CLEMSON, SC - It was a historic day
in Death Valley on Military Appreciation Day. Travis Etienne scored twice to
break James Davis’s Clemson record with his 48th career rush TD. He
also tied C.J. Spiller for the most total touchdowns in Clemson history. The
duo of Davis and Spiller were colloquially known as “Thunder and Lightning” at
Clemson, and Dabo said after the game that Etienne is a combination of the two,
possessing both the power and the speed. Etienne rushed for 212 yards on just 9
carries to become the first Clemson player ever with 3 career 200-yard rushing
The final score was 59-14, but the
Tigers could have scored 100 if they wanted to. They scored touchdowns on 8 of
their first 9 possessions before taking the starters out and finished with a
whopping 702 total yards. Trevor Lawrence was brilliant once again, going 12-16
for 218 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. It was his fourth straight game
with 3 touchdown passes, which hadn’t been done at Clemson since Tajh Boyd in
2012. For all the talk from ESPN about Trevor Lawrence not playing well, his
quarterback rating is actually higher than it was at this time last
year! Trevor spread the ball around evenly to his starting receivers—Rodgers,
Ross and Higgins each scored touchdowns. In fact, Ross has 5 touchdowns on the
season, Higgins and Rodgers each have 4 and Overton has 3, so Trevor has spread
the wealth among his talented play-makers all season long. Trevor continues to
use his legs effectively as well, rushing 4 times for 33 yards and his 6th
rush TD of the season.
For the third straight game since
suffering a concussion at practice, DE Xavier Thomas did not play, but he was
suited up and ready. Dabo told us on Wednesday that they would hold him out if
possible. Once again, however, the defense did not miss him. With the exception
of one touchdown drive and a coverage bust, both in the second half, the Tigers’
defense dominated, allowing just 256 total yards. They have held their
opponents to less than 300 yards in all 9 games this season. That is the first
time any team has done that since Alabama in 2011! The only other team to accomplish
the feat in this century was LSU in 2006. Isaiah Simmons recorded his first
interception of the season, and Mike Jones forced a fumble that was recovered
by true freshman Sheridan Jones. The Tigers failed to record a sack for the
first time this season, but that’s not surprising given Wofford’s triple-option
offense. They recorded an impressive 10 tackles-for-loss, though, and forced 9
punts along with the two turnovers. In his second game back from a hamstring
injury, Jake Venables had his best career game with 3.5 tackles-for-loss—probably
a result of his dad knowing the triple option as well as anyone.
BT Potter missed a 35-yard field
goal on his first attempt because he stubbed his foot in the ground before
making contact with the ball. He redeemed himself on the next possession,
though, putting one right down the middle from the same distance. Lyn-J Dixon rushed for 50 yards and a touchdown on just 7 carries, and true freshman Chez Mellusi added 57 yards on 8 carries. Darien Rencher posted a 24-yard run, the longest of his career, and scored his second career touchdown and second in the last 3 games.
The Tigers have scored 45 points or
more in 4 consecutive games for the first time ever and have recorded 600 or
more yards of total offense in consecutive games for the first time ever. They have outgained their last two opponents by 497 yards and 446 yards. The
first real rankings will be released by the College Football Playoff
Committee on Tuesday night, and it will be interesting to see if they have less
amnesia than those at ESPN and the pollsters. From where I sit, the Tigers have
won 24 straight games with 21 blowouts, including 8 blowouts in 9 games this
season. Their offense is playing as well or better than it was at this time
last year, and the defense is playing even better than it was last year. I don’t
care what the computers say about strength of schedule. All I need to know is
that this team is outperforming the best team ever that went 15-0 last year,
blowing out Notre Dame and Alabama in the playoff. This Clemson team should be
No.1, and anyone who thinks otherwise has blinders on.
I’ll have Dabo’s Sunday
teleconference for you later this afternoon, around 5:00, so stay tuned!
