast of the game are still being determined and will be communicated once finalized.

Football Game Notes: Clemson vs. Georgia Southern

WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK

– Clemson facing Georgia Southern for the first time in program history.

– Clemson facing an opponent for the first time for a second straight season, joining the team’s debut against Kent State in a 56-3  win last year. Prior to debuting against Kent State in  2017,  Clemson most recently faced a new opponent in 2014,  facing both Louisville and Georgia State for the first time and earning victories in both contests.

– Clemson attempting  to open 3-0  for the fourth straight season and for the seventh time in  the last eight years.

– Clemson extending its  winning streak in  non- conference regular season play to 18  games. Dating back to  2014,  Clemson’s current  17-game winning streak in regular season non-conference  games is the longest such streak in program history.

–  Clemson  winning  its   10th   consecutive  game at  Memorial  Stadium,  dating  back  to  a  56-7  win against South Carolina on Nov. 25, 2016.  It would be Clemson’s third  double-digit  home winning streak in Dabo Swinney’s tenure as head coach (21 from 2013-

16, 13 from 2011-12).

– Clemson extending its winning streak in Saturday games to 19.  The current 18-game streak is the longest of any Power Five school in the country. It is the second-longest Saturday winning streak in school history, trailing a 21-game Saturday streak across the

2014-16  campaigns.

– Clemson winning its 16th consecutive game in the month of September, dating back to 2014.

– Clemson recording at least three sacks in a third straight game for the first time since the Tigers recorded a combined 13 sacks across the Wake Forest (three), Syracuse (six) and Georgia Tech (four) games in 2017.

– Clemson winning the turnover margin for a third consecutive game for the first time since games 8-10 of the 2013 season against Maryland, Virginia and Georgia Tech. Clemson is 41-3  since 2011  when winning the turnover margin in that time frame.

– Clemson not turning the ball  over in  three consecutive games for the first time since games 5-7 of the 2010  season against North Carolina, Maryland and Georgia Tech.

– Clemson committing zero turnovers in the first three games of a season for the first time since the turn of the century.

– Clemson forcing a takeaway in an 11th consecutive contest, which would be the program’s longest streak since a 15-game stretch across the 2012-13  seasons.

– Clemson attempting  to hold their opponents without a first-half touchdown for the seventh time in the last eight games.

– Dabo Swinney pushing his all-time record in non- conference play as a head coach to 39-13,  including a 32-8  record against non-conference opponents in regular season play.

– Swinney improving to 9-6 as a head coach all-time in games against schools from the state of Georgia. He enters the game with a 6-5 mark against Georgia Tech, a 1-1 record against Georgia and a 1-0 mark against Georgia State.

– Three Clemson players entering the game within 150 rushing yards of 1,000 career rushing yards (Kelly Bryant, 941; Tavien Feaster, 913; Travis Etienne, 873).

– Bryant (4,155)  accounting for 460  yards of total offense to pass Homer Jordan (4,614)  and move into the Top 10 in Clemson history in career total offense. Last week, Bryant became only the  12th  player in school history to reach 4,000 yards of total offense.

– Bryant rushing for a touchdown in a third consecutive game for the first time since opening the

2017  season with at least one rushing touchdown in four straight games.

– Bryant (298)  completing two passes to become only the 10th player in school history to complete 300 career passes (Tajh Boyd, Charlie Whitehurst, Deshaun Watson, Cullen  Harper, Woodrow Dantzler, Nealon Greene, Kyle Parker, Rodney Williams and Tommy Kendrick).

– Bryant (298) completing six passes to pass Tommy Kendrick (303 from 1969-71)  for ninth-most career completions in Clemson history.

– Bryant (16) chasing Nos. 14 Brandon Streeter and

Cole Stoudt (17), No. 13 Harvey White (18) and No. 12

Will Proctor (19) on the school’s all-time leaderboard for career touchdown passes.

– Bryant (191.3  last week) posting a passing efficiency rating of 175.0  or better in consecutive games for the first time in his career.

– Running back Travis Etienne attempting to push a streak of consecutive games with a rushing touchdown to three for the fourth time in his career. Etienne has scored a rushing touchdown in  12  of his 15  career games.

– Defensive end Clelin Ferrell entering the week with

18.5  career sacks, third-most among active players in the FBS and the most among non-seniors.

– Wide receiver Tee Higgins recording 100 receiving yards in  consecutive games for the first  time  in  his career. He  would be  the  first  Clemson player with consecutive 100-yard  receiving games since Mike Williams against Syracuse and Pitt in 2016.

– Kicker Greg Huegel (285)  scoring four points to pass Obed Ariri (288) for seventh-most career points in school history. Huegel can also pass James Davis (294) with 10 points on Saturday.

– Huegel (285) scoring 15 points to become the sixth player in  school history to reach 300  career points, joining Chandler Catanzaro, Aaron Hunt, C.J. Spiller, Nelson Welch and Travis Zachery.

– Huegel (45) kicking three field goals to pass David Treadwell (47) for seventh-most made field goals in a career in school history.

– Huegel (45) kicking five field goals to join Nelson Welch, Chandler Catanzaro, Obed Ariri, Chris Gardocki, Aaron Hunt and Jad Dean as the only players to connect on at least 50 career field goals with Clemson.

– Tackle Mitch  Hyatt (2,994)  playing six snaps to become only the fifth  player in school to play 3,000 career snaps from scrimmage (Dalton Freeman, Landon Walker, Kyle Young and Glenn Rountree).

