Game Notes for Clemson vs. Texas A&M
|Sunday, September 9, 2018 12:35 AM-|
With an official attendance of 104,794, Saturday’s game represented the largest crowd ever to witness a Clemson football game in-person at any site, surpassing the previous mark of 92,476 at Georgia in 2014.
The game marked Clemson’s 18th all-time appearance as the featured game on ESPN’s College Gameday.
The game was the fifth all-time meeting between Clemson and Texas A&M. Clemson is now 2-3 against Texas A&M all-time and will face the Aggies at Memorial Stadium in 2019.
The game was Clemson’s third all-time contest at Kyle Field and represented Clemson’s first win in the venue.
Clemson earned its first win in the state of Texas since defeating TCU in Houston in the 1959 Bluebonnet Bowl.
The game represented Clemson’s 12th all-time game in the state of Texas, and the Tigers evened their all-time record in the Lone Star State at 6-6.
Clemson recorded 298 passing yards, the team’s most against any opponent since throwing for 479 yards against The Citadel in 2017. It is the team’s most against a Power Five opponent since throwing for 316 yards vs. Louisville last season.
Including a plus-two margin last week, Clemson has now won the turnover margin in consecutive games for the first time since the ACC Championship Game and Fiesta Bowl during the 2016 campaign.
Clemson did not turn the ball over and has posted zero giveaways in back-to-back games for the first time since the third and fourth games of the 2013 season against NC State and Wake Forest. It’s the first time Clemson has opened a season with two turnover-free games since 2005.
Quarterback Kelly Bryant completed 12-17 passes for 205 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions for a passing efficiency rating of 191.3. His 191.3 rating is the best of his career against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent.
Bryant also led Clemson in rushing attempts (15) and rushing yards (54) with one rushing touchdown.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence completed 5-of-9 passes for 93 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions for a passer efficiency rating of 179.0.
On his second completion of the day, Bryant passed Steve Fuller (287) for 11th-most career pass completions in school history.
With his ninth completion of the game, Bryant surpassed his position coach, Brandon Streeter (294), to enter the Top 10 in career completions in Clemson history.
Bryant has now rushed for a touchdown and thrown a touchdown in back-to-back games, becoming the first Clemson quarterback to do so since Deshaun Watson closed the 2016 season with at least one rushing and passing touchdown in each of the team’s final three games of that year.
Bryant recorded his eighth career 200-yard passing game, his first of the season. He is now one 200-yard passing game shy of tying Nealon Greene (nine from 1994-97) and Kyle Parker (nine from 2009-10) for the sixth-most career 200-yard passing games in Clemson history.
Bryant connected with wide receiver Amari Rodgers on a 64-yard pass in the first quarter, the longest reception of Rodgers’ career and Bryant’s longest pass since a 79-yard pass to Ray-Ray McCloud against Louisville on Sept. 16, 2017.
Bryant scored the 16th rushing touchdown of his career on a one-yard run in the first quarter.
Bryant has now recorded a rushing touchdown in consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 4 and 11 of the 2017 season against NC State and Florida State.
On his first snap of the game, Lawrence completed a 64-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tee Higgins. The touchdown reception was Higgins’ first of the season and third of his career.
The 64-yard reception was the second-longest of Higgins’ career, trailing only a 78-yard touchdown grab against The Citadel in 2017.
Higgins finished the game with a season-high 123 receiving yards, the second-most of his career behind a 178-yard game against The Citadel in 2017. It marked Clemson’s first individual 100-yard receiving performance of the season.
Lawrence became the first Clemson quarterback to throw a touchdown pass on his first pass attempt of a game since the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl, when Cole Stoudt hit Artavis Scott for a 65-yard touchdown on his first pass attempt.
Wide receiver Diondre Overton recorded his second touchdown reception of the season -- the third of his career -- on an eight-yard pass from Bryant in the third quarter. Overton has now recorded touchdown catches in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
Running back Travis Etienne rushed eight times for 44 yards and a touchdown.
Etienne scored his second rushing touchdown of the season -- the 15th of his career -- in the third quarter. He has now recorded a rushing touchdown in each of the first two games of the season.
Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence blocked a field goal in the second quarter, the first blocked kick for Clemson since October 15, 2016 (Christian Wilkins vs. NC State). The blocked kick was the third of Lawrence’s career, joining his two blocked kicks against Pitt in 2016.
Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow extended his streak of consecutive games played with a reception to 30.
Defensive end Justin Foster recorded the first full sack of his career, dropping Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond for a four-yard loss in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, Foster recovered a fumble forced by defensive end Clelin Ferrell. It was the first recovered fumble of Foster’s career and the third caused fumble of Ferrell’s career.
With Foster’s fumble recovery, Clemson forced a turnover in its 10th consecutive contest, the program's longest streak since opening the 2016 season with a takeaway in its first 10 games.
Ferrell added another sack in the fourth quarter. It was his third career game with at least 2.0 sacks and his first since a 3.5-sack effort at Syracuse last season.
Linebacker Kendall Joseph was credited with the fifth sack of his career in the third quarter after forcing Mond out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage.
With four sacks against Texas A&M, Clemson has posted three or more sacks in back-to-back games, the first time since the Tigers recorded a combined 13 sacks across the Wake Forest (three), Syracuse (six) and Georgia Tech (four) games in 2017.
Clemson held the Aggies to 71 yards on the ground, the fewest rushing yards by an opponent since the Tigers limited Florida State to 21 yards on Nov. 11, 2017.
WITH THE WIN...
Clemson improved to 11-7 in College GameDay contests. Clemson has won its last seven games featured on College GameDay, dating back to 2016 (vs. Louisville, Ohio State and Alabama in 2016; vs. Louisville, Virginia Tech and Miami in 2017; Texas A&M in 2018).
Clemson’s seven-game winning streak in College GameDay-featured contests is the longest active streak in the nation. Clemson (seven) and TCU (six) are the only schools with active winning streaks of six games or more in College GameDay games.
Clemson won its 50th road opener in program history to improve to 50-65-8 all-time in their first road game of the year.
Clemson has now won four straight road openers dating back to 2015. The 2018 senior class became the first Clemson class to sweep all four of its road debuts since the 1989 seniors, who won all four road openers in the midst of the program's record streak of six consecutive road-opener victories from 1984-89.
Clemson won its fourth straight true road game against SEC opponents, the longest such streak in program history. The Tigers had previously won road contests against South Carolina (2015 and 2017) and Auburn (2016), matching the program's longest stretch of road wins against SEC foes (three, all at South Carolina in both 1995-99 and 2003-07).
Clemson secured its 15th victory in its last 16 true road games.
Clemson earning its 22nd win in its last 25 games away from home, including neutral site contests.
Clemson extended its winning streak in Saturday games to 18, the longest of any Power Five school in the country. It is the second-longest Saturday winning streak in school history, trailing a 21-game Saturday streak across the 2014-16 campaigns.
Clemson has now opened 2-0 for a fourth straight year and for the eighth time in the last nine years.
Clemson extended its winning streak in non-conference regular season play to 17 games, extending the longest such streak in program history.
Clemson led, 14-3, at halftime and has now won 54 of its last 56 games when leading at halftime.
Clemson led 28-13 after three quarters and is now 75-2 since 2011 when leading entering the fourth quarter.
The victory was Clemson’s 15th consecutive win in games played in September.
Dabo Swinney improved to 14-9 as a head coach against SEC opponents. Clemson has now won eight of its last 10 games against SEC foes, including six of the last seven.
Swinney is now 1-0 against Texas A&M as a head coach.
Swinney pushed his all-time record in road openers to 6-4.
Swinney broke a 4-4 all-time deadlock as a head coach against Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher and is now 5-4 all-time against Fisher. The win was Swinney's fourth consecutive victory against a Fisher-coached team, the longest streak of victories by either coach in their meetings dating back to 2010.
Swinney pushed his all-time record in non-conference play as a head coach to 38-13, including a 31-8 record against non-conference opponents in regular season play.
The game marked Clemson’s fourth straight victory in games attended by at least 85,000 people, including previous home wins against South Carolina (2014; 85,024) and Florida State (2015; 85,573) and a road win at Auburn (2016; 87,451).
Clemson improved to 23-4 in games decided by eight or fewer points since 2011. The 23 wins in one-possession games are the most in the nation.