CLEMSON HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY
“I’m certainly proud of our guys. Obviously, Wofford’s a team that didn’t matchup with us on paper. But I’ve been in a lot of those games over the years, and you’ve still got to play well. I’m proud of our team. We had great energy and played well the whole game. We were incredibly efficient. The offense set the tone for us out of the gate. That’s four games in a row we’ve played really well.”
On Clemson’s offensive performance:
“Today was a day a lot of history was made. I’m super proud of our offense. That’s back-to-back games with no turnovers. We picked up 702 yards. That’s also back to-back games with over 600 yards of offense. This program has never scored 45 or more points four games in a row before today, too, so a lot of amazing things happened. It’s pretty remarkable what this group has done, especially when you talk about rushing the ball and spreading the ball around.”
On Travis Etienne and Trevor Lawrence:
“Trevor’s efficiency rating is higher now than it was at this time last year. We rushed for 419 yards. Etienne has set the tone for us for the last month. You think about all the great running backs who have come through here, and, today, he broke the school record for career rushing touchdowns. I’m really proud of Travis, and he’s got a lot more left. He’s been a joy to coach.”
On the Tigers’ defense:
“Defensively, we also made some history. That’s nine games in a row of holding opponents to less than 300 yards. And that’s happened only twice in 20 years, and that’s incredible to do in today’s world of college football. I’m really proud of how consistent our defense has been all year long.”
Clemson has now scored 45 points in four consecutive games for the first time in school history. The streak includes two straight games of 59 or more points for only the second time in school history, joining a two-game stretch against Florida State and Louisville last season.
Clemson gained 702 yards and recorded 700 yards of offense for the sixth time in school history, the fifth time under Dabo Swinney. It was Clemson’s first 700-yard performance since Nov. 24, 2018, against South Carolina (744).
Clemson outgained Wofford, 702-256. The 446-yard differential is tied for Clemson’s ninth-best all-time. Clemson has now outgained its last two opponents by a 943-yard margin.
Clemson recorded 600 yards of offense for a fourth time this season to surpass the 2012, 2017 and 2018 squads (three each) for sole possession of the most 600-yard games in a single season in school history.
Clemson has now posted back-to-back 600-yard games for the first time in school history.
The 600-yard performance marked the first time that Wofford allowed 600-plus yards of offense since Aug. 31, 2013, when the Terriers gave up 692 yards at Baylor.
Clemson exceeded both 300 passing yards and 300 rushing yards for the sixth time under Head Coach Dabo Swinney. It marks the first time since at least 1954 that Clemson has rushed and passed for 300 yards in back-to-back games.
Clemson joined Oklahoma (three consecutive games to open the season) as the only teams to post multiple games with both 300 passing yards and 300 rushing yards this season.
Clemson, which averaged 7.9 yards per play against Louisville and 8.4 against Boston College, averaged a season-high 11.0 yards per play and has now exceeded 7.5 yards per play in three straight games for the first time in records dating back to 1954.
Clemson’s 11.0 yards per play were its third-most in school history, trailing its 11.6-yard average against Louisville in 2018 and its 11.2-yard average against Georgia Tech in 1903.
Clemson ran 64 plays and did not produce a single offensive play for negative yardage.
Clemson reached 500 total yards in a fourth straight game for the first time since a six-game stretch in October and November of the 2016 season.
Clemson rushed for 419 yards, Clemson’s fifth 400-yard rushing performance under Head Coach Dabo Swinney. Clemson is 5-0 in those contests.
Clemson averaged a season-high 11.3 yards per carry, representing Clemson’s fifth time averaging double-digit yards per carry in a game in which it reached at least 300 rushing yards (13.3 vs. Louisville in 2018, 11.8 vs. Wake Forest in 2018, 11.2 vs. Georgia Tech in 1903 and 10.3 vs. Presbyterian in 1945).
