Tigers Pounce the Paladins

Photo by Austin Silvey @SilveyESP

CLEMSON, S.C. – The no. 2 Clemson football team opened its 2018 campaign in dominant fashion, defeating the Furman Paladins by a score of 48-7 on a hot Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. With the win, Clemson moved to 1-0 on the year, while Furman fell to 0-1.

Offensively, the Tigers amassed 531 yards and were led by quarterbacks Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence. Bryant was 10-16 for 127 yards and one touchdown, while Lawrence was 9-15 for 137 yards and three scores in his Clemson debut. Running back Lyn-J Dixon was also a big contributor, rushing for 89 yards on six carries in his first action as a Tiger. On the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers limited the Paladins to just 2.6 yards per play and 163 total yards. Christian Wilkins had a team-high six solo tackles.

Photo by Austin Silvey @SilveyESP

The Tigers opened the scoring midway through the first quarter on a Bryant 40-yard touchdown pass to Amari Rodgers, marking the first career score for the sophomore wideout. Greg Huegel hit the extra point to give Clemson a 7-0 advantage in his first action since a knee injury early last season. Rodgers and Huegel also factored into Clemson’s next score five minutes later, with the former returning a Furman punt for 62 yards to set the Tigers up on the Paladin 20-yard line and the latter nailing a 35-yard field goal. The Clemson lead remained 10-0 until five minutes into the second quarter, when Huegel hit a career-long-tying 49-yard field goal to up it to 13-0.

Lawrence quarterbacked his way to his first touchdown as a Tiger late in the second quarter, finding Diondre Overton with a six-yard scoring pass that capped a 95-yard drive highlighted by a 42-yard, third down pass to Cornell Powell a few plays earlier. The Tigers found the endzone one more time in the first half on a drive that lasted just over a minute and finished with a Travis Etienne seven-yard rush, putting the halftime score at 27-0.

Photo by Austin Silvey @SilveyESP

A Bryant 35-yard rushing score with five and a half minutes remaining in the third quarter put the Tigers up 34-0, and that quarter concluded with Justyn Ross’ first career touchdown reception, a 15-yard toss from Lawrence to give Clemson a 41-0 lead going into the final 15 minutes.

A lost Furman fumble inside the Paladins’ own 15-yard line set up Braden Galloway’s first career touchdown when the freshman tight end hauled in a 9-yard pass from Lawrence to start the fourth quarter. Furman got on the board with just over a minute left in the game on a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Darren Grainger to Ryan DeLuca, which brought the final score to 48-7.

Clemson hits the road next weekend for the first game in a home-and-home series with Texas A&M. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas.

#Clemson #Tigers #Furman #Paladins

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