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(Photo: Artavis Scott and Germone Hopper. Photo Credit: Clemson Athletics)
In the home opener, the No. 23 Clemson Tigers faced another type of Bulldog in SC State, looking to bounce back from last week’s game in Athens, and the Tigers didn’t disappoint, cruising to a 73-7 victory.
Clemson finished the day with 735 total yards of offense, while holding SC State to just 44 total yards of offense, with the defense not giving up an offensive touchdown. The Tigers’ 73 points on offense were the most by Clemson since scoring 82 points against Wake Forest in 1981.
On offense, Clemson moved the ball effectively, finishing with 268 rushing yards and 467 passing yards. Both quarterbacks had efficient games, as Cole Stoudt finished the day with 302 passing yards and a touchdown along with a passer rating of 163.4. In his first game in Death Valley, Deshaun Watson finished with 154 passing yards, three touchdowns and a passer rating of 342.6. Watson’s first game in Death Valley was all he could really ask for.
In regard to Watson’s performance against SC State, Offensive Coordinator Chad Morris liked what he saw out of the offense today and praised Watson’s progress and poise on the field, while also highlighting the Tigers still have two good quarterbacks to work with.
The performances by other freshmen did not go unnoticed, as fans saw plenty of potential from more than just Watson. Wide Receiver Artavis Scott finished the day with six receptions for 164 yards and two touchdowns, passing both Aaron Kelly and Sammy Watkins in single-game receiving yards as a freshman. The previous record was set by Kelly against Temple in 2006 and Watkins in 2011 against Auburn.
The Tigers got the job done in the running game as well as the passing game. Wayne Gallman led all rushers for the Tigers with 10 carries for 77 yards. Gallman made the most of his opportunites and didn’t let his chance get away from him.
Gallman was not the only freshman back to see his first extended game action. Adam Choice also logged plenty of snaps on the day, finishing with 12 carries for 74 yards and a touchdown, the first of his Tiger career, while averaging 6.2 yards per carry. He also added two catches for 15 yards.
With the win, Swinney and the team’s focus turns to the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles, and Swinney will not sit on this victory for too long.