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Instant Analysis: Tigers start slow, finish strong in rout of Georgia Southern


by - Staff Writer -
Justyn Ross swats a defender during first half action
Justyn Ross swats a defender during first half action

CLEMSON – With Hurricane Florence bearing down, 79,000-plus Clemson fans came out to support the Tigers as they rolled to a 38-7 win over Georgia Southern.

It wasn’t pretty and even a bit sluggish at times, but it was good enough to get Clemson to 3-0.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Travis Etienne had himself a coming out party Saturday afternoon. He recorded his second career 100-yard game and went over 1,000 yards. Etienne has 16 carries for 162 yards – an average of 10 yards per carry – and two touchdowns.

1A….The Clemson tight ends unit has been largely missing from the passing game since Jordan Leggett left for the NFL…until Saturday. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence found the tight ends early and often during Saturday’s game. Braden Galloway, Milan Richard, J.C. Chalk and Cannon Smith all caught passes in the game.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Defensive ends Austin Bryant and Clelin Ferrell had themselves a game against Georgia Southern. The duo came up huge in big moments, especially midway through the fourth quarter when Bryant sacked the quarterback on third down when it seemed as if the Eagles were gaining momentum. Ferrell finished the game with seven total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. Bryant finished with three tackles and two sacks.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

*Tigers Score: The Tigers failed to score on their first three drives of the game. Clemson entered the game with no turnovers on the season but turned it over on two of the first three drives. The fourth drive started on the Clemson seven and Lawrence led a 13-play, 93-march that ended with a one-yard plunge by Travis Etienne on fourth-and-goal. The drive took over five minutes off the clock and Clemson led 7-0 midway through the second stanza.

*Back-to-back Sacks: As Georgia Southern appeared to be gaining a little momentum and the Eagles trailing 24-7 in the fourth quarter, defensive ends Austin Bryant and Clelin Ferrell had huge sacks on third and fourth down to give Clemson the ball in plus territory….

*ETN – Two plays after the sacks, Etienne found the endzone. Etienne began the drive with a six-yard pickup and then raced 40 yards to the endzone to give Clemson a 31-7 lead.

STAT OF THE GAME:Prior to Saturday, Clemson had turned the ball over during the young 2018 season but lost the turnover margin 3-1.

UP NEXT: Clemson travels to Atlanta to take on its second consecutive option opponent – and third of the season – in Paul Johnson’s Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

Georgia Southern returns home to host Arkansas State in a Sun Belt Conference game.

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