COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 2 Clemson football team hung on through a back-and-forth second half for a 28-26 victory over the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday evening at Kyle Field. With the win, Clemson moved to 2-0 on the year, while Texas A&M fell to 1-1.
Offensively, the Tigers were led by quarterback Kelly Bryant, who was 12-17 for 205 yards and a touchdown. Bryant also ran for a score and was Clemson’s leading rusher with 54 yards on 15 carries. On the defensive side of the ball, Isaiah Simmons led the Tigers with eight total tackles, and Clelin Ferrell amassed two sacks.
While an early Aggie 26-yard field goal attempt sailed just wide right, Texas A&M still got on the board first, when kicker Daniel LaCamera hit a 40-yarder to give his squad a 3-0 lead 10 minutes into the game. However, the Tigers answered on the ensuing drive, with Bryant scoring on a one-yard run to cap a drive highlighted by a 64-yard pass from the graduate quarterback to Amari Rodgers.
Clemson upped its lead to 14-3 with less than a minute gone in the second quarter, when Tee Higgins hauled in a 64-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Lawrence on the freshman quarterback’s first play of the night under center. The Clemson defense blocked a Texas A&M 50-yard field goal attempt with just over five minutes left in the first half, and that left the Tigers taking that 14-3 lead into the break.
LaCamera hit his second 40-yard field goal of the evening to open the second half scoring, cutting the Clemson lead to 14-6 with 10 and a half minutes remaining in the third quarter. In the later minutes of that quarter, Justin Foster recovered a Nick Starkel fumble forced by Ferrell to halt a charging Aggie offense and shift the momentum back to the Tigers. On the next play, Bryant connected with Higgins for a 50-yard reception, and Diondre Overton was on the receiving end of a Bryant eight-yard scoring pass three plays later that put Clemson up 21-6.
37 seconds later, the Aggies scored their first touchdown of the night, but the Tigers got it right back with a minute left in the third quarter on a Travis Etienne one-yard rush that brought the score to 28-13. The rest of the game saw Texas A&M bookend the fourth quarter with a pair of touchdowns, with the latter one coming with just 46 seconds remaining in the matchup and cutting the Clemson lead to just two points, but the Tigers intercepted the Aggie two-point conversion attempt to seal the 28-26 victory.
Clemson returns to Memorial Stadium for its next game, a Family Weekend matchup with Georgia Southern. Kickoff against the Eagles is set for 3:30 p.m. next Saturday.
Team Statistics (Final)
The Automated ScoreBook
Clemson vs TAMU (Sep 08, 2018 at College Station, TX)
|NET YARDS RUSHING||115||71|
|Average Per Rush||3.6||2.2|
|Yards Gained Rushing||147||112|
|Yards Lost Rushing||32||41|
|NET YARDS PASSING||298||430|
|Average Per Attempt||11.0||10.8|
|Average Per Completion||17.5||18.7|
|TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS||413||501|
|Total offense plays||59||72|
|Average Gain Per Play||7.0||7.0|
|Average Yards Per Punt||40.1||55.0|
|Net Yards Per Punt||37.0||49.2|
|Average Yards Per Kickoff||64.2||65.0|
|Net Yards Per Kickoff||42.4||41.8|
|Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD||2-9-0||2-25-0|
|Average Per Return||4.5||12.5|
|Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD||1-16-0||2-34-0|
|Average Per Return||16.0||17.0|
|Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD||1-3-0||0-0-0|
|Third-Down Conversions||4 of 13||6 of 16|
|Fourth-Down Conversions||0 of 1||0 of 0|
|Sacks By: Number-Yards||4-19||1-8|
|Points off turnovers||7||0|