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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)

 Team Totals  CU  TAMU 
FIRST DOWNS 14 25
   Rushing 6 4
   Passing 7 18
   Penalty 1 3
NET YARDS RUSHING 115 71
   Rushing Attempts 32 32
   Average Per Rush 3.6 2.2
   Rushing Touchdowns 2 0
   Yards Gained Rushing 147 112
   Yards Lost Rushing 32 41
NET YARDS PASSING 298 430
   Completions-Attempts-Int 17-27-0 23-40-0
   Average Per Attempt 11.0 10.8
   Average Per Completion 17.5 18.7
   Passing Touchdowns 2 3
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS 413 501
   Total offense plays 59 72
   Average Gain Per Play 7.0 7.0
Fumbles: Number-Lost 2-0 3-2
Penalties: Number-Yards 4-49 5-32
PUNTS-YARDS 8-321 5-275
   Average Yards Per Punt 40.1 55.0
   Net Yards Per Punt 37.0 49.2
   Inside 20 3 1
   50+ Yards 2 2
   Touchbacks 0 1
   Fair catch 4 1
KICKOFFS-YARDS 5-321 5-325
   Average Yards Per Kickoff 64.2 65.0
   Net Yards Per Kickoff 42.4 41.8
   Touchbacks 3 4
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
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD 0-0-0 0-0-0
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD 1-3-0 0-0-0
Miscellaneous Yards 11 0
Possession Time 26:08 33:52
   1st Quarter 4:56 10:04
   2nd Quarter 6:37 8:23
   3rd Quarter 8:18 6:42
   4th Quarter 6:17 8:43
Third-Down Conversions 4 of 13 6 of 16
Fourth-Down Conversions 0 of 1 0 of 0
Red-Zone Scores-Chances 3-4 3-4
   Touchdowns 3-4 2-4
   Field goals 0-4 1-4
Sacks By: Number-Yards 4-19 1-8
PAT Kicks 4-4 2-2
Field Goals 0-0 2-4
Points off turnovers 7 0