– Hyatt making his 45th  career start to pull within four starts of Landon Walker’s school record for career starts by an offensive tackle (49).  Walker also shares the mark for most starts by an offensive lineman with center Dalton Freeman.

– Hyatt tying OG Jeb Flesch (45 from 1988-91)  for the 10th-most career starts at any position in Clemson history.

– Hunter Renfrow (30) catching a pass to extend his streak of consecutive games played with a reception to 31.

– Christian Wilkins making his 33rd career start. The

Clemson record for career starts by a defensive tackle is 40, set by Jim Stuckey from 1976-79. (Note: Wilkins has also started at defensive end in his career but is currently listed at tackle).

Three Tigers Collect Weekly ACC Honors

CLEMSON, S.C. — The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today that Tee Higgins (Receiver of the Week), Mitch Hyatt (Offensive Lineman of the Week) and Clelin Ferrell (Defensive Lineman of the Week) have all earned ACC Player of the Week honors for their contributions in Clemson’s 28-26 road win against Texas A&M on Saturday.

With the three selections, Clemson has now collected a total of 444 ACC weekly honors since 1978. This week represents the first time that Clemson has had three players selected in a single week since 2014 when Stephone Anthony, Wayne Gallman and Ammon Lakip all collected Player of the Week nods following a victory against Syracuse.

Higgins’ selection marks his first career ACC Receiver of the Week honor. He compiled 123 yards on three receptions, including a highlight-reel 64-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. He becomes the first Clemson receiver to earn ACC weekly honors since Mike Williams in November 2016.

The Offensive Lineman of the Week award is Hyatt’s first of the season and fifth of his career. He previously secured the award following wins against Georgia Tech, NC State and South Carolina in 2017 and a win against Florida State in 2015. His five career selections tie him with Thomas Austin and Stacy Long for the most among offensive linemen in program history. Including Tremayne Anchrum’s selection last week, Clemson has now earned back-to-back Offensive Lineman of the Week honors for the first time since Hyatt accomplished the feat in late October and early November last year.

Ferrell’s selection is the third of his career, joining selections following the Syracuse and NC State games in 2017. He recorded 2.0 sacks and a forced fumble at Texas A&M, his third career game with at least 2.0 sacks. His selection marks Clemson’s 95th ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week award since 1978.

ACC Announces Game Times 9/22- Clemson at Georgia Tech, 3:30 p.m.

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – The Atlantic Coast Conference announced the following game times and networks for the football games of September 22.

Saturday, Sept. 22

Notre Dame at Wake Forest, Noon, ABC

Pitt at North Carolina, 12:20 p.m., Raycom Sports

Louisville at Virginia, 12:30 p.m., RSN

North Carolina Central at Duke, 3:30 p.m., ACC Network Extra

Northern Illinois at Florida State, 3:30 p.m., ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU – network designation after the games of 9/15

Clemson at Georgia Tech, 3:30 p.m., ABC or ESPN – network designation after the games of 9/15

FIU at Miami, 3:30 p.m., on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU – network designation after the games of 9/15

Connecticut at Syracuse, 4 p.m., ESPNews

Previously announced:

Boston College at Purdue, Noon, ESPN2

Virginia Tech at Old Dominion, 3:30 p.m., CBSSN

NC State at Marshall, 7 p.m., CBSSN

All times are Eastern.

9/10: Monday Morning Reflections on Texas A&M

In the chaos of Saturday college football and Sunday NFL football, a firestorm of plays and tweets consumes social media. This is why Monday morning is a great time to take one last look at lessons learned from the previous game before turning the page to Georgia Southern.

 

  • The secondary struggled late in the game, but how worried should fans be? It is week two and the game was akin to another opener, so mistakes and rust are still present. On the other hand, the main concern entering the season was depth at secondary and Saturday night showed why defensive backs are a major recruiting focus for 2019. Clemson has talent in the secondary, but only having five safeties and seven scholarship cornerbacks means that everyone has to perform well and any injuries would be a major blow to the team. When coverage busts occur like they did in the second half Saturday night, a solid performance can turn sour fast.
  • The defensive line is among the best in the nation for a reason, and it is certainly the deepest defensive line in the nation without question. This was shown when the starters rotated out and backups made big plays (such as Foster recovering Starkel’s fumble). Despite playing well, the pressure is on for them to play elite on every snap due to the coverage busts in the secondary.
  • Many fans thought that this would be the game where Trevor Lawrence would take the job, but this turned out to be a game where Tiger fans were reminded of why Kelly Bryant is QB1. Trevor played well in his action and he will likely start in 2019, but there is a reason Bryant is the current starter in 2018. The game changed when he came in late in the third quarter as his experience and talent shined in crunch time.
  • Tee Higgins and Amari Rodgers are an excellent duo for 2018 and beyond. They are similar to Mike Williams and Artavis Scott because they play the same roles in the offense (Mike and Tee, Artavis and Amari) and compliment each other well.
  • Texas A&M has tons of talent and a plethora of athletes – a fact that I and others overlooked last week. Although I knew that Texas A&M had highly recruited athletes, I figured that their struggles in previous years was due to missing on players in recruitment. While the verdict is far from in, it looks as if the players were there but needed a coach the level of Jimbo Fisher to unlock their potential.
  • Speaking of Jimbo Fisher, I overestimated the difficulty that he would have in preparing his Aggies for the Tigers. Despite the advantage in game planning due to the Tigers continuity, I made the mistaken assumption that they would need several years to succeed with Fisher’s schemes. Although recruiting classes will surely help, the ability to get players to buy in and utilize their talents by being adaptable is important to having success early – something that Fisher has reminded fans of in the wake of his later struggles at FSU.