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Clemson Football

Postgame Notes: Clemson 52, Georgia Tech 14

August 31, 2019

Team Notes: 

  • Clemson won its 11th consecutive game by 20 or more points, extending its school record in the category. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Clemson now holds sole possession of the second-longest such streak by any team in the AP Poll era (since 1936), surpassing 1959-60 New Mexico State, 1971 Nebraska, 1973-74 Temple, 2002 Boise State and 2010-11 Stanford (10 games each). Clemson is now one game shy of the record, held by 2018 Alabama (12).
  • Clemson recorded 632 total yards and has now reached 500 total yards in three consecutive season openers for the first time in records dating back to 1954. Clemson totaled 678 yards against Kent State in the 2017 opener and 531 yards against Furman in its 2018 debut.
  • Clemson’s 632 yards were its most against Georgia Tech all-time, surpassing the 615 yards gained by Clemson’s 1903 squad against Georgia Tech.
  • Clemson rushed for 411 yards, the most rushing yards gained by Clemson in a season opener since 1957 (439 vs. Presbyterian College).
  • With 411 rushing yards, Clemson posted the most rushing yards Georgia Tech has allowed in nearly 44 years, dating to Georgia rushing for 431 against the Yellow Jackets on Nov. 27, 1975.
  • The 411 rushing yards represented Clemson's fourth 400-yard rushing performance under Head Coach Dabo Swinney, joining the 2015 Miami (Fla.) game (416) and 2018 Wake Forest (471) and Louisville (492) games.
  • Prior to Thursday, the last time Georgia Tech had allowed 50+ points was also against the Tigers (55 points on Nov. 14, 2013).
  • Clemson did not allow a sack and has now allowed no sacks in six of its last nine games, dating to last season.
  • Clemson forced four takeaways, the Tigers’ most since Oct. 3, 2015, when Clemson forced four turnovers against Notre Dame in a 24-22 victory against the Fighting Irish amidst weather effects of Hurricane Joaquin.
  • Clemson posted a positive turnover margin in a fourth straight game, dating to last season, for the first time since a five-game streak to open the 2013 season.
  • Clemson reached 27 or more points in a 16th straight game, extending its school-record streak.
  • Clemson shutout Georgia Tech, 28-0, in the first half. The Tigers shut out five opponents in the opening half last season, including most recently at Florida State (Oct. 27, 2018).
  • The Aug. 29 kickoff represented Clemson’s earliest date of a season opener in program history. The Aug. 29 opener surpassed the 2003, 2008 and 2014 season openers held on Aug. 30 of their respective years.
  • Clemson opened a season on a Thursday for the first time in school history.
  • Clemson hosted a Thursday game for the first time since Nov. 14, 2013, a 55-31 win against Georgia Tech. The game was only the 14th Thursday home game in Clemson history and only the fifth since the opening of Memorial Stadium in 1942. 
  • Clemson opened the season against a conference opponent for the first time since 2007, when the Tigers earned a 24-18 win against Florida State on a Monday night in the final "Bowden Bowl."
  • Clemson opened a season against an ACC foe for the 13th time in school history. Clemson is now 10-2-1 in the 13 season openers against ACC teams.
  • Clemson opened ACC play at home for the first time since 2011, snapping a seven-season streak in which Clemson opened ACC play on the road.
  • The game was Clemson’s 11th all-time as the top-ranked team in the AP Poll. 
  • Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Clemson was the first AP No. 1 to open the season against a conference opponent since Nebraska in 1995.

Individual Notes:

