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Clemson Football

The Notes: No. 1 Clemson 49, The Citadel 0

September 19, 2020
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Clemson produced its first shutout since the 2016 Fiesta Bowl, a 31-0 win against Ohio State. It was Clemson’s first regular season shutout since a 54-0 win against Syracuse in 2016.

The shutout was Clemson’s seventh under Head Coach Dabo Swinney, and its fifth home shutout in his tenure.

The shutout was Clemson’s first in a home opener since 2000, a game also played against The Citadel (38-0).

Clemson, which allowed only 1.1 yards per carry last week, held The Citadel to 1.8 yards per carry, and has now held consecutive opponents 2.0 yards per carry or fewer for the first time since games 2-3 last season against Texas A&M and Syracuse.

Clemson recorded four sacks and has now recorded at least four sacks in four straight games, dating to last season, for the first time since games 8-11 in 2018.

Clemson rushed for 162 yards and has now rushed for at least 150 yards in 12 straight games, dating to last season. It represents Clemson's longest streak since a 15-game span across the 1991-92 seasons.

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence completed 8-of-9 passes for 168 yards and three passing touchdowns.

Lawrence’s third touchdown pass was the 70th of his career, moving him into a tie for sixth with Jacory Harris on the ACC's all-time career passing touchdowns leaderboard.

Lawrence has now thrown 276 consecutive passes without an interception, passing Drew Weatherford (270 in 2007) for the third-longest streak in ACC history. 

Lawrence also scored his third rushing touchdown of the season, the 13th of his career, on a two-yard first quarter run.

Lawrence has now rushed for a touchdown in four consecutive games, dating to last season, to become the first Clemson quarterback to rush for a touchdown in four straight games since Kelly Bryant in 2017. 

Running back Travis Etienne rushed eight times for 68 yards and caught an 11-yard pass.

On a 28-yard first-quarter run, Etienne (4,208) moved past Maryland's LaMont Jordan (4,147 from 1997-2000) for the fifth-most career rushing yards in ACC history. 

Etienne also recorded his first career punt return in the game, a 44-yard return in the second quarter.

With 123 all-purpose yards in the game, Etienne (5,394) passed Warrick Dunn (5,321) and Robert Lavette (5,393) for eighth on the ACC's leaderboard for career all-purpose yardage.

Etienne was held without a touchdown, snapping a streak of 13 consecutive games with a touchdown, dating to last season. His streak was the second-longest in Clemson history, one game shy of C.J. Spiller’s school record of 14 set in 2009. It also snapped a school-record 10 consecutive games with a rushing touchdown.

Wide receiver Frank Ladson Jr. recorded career highs in receptions (three), receiving yards (87) and receiving touchdowns (two).

Clemson opened the scoring on the game’s opening possession on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence to Ladson. The touchdown reception was Ladson’s fourth of his career and his first of the season.

Ladson added his second touchdown of the game on a 54-yard pass from Lawrence in the second quarter. The performance was Ladson’s first multi-touchdown game of his career.

The 54-yard touchdown pass to Ladson was Lawrence’s 16th career touchdown pass covering 50 yards or more, one shy of Tajh Boyd’s school record of 17. Ladson became the sixth different player to catch a touchdown pass of 50 yards or more from Lawrence, joining Tee Higgins, Justyn Ross, Amari Rodgers, Diondre Overton and Travis Etienne.

Wide receiver Amari Rodgers recorded his first touchdown reception of the season — the ninth of his career — on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence.

With 37 punt return yards in the game, Rodgers (502) entered the Top 10 in school history in career punt return yards. He passed Ray-Ray McCloud (485) and Jacoby Ford (479) during the game and now sits eighth in Clemson history in the category.

Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei scored his first career touchdown on a one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. 

Uiagalelei added his second rushing touchdown of the contest on a six-yard rush later in the second quarter. He became the first freshman quarterback at Clemson with two rushing touchdowns in a game since Kelly Bryant at Miami in 2015.

Linebacker James Skalski recorded his first career touchdown in his 49th career game on a 17-yard fumble return in the first quarter.

Skalski’s touchdown was Clemson’s first defensive touchdown of the season and its first since Logan Rudolph’s 39-yard fumble return touchdown against Boston College last October.

The fumble that led to the touchdown was forced by defensive end Myles Murphy. Murphy and fellow true freshman defensive lineman DeMonte Capehart tied for the team lead with 2.0 tackles for loss each.

Linebacker Trenton Simpson recorded his first career sack in the second quarter to end a drive by The Citadel. Capehart and defensive end Greg Williams also added their first career sacks in the contest, and linebacker Kevin Swint recorded his first career half-sack.

Clemson jumped out to a 28-0 first quarter lead. The 28 first-quarter points tied for Clemson’s fourth-most in a quarter in school history, including most recently at NC State last season. Since the start of the 2019 season, Clemson has outscored opponents in the first quarter, 219-34.

Clemson scored 49 first-half points, its most in the first two quarters of play since scoring 49 against Temple in a 63-9 victory on Oct. 12, 2006. Previously, Clemson’s most first-half points in the Dabo Swinney era was 45 against Ball State in 2012 and against South Carolina State in 2016.

Clemson opened the game scoring a touchdown on each of its first seven drives (including a statistical “zero-play” drive on a fumble return for touchdown) for the first time in the Dabo Swinney era. The streak of consecutive drives with a touchdown was broken only by a drive that started deep in Clemson territory with 32 seconds remaining in the first half.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, three teams opened a game with seven consecutive touchdown drives last season: Louisiana (vs. Texas Southern), Wisconsin (vs. Kent State) and Arizona (vs Northern Arizona).

Clemson scored three rushing touchdowns and has now opened a season with three or more rushing touchdowns in each of the first two games of a season for the first time since 2010.

Clemson turned the ball over only once and has not produced multiple giveaways in a game in any of its last 10 games, dating to last year.

Clemson played its 120th home opener in school history in its 125th season, as there were five seasons in which Clemson did not play a game at home. 

The game was Clemson’s latest home opener in a season (Sept. 19) since opening the 1985 season on Sept. 21 against Georgia.

Official attendance for the contest was 18,609. Previously, Clemson’s last game attended by fewer than 20,000 at any location came at Duke on Nov. 2, 2002 (16,479). The last time Clemson played at Memorial Stadium in front of a crowd fewer than 20,000 people was on Oct. 31, 1964 against Virginia (17,000).

The game was played 78 years to the date following Clemson’s first game at Memorial Stadium, as the Tigers opened the facility that would later become known colloquially as Death Valley with a 32-13 defeat of Presbyterian College on Sept. 19, 1942. 

Captains for the contest were running back Darien Rencher, wide receiver Will Swinney, safety Nolan Turner and defensive end Regan Upshaw.

 

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The Notes: No. 1 Clemson 49, The Citadel 0

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