Instant Halftime Analysis: Clemson 20, Furman 7

by - Senior Writer -
Photo by Joshua S. Kelly / US PRESSWIRE

CLEMSON – Instant Halftime Analysis: Clemson 20, Furman 7

What went right: The Tigers managed to get wide receiver Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
So. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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involved early as he caught a pass on the second play from scrimmage.

Watkins then attempted his first rush of the year, and turned that into a 58-yard touchdown run, the longest run of his career and the first rushing touchdown of his career.

The Paladins attempted a trick field goal on the opening drive, but safety Rashard HallRashard Hall
Gr. Safety
#31 6-2, 210
St. Augustine, FL

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was in perfect position on the attempted pass to Will King and intercepted it in the end zone.

Nuk Hopkins continued his strong play, catching seven passes for 95 yards in the first half.

Jaron BrownJaron Brown
Gr. Wide Receiver
#18 6-2, 205
Cheraw, SC

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made a couple of catches in traffic that were outstanding.

What went wrong: The Paladins elected to receive the opening kickoff, and promptly marched 65 yards in 13 plays. The Clemson defense gave up some yards on the ground, but it was the passes in the flat to the tight ends and running backs that were the big culprits.

The Clemson defense continued to give up chunks of yards, including a 45-yard reception and run by King that put Furman deep in Clemson territory.

Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
So. Wide Receiver
#1 6-5, 200
Calhoun Falls, SC

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dropped a pass on a crossing pattern in the second quarter, breaking a string of 14 consecutive completions by quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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over two games. The drop was also two plays before a Clemson punt, breaking a string of Clemson scoring on seven consecutive possessions with Boyd in the game.

The Tigers’ offensive line also appeared to be less than dominant as Clemson was unable to muster much of a running game.

Furman running back Jerodis Williams broke loose on a 39-yard run in the second quarter on a play that saw Clemson’s linebackers get too far up the field to make a stop, and one play later a Furman receiver was wide open for the touchdown on what looked like a bust for one of the safeties.

Clemson converted a fourth-and-short on a play late in the second quarter, but Boyd turned his back on the defense and fell in for the first down. Typically, a QB turning back on a short-yardage plays is not a good thing.

cTurning Point of the Half: Watkins’ 58-yard touchdown run was electric, and was the kind of play Clemson fans have been waiting to see this season.

Stat of the Half: Furman possessed the ball for 19:32 of the first half, compared to just 10:28 for the Tigers. Furman has run 34 plays to just 32 for the Tigers. Blame an inadequate Clemson running game and a defense that is continually gashed. Furman quarterback Reese Hannon is a true freshman making his first collegiate start and is 12-for-14 for 160 yards.

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