Clemson has now recorded consecutive 300-yard rushing games for the first time since the South Carolina and Pitt games last year.
Clemson has now rushed for at least 275 yards in four straight games for the first time in the Dabo Swinney era and the first time since games 4-7 of the 1990 season.
Clemson produced a second straight game with zero giveaways for the first time since the first two games of the 2018 season.
Clemson finished plus-two in the turnover margin and has now won the turnover margin in four consecutive games for the first time since a five-game streak across the final three games of the 2018 season and the first two games of 2019. Clemson pushed its record to 53-3 when winning the turnover margin since 2011.
Clemson held Wofford to 256 yards and joined the 2006 LSU Tigers and 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide as the only teams since 2000 to hold opponents below 300 yards in nine straight games to open a season.
Clemson held Wofford to 117 passing yards and has now held seven consecutive opponents below 200 passing yards for the first time since a nine-game stretch in games 3-11 of the 2008 season.
Clemson limited Wofford to a completion percentage of 40.0 and has now held four consecutive opponents to a completion percentage under 50.0 percent, Clemson's first such streak since a five-game run in October and November of 2014.
Clemson outgained Wofford in passing yards, 283-117, and has now produced more passing yards than its opponent in 12 consecutive games, dating to last season, for the first time since an 18-game streak across the 2015-17 seasons.
Running back Travis Etienne recorded a career-high 212 rushing yards on nine carries with two rushing touchdowns.
Etienne reached 200 rushing yards in a game for the third time in his career to break the school record for career 200-yard rushing games (two each by Ray Yauger, 1967-69; Terrence Flagler, 1982-86; Raymond Priester, 1994-97; Andre Ellington, 2009-12). He joined Flagler (1986) as the only player in school history to post two 200-yard games in a single season.
Etienne’s nine carries were the fewest needed by a Clemson player in a 200-yard rushing day in school history. His 12-carry, 205-yard performance in the 2019 season opener against Georgia Tech had previously represented the fewest carries by a Clemson player in a 200-yard rushing day.
With two rushing touchdowns, Etienne pushed his career total to 48, breaking James Davis’ school record (47 from 2005-08) for career rushing touchdowns.
Including his 212 yards in the contest, Etienne(1,102) reached 1,000 rushing yards on the year to give him 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. He became the sixth player in school history to reach 1,000 rushing yards in multiple seasons, joining Raymond Priester (1995-96), Woodrow Dantzler (2000-01), James Davis (2006-07), Andre Ellington (2011-12) and Wayne Gallman (2015-16).
Etienne reached the 1,000-yard mark in his ninth game of the season to tie Terrence Flagler's school record for fewest games needed to reach 1,000 rushing yards (nine in 1986). The 1,000-yard campaign by Etienne in 2019 is the 22nd 1,000-yard rushing season in school history.
During the game, Etienne (3,526) passed Wayne Gallman (3,429) and Andre Ellington (3,436) for fourth on the school's all-time career rushing yardage leaderboard.
Etienne scored on a 47-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, the 50th total touchdown of his career, as he joined C.J. Spiller and Travis Zachery as the only players in school history to record 50 career total touchdowns.
With 12 points on the day, Etienne (306) passed Travis Zachery (300) and Nelson Welch (301) for fifth on Clemson's all-time scoring list.
Etienne added an 86-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to break Davis’ record for career rushing touchdowns.
Including a 90-yard touchdown run in the season opener against Georgia Tech, Etienne now has two touchdown runs of 85-plus yards this season. Since 1950, he is the first Clemson player to record two touchdown runs of 85-plus yards.
The run was Etienne’s third of 80 or more yards in his career, surpassing the school record held by Derrick Witherspoon and C.J. Spiller (two each).
On the run, Etienne also tied C.J. Spiller's school record for career total touchdowns (51).
Etienne rushed for 100 yards in a fourth consecutive game to match his career-long streak set in games 3-6 of the 2018 season.
