As Florence plowed her way thru the state and toward the Upstate Saturday afternoon, Clemson took care of its business against Georgia Southern whipping the Eagles of the Sun Belt Conference 38-7 in the first ever meeting between the schools. An announced crowd of 79,844 showed up in Death Valley despite the threat of heavy rain, which never made an appearance during the game, unlike several young Clemson player who showed up big-time.
True freshman Trevor Lawrence worked most of the day at quarterback after Kelly Bryant started but was knocked out of the game in the second quarter with what was called a “chest bruise.” Bryant complained of breathing issues and a racing heart. Dabo Swinney said Bryant was examined in the locker room with an EKG and a CT scan and should be fine.
As for Lawrence, he was 12-19 for 194 yards and 1 touchdown. He also threw 1 interception which led to the Eagles’ only score. Lawrence now has 5 touchdowns passes in his first three games at Clemson, or one more than Deshaun Watson had in his first three games.
Sophomore Travis Etienne had an explosive game with a career high 162 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. For that matter, the Clemson offense lived off the explosive play. The Tigers had 18 “chunk” plays of ten yards or more. Those included a 57 yard touchdown pass from Lawrence to true freshman Justyn Ross and runs of 40 and 35 yards by Etienne who went over 1000 career rushing yards in this, his 16th game.
Ross was targeted 4 times and caught 3 for 103 yards, an average of over 34 yards per catch.
The Clemson defense was way too strong for the Georgia Southern triple option. The front practically eliminated the pitch play and shut down anything up the middle. The Eagles finished with 140 total yards with only 80 on the ground.
Georgia Southern managed just one “chunk” plan for the game, that a 40 yard completion on a double pass that set up the touchdown.
Tre Lamar led the defense from his linebacker spot with 11 tackles. The Tigers rolled up 5 sacks with Clelen Ferrell credited with 2.5 and Austin Bryant a pair.
The Tigers improved to 3-0 and will play their ACC opener next Saturday afternoon at Georgia Tech.
Dabo Swinney postgame press conference
Trevor Lawrence on the offensive outing
Austin Bryant feels defense redeemed itself
Travis Etienne on his big offensive day
Here’s my Periscope postgame recap:
Clemson post game https://t.co/GbfgNJ3XUb
— SportsTalk (@sportstalksc) September 15, 2018