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Clemson Football

From the Field: Thoughts and Fan Shots from Georgia Southern

September 17, 2018
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Clemson defeated Georgia Southern, 38-7 to pick up their 3rd win of the season in Death Valley. The game was moved to a noon kickoff due to the impacts from Tropical Storm Florence. Here’s what stood out to our intern Brandon Stockdale:

 

Slow start, but a strong finish for Clemson’s offense

It looked like Clemson’s offense didn’t get the memo that the game was moved up to noon due to the impact of Hurricane Florence. The Tigers were careless with the football, missed a field goal and at the end of the 1st quarter, both teams were still scoreless.

Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said he didn’t think all the hurricane talk had an impact on the offense early on.

“I think we had good practices. That’s all I can go off. I can’t really judge whenever they leave us what they’re thinking or looking on the internet and all that kind of stuff but practice wise, it was probably one of our better weeks of practice,” Scott said.

The Tigers found a spark when Trevor Lawrence and Justyn Ross connected on a 57-yard touchdown pass to go up 14-0 in the 2nd quarter as Ross was wide open on the play.

“I think my route opened me up a little bit and Trevor found me so fast. I was open anyway, so I just had a lot of time to make some moves."
- Justyn Ross

“I think my route opened me up a little bit and Trevor found me so fast. I was open anyway, so I just had a lot of time to make some moves,” Ross said.

Ross made huge plays when he caught the ball, with 3 catches for 103 yards. Clemson fans have to be excited about Ross turning into a reliable target that will only add to a lethal receiving core.

A concern moving forward for the offense is the health of Kelly Bryant. Dabo Swinney said after the game Saturday that the senior quarterback suffered a “chest bruise” but should be fine. Keep an eye on it moving forward.

 

The run game explodes

Saturday was the best day for the running game this season, courtesy of the four running backs. Travis Etienne, Adam Choice, Tavien Feaster and Lyn-J Dixon all had a good afternoon and the coaching staff seemed pleased with the results.

Etienne stole the show with 16 carries for 162 yards and 2 touchdowns. The 162 yards was a career high for the sophomore. Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said the plan was to run the football coming in and the coaching staff challenged the running backs to step up. In fact, the goal was to rush for more than 250 yards. Clemson rushed for 309 yards on 46 carries.

When Clemson is at their best, they are balanced and that’s what came to fruition for Clemson’s offense on Saturday.

 

No options for another option team

The Tigers stifled another option attack in Chad Lunsford’s squad from Statesboro, Ga. for the majority of the game. Clemson held the Eagles to only 80 yards on 43 carries. Georgia Southern came into the game averaging 326.5 rushing yards per game, which was 4th in the country.

Georgia Southern’s lone touchdown of the afternoon came off the back of a trick play after a turnover from Clemson. That play won’t affect the confidence of Brent Venables’ unit, according to Clelin Ferrell.

“As a team, we feel like we definitely got better in a lot of aspects and we just have a lot of things we still feel like we’re not a championship team yet, we have a long way to go but it was good to go out there and see a lot of great improvements from the last time we played a team like this,” Ferrell said.

Clemson’s defense's toughest test against the triple option will come on the road in Atlanta against Georgia Tech at 3:30 Saturday.

From the Field: Thoughts and Fan Shots from Georgia Southern

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