  • Trevor Lawrence completed 13-23 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed three times for 24 yards with a touchdown.
  • Lawrence threw an interception on his 13th pass attempt of the game, ending a streak of 182 consecutive pass attempts without an interception. The streak ended five attempts shy of the school record held by Tajh Boyd (187, 2012-13). 
  • Clemson opened the scoring on a six-yard touchdown run by Lawrence. The rushing touchdown was the second of Lawrence’s career and his first since Nov. 10, 2018 at Boston College.
  • Running back Travis Etienne recorded a career-high 205 rushing yards on 12 carries with three touchdowns.
  • Etienne’s three rushing touchdowns tied his career high, set in three games in 2018.
  • Etienne’s 205 rushing yards surpassed his previous career high of 203 yards, set against Syracuse on Sept. 29, 2018.
  • The 200-yard rushing day was the second of Etienne’s career, tying a school record shared by Ray Yauger, Terrence Flagler, Raymond Priester and Andre Ellington.
  • Etienne became the first 200-yard rusher allowed by Georgia Tech since Sept. 29, 2012, when Middle Tennessee State’s Benny Cunningham rushed for 217 yards.
  • For his career, the performance marked Etienne’s 12th multi-touchdown game and his ninth 100-yard rushing game.
  • With the performance, Etienne (2,629) passed Buddy Gore (2,571 from 1966-68) to enter the top 10 in career rushing yards in school history.
  • With 18 points on the evening, Etienne(252) became the 11th Clemson player in history to reach 250 career points.
  • Etienne’s 205 rushing yards are the 12th most by a player in a game in school history. His 12 carries were the fewest by a Clemson player in a 200-yard rushing game all-time, surpassing Buck George’s 15 carries in a 204-yard game against Presbyterian College in 1954.
  • Etienne’s 205 rushing yards are the second most in a season opener in school history, trailing Andre Ellington’s 228-yard performance against Auburn in 2012.
  • Etienne scored on a career-long 90-yard run in the first quarter, tying the longest run in school history with Banks McFadden (1939 vs. Presbyterian College) and Buck George (1951 at Furman). The run was the longest in the history of Memorial Stadium.
  • Etienne’s 90-yard run was Clemson’s longest play since a since a 91-yard pass from Tajh Boyd to Sammy Watkins against Virginia in 2013.
  • On the 90-yard touchdown, Etienne eclipsed the 2,500-yard career rushing mark, becoming only the 11th player in school history to reach 2,500 career rushing yards. 
  • Etienne has now scored a rushing touchdown in six consecutive games, dating to last season. The streak ties Woodrow Dantzler (six in 2000) for the seventh-longest streak of consecutive games with a rushing touchdown in school history and pulls Etienne within one of his personal best (seven straight games to open the 2018 season).
  • Etienne recorded his 40th career total touchdown on the 90-yard run, joining C.J. Spiller (51), Travis Zachery (50) and James Davis (49) as the only players in school history to reach that mark.
  • Etienne added a 14-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and a 48-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
  • Etienne’s third touchdown was his 40th career rushing touchdown. He is only the third player in school history to record 40 career rushing touchdowns, joining James Davis (47) and Travis Zachary (41).
  • Wide receiver Tee Higgins scored his first touchdown of the season on a 62-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence in the second quarter.
  • With the score, Higgins pushed his career-long streak of consecutive games with a receiving touchdown to five, dating back to last season. His five-game streak is now tied with Derrick Hamilton (2003), Aaron Kelly (2007) and Deon Cain (2015) for the second-longest streak in school history, trailing DeAndre Hopkins' school record of 10 games from 2012.
  • Higgins’ touchdown was the culmination of a 94-yard drive, the same length as Clemson’s game-clinching drive against Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship last season.
  • Running back Lyn-J Dixon scored his first touchdown of the season on an 18-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. It was his first since the 2018 ACC Championship Game against Pittsburgh.
  • With 269 combined yards, Etienne (205) and Dixon (64) became the first duo to rush for at least 250 yards against Georgia Tech since Nov. 26, 2016, when Georgia’s Nick Chubb and Sony Michel rushed for 258 combined yards.
  • Wide receiver Frank Ladson Jr.recorded a 21-yard touchdown reception on the first catch of his career. The touchdown was thrown by Chase Brice, his first passing touchdown since Nov. 3, 2018, against Louisville. 
  • Linebacker Baylon Spector recovered a muffed punt in the first quarter. It was the second recovered fumble of his career and marked the second straight year in which Spector has recovered a fumble in the season opener.
  • Clemson scored following Spector’stakeaway, Clemson’s first takeaway of 2019. Last season, Clemson capitalized with points off turnovers in 11-of-15 contests.
  • In the second quarter, linebacker Chad Smith recorded his second forced fumble of his career and his first since 2017. The fumble was recovered by defensive tackle Xavier Kelly, his first fumble recovery of his career.
  • Safety Denzel Johnson recorded his first career interception in the second quarter on a fourth-and-goal stand by the Clemson defense on a drive that started at the Clemson 2-yard-line. 
  • Safety Tanner Muse recorded his fourth career interception in the third quarter. It was his first since Nov. 3, 2018, against Louisville.
  • Kicker B.T. Potter recorded a career-long 51-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. It was Clemson’s first field goal of 50 yards or more since Chandler Catanzaro’s 51-yard field goal against Georgia Tech in 2013.
  • True freshman Tyler Davis started at defensive tackle, becoming the 15th first-year freshman to start a season opener for Clemson since 1973. He joined running back Ken Callicutt (1973), defensive tackle Nelson Wallace (1973), defensive tackle Jeff Mills (1974), tight end Jeff Wells (1980), center James Farr (1980), defensive end John Johnson (1987), kicker Chris Gardocki (1988), running back Anthony Downs (1994), linebacker Anthony Simmons (1995), wide receiver Roscoe Crosby (2001), running back James Davis (2005), running back C.J. Spiller (2006), running back Jamie Harper (2008) and wide receiver Adam Humphries (2011).
  • Captains for the contest were offensive tackle Tremayne Anchrum, offensive lineman Sean Pollard, linebacker James Skalski and cornerback A.J. Terrell


Postgame Notes: Clemson 52, Georgia Tech 14

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