Etienne recorded his 14th career 100-yard rushing game to tie James Davis for third on Clemson's all-time leaderboard for career 100-yard rushing games. Etienne is now three 100-yard games shy of Wayne Gallman's school career record of 17 from 2014-16.
Etienne averaged a career-high 23.6 yards per rush. He became the seventh FBS player this season to rush for at least 23.0 yards per carry on at least five attempts in a game this season.
Etienne averaged 10.0 yards per carry in a game on at least five attempts for the 12th time in his career to pass Colin Kaepernick for sole possession of the most such games by any FBS player since 2000.
With 235 all-purpose yards during the game,Etienne (4,234) overtook Jacoby Ford (4,083) for eighth on the school leaderboard for career all-purpose yards. Etienne became the ninth player in Clemson history to record 4,000 career all-purpose yards.
As a team, Clemson has now rushed for multiple touchdowns in 10 consecutive games for the first time since a 15-game streak across the 2016-17 seasons.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence completed 12-of-16 passes for 218 yards with three passing touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed four times for 33 yards with a rushing touchdown.
With three passing touchdowns, Lawrence (50) passed Charlie Whitehurst (49 from 2002-05) for the third-most career passing touchdowns in school history.
Lawrence has now thrown three touchdown passes in four consecutive games for the first time in his career, becoming the first Clemson quarterback to do so since Tajh Boyd in 2012.
On his fourth completion of the game, Lawrence became the eighth player in Clemson history to complete 400 career passes.
On his sixth completion of the game, Lawrence(408) passed Kyle Parker (401 from 2009-10) for seventh-most career completions in Clemson history.
Lawrence has now thrown a touchdown pass in 19 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the country. (Note: UCF's McKenzie Milton had a 24-game streak prior to suffering an injury in November 2018 that will likely preclude him from playing in 2019).
Lawrence rushed for his sixth rushing touchdown of the season, extending his career high, on a two-yard run in the second quarter.
With 251 combined passing and rushing yards in the game, Lawrence (5,746) passed Rodney Williams (5,510) and Cullen Harper (5,549) for seventh on the school's leaderboard for career total offense.
Wide receiver Amari Rodgers opened the scoring on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence. Clemson Is now 46-0 when scoring first since 2015.
It was Rodgers’ fourth touchdown reception of the season, matching his single-season career high set last season as a sophomore.
Running back Lyn-J Dixon scored on his first carry of the game, a 19-yard first-quarter touchdown run. The rushing touchdown was his fourth of the season and the ninth of his career.
Wide receiver Tee Higgins recorded his fourth touchdown reception of the season on a 22-yard pass from Lawrence in the second quarter.
The touchdown reception was the 18th of Higgins’ career, tying Glenn Smith (18 from 1949-51) and Jordan Leggett (18 from 2013-16) for seventh in school history.
Wide receiver Justyn Ross added his fifth receiving touchdown of the season on a 34-yard pass from Lawrence in the third quarter.
The touchdown pass to Ross was Clemson’s third touchdown pass of the game. Clemson has now thrown at least three touchdowns in four straight games for the first time since a five-game streak to open the 2013 season.
Running back Darien Rencher, playing on his 22nd birthday, recorded his second rushing touchdown of the season and of his career on a three-yard scoring run in the third quarter.
Linebacker Isaiah Simmons recorded his first interception of the season in the second quarter. It was his second career interception, joining a pick-six against Louisville last season.
Cornerback Sheridan Jones recorded his first career fumble recovery in the fourth quarter on a fumble forced by linebacker Mike Jones Jr., the first forced fumble of his career.
Linebacker Jake Venables tied a Clemson season high with 3.5 tackles for loss, matching Isaiah Simmons’ output at Syracuse and Justin Foster’s total at Louisville.
Clemson and Wofford squared off in Clemson for the sixth time in their last six meetings, dating back to a 26-0 win by Frank Howard's Tigers at Riggs Field in 1940. Wofford hosted five of the first six all-time meetings between the schools, including a 16-0 Clemson win at Wofford in Clemson's inaugural season in 1896.
Captains for the contest were wide receiver Tee Higgins, long snapper Patrick Phibbs, punter Will Spiers and linebacker Chad Smith. Smith ran the American flag down in the hill pregame as part of Military Appreciation Day. Smith comes from a family with extensive military ties, including:
Colonel John Smith, father, Air Force (Desert Storm, Bosnia, Somalia)
Colonel Eben Darrell Smith, grandfather, Air Force (WWII, Korea, Vietnam)
Senior Master Sergeant Monty “Bob” Auxier, grandfather, Air Force (Korea, Vietnam)
Senior Chief Petty Officer Rob Auxier, uncle (Desert Storm)
Sergeant Frank Blair, uncle, Army (Vietnam)
Captain Ben Smith, brother, Air Force Acquisition (Hill Air Force Base, Utah)
First Lieutenant Elayne Smith, sister, nurse, Air Force (Afghanistan). Presently on active duty and just this week qualified as an aeromedical evacuation flight nurse who will be stationed at Travis AFB in California.
WITH THE WIN...
Clemson has now opened a season 9-0 for the sixth time in program history and the fourth time in the last five years, joining 1948, 1981, 2015, 2016 and 2018. Clemson earned conference titles in all of the previous five seasons in which it opened 9-0 and earned national championships in three of those years.
Clemson won the first nine games of a season for the fourth time under Head Coach Dabo Swinney (2015, 2016 and 2018). All other coaches in Clemson history have combined for two 9-0 starts, including one each by Frank Howard and Danny Ford.
The 2019 Clemson seniors won their 50th game in the last four years to become the ninth senior class in FBS history to accomplish the feat. The 50th win tied the 2019 Clemson seniors with the 2017 senior class for the second-most career wins in school history.
Head Coach Dabo Swinney recorded his 125th career win in 155 career games as a head coach. Per records from Sports Reference, he is the 10th-fastest coach in major college football history to 125 wins in terms of games coached, trailing George Woodruff (142), Urban Meyer (148), Bob Neyland (148), Chris Petersen (151), Joe Paterno (153), Fielding Yost (153), Barry Switzer (153), Bud Wilkinson (153) and Henry Williams (154).
Clemson won its 24th consecutive game, dating to the start of the 2018 season, to extend the longest winning streak in school history and second-longest winning streak in ACC history.
Clemson won its 21st consecutive home game to tie the longest home winning streak in school history, set across the 2013-16 seasons. Clemson's last home loss came on Nov. 12, 2016, against Pitt. The current 21-game streak is the second-longest active streak in the country (Alabama, 31).
Clemson has now won 42 of its last 43 games at home.
Clemson won its sixth home game of the season to extend its active streak of winning at least six games at Memorial Stadium to nine years.
Clemson improved to 13-4 against Wofford all-time.
Clemson improved to 34-0 against Football Championship Subdivision teams since the NCAA formed the division prior to the 1978 season.
Clemson has now won 67 of its last 71 games overall dating to 2014.
Clemson has earned victories in 74 of its last 76 games when leading at halftime.
Clemson improved to 95-2 since 2011 when leading after three quarters.
Clemson now has a 95-2 record when totaling more first downs than its opponent since 2011.
Clemson is now 62-1 when rushing for 200+ yards under Dabo Swinney.
Clemson improved to 48-0 when both passing and rushing for 200+ yards under Dabo Swinney.
Clemson improved to 45-2 when having a 100-yard rusher since 2011.
Clemson has now won 70 of its last 72 games against unranked teams.
Clemson pushed its winning streak in Saturday games to 38 to extend the longest Saturday winning streak in school history. Clemson's current 38-game run of consecutive Saturday victories is the longest active streak in the country.
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