Any lingering frustration Clemson was feeling from an opening-game loss was released in a 49-3 win over SC State, Saturday. The Tigers got Justyn Ross, Lyn-J Dixon, Kobe Pace and Will Shipley going early, resulting in a 28-point 1st quarter. Touchdown runs from D.J. Uigalelei (2), Shipley and Pace put the game out of reach before halftime. The lead also enabled Dabo Swinney and his staff to get a look at a host of players. Clemson played four quarterbacks and 13 different players caught a pass.
Despite piling up 504 yards, the downfield passing attack didn’t materialize the way you might expect against an FCS foe (25 of 39, 262 yards, two touchdowns, 2 interceptions). But with the run game clicking and the defense picking up where it left off last week, the Tigers didn’t need great passing numbers to run away and hide from the Bulldogs. SC State had red-zone opportunities, but were turned away time and again by a unit playing with equal parts poise and passion.
Will Taylor also contributed to the victory with a 51-yard punt return late in the first quarter. Taylor’s burst down the sideline set up Ross’ first touchdown catch of the season.
Clemson (1-1) is back at home next week as the Tigers open ACC play against Georgia Tech.
Recap from Death Valley: