Hopkins has breakout game

by - Senior Writer -
Hopkins' 157 yards was the sixth most reception yards in a game in school history.

CLEMSON – Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS So. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

View Full Profile
said he has been talking to sophomore receiver DeAndre “Nuk” Hopkins about having a breakout game for a long time, and he was glad to finally see it happen.

Hopkins caught nine passes for a career-high 157 yards and a touchdown in helping lead Clemson to a 59-38 victory over North Carolina Saturday afternoon, and Boyd said he was happy to see the Daniel High School graduate show everyone that he is still a viable weapon.

“I have been talking to him about having a big game for a while now,” Boyd said. “Once we saw that they [UNC] were going to a lot of man coverage on the outside, I told Nuk on the sideline that I was going to be coming to him. And he made some unbelievable catches. That catch he made where he was falling down, and then he got back up for the first down? That was crazy. There is so much attention on Sammy, but Nuk is a great receiver, too.”

Hopkins said he hasn’t felt left out with all of the attention that Watkins has garnered.

“I feel like that everybody, including the fans, know that I’m a go- to guy,” Hopkins said after the game. “Even with Sammy [Watkins] having the type of year that he’s having. Coach Morris just called my number and I wanted to come out and make a play for my team. Every time I got the chance, I feel like that’s what I did.

“I don’t feel forgotten because I know what I can do and what I’m capable of and that’s all that matters. It feels good, but it’s a team effort. It’s not an ‘I’ in team. I don’t want people to think that it’s the Sammy/Hopkins show. It’s a Clemson show to me. I don’t care if Sammy goes out and has 100 yards or 200 yards. As long as we are winning, I’m happy.”

Hopkins not only made a great play on the one Boyd mentioned, but also had a great grab on a third quarter pass that set up a touchdown.

“It feels good to be able to make catches like that,” he said. “All I can do is thank God for giving me the ability to be able to do that. I feel like I’m very blessed. I always want to come up and make a play for my team and when the ball is around me I try to catch everything that comes my way. “

The Tar Heels decided to employ a lot of zero, or house blitz packages that were designed to throw Boyd off of his rhythm, but the scheme left Watkins and Hopkins both in single coverage.

“It was very surprising,” he said. “They were manning Sammy and me the whole game basically. They were doing Cover two a little bit, but it was mainly man because they were blitzing. It was surprising because I guess they thought that scheme was going to work, but it didn’t.”

Hopkins said the confidence of the offense is at an all-time high, and he would hate to be a defensive coordinator trying to prepare for it.

“This offense’s confidence is probably at a 100 right now. We feel like anybody who lines up against us, we can be them,” he said. “We’ve got the best confidence that you can have right now. It has to be very tough, because if I was a defensive coordinator and I had to coach against all of this talent, I would be scratching my head.”

Rate this Story:
17 votes

Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment

CFB rule changes for 2017 season

ESPN releases statement on moving Robert Lee from UVA game

Former Tiger called up for Wednesday start

Deon Cain: Clemson's next great wide receiver?

Kelly Bryant on being named starting quarterback: "It's an honor"

Former Clemson DT picked up by AFC team

WATCH: Cain ready to "show out on the field'

WATCH: Bryant calls starter role 'an honor'

WATCH: Lawrence and Wilkins interviewed together
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Daily Digest