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Clemson Football

The Notes: Clemson 44, UConn 7

November 15, 2021
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Clemson and UConn met in football for the first time in history. It marked the fourth time in the last five years Clemson has faced an opponent for the first time in school history, joining series-opening wins against Kent State (2017), Georgia Southern (2018) and Charlotte (2019). 

UConn became Clemson’s 106th different opponent in program history. 

The only points Clemson allowed came on a return on the game’s opening kickoff. Clemson recorded its fourth game of the season in which it did not allow an offensive touchdown. The only team in the country with more is No. 1 Georgia (five).

Clemson held UConn to 99 total yards, Clemson’s first time holding an opponent below 100 total yards since 2014 vs. South Carolina State (44).

Clemson held UConn to 0-for-14 on third downs. It represented Clemson’s first time holding an opponent to zero third-down conversions since 1992 against North Carolina (0-for-8). It was Clemson’s third time holding an opponent without a third-down conversion since 1978 (1992 vs. North Carolina, 1978 vs. Wake Forest).

Clemson recorded six sacks, its most since last year’s ACC Championship Game vs. Notre Dame (six). Clemson’s season-high in sacks entering the game was five, set against Florida State in Clemson’s most recent home game prior to Saturday. Clemson has 11 sacks in its last two home games.

Clemson has now recorded at least four sacks against three consecutive opponents for the first time since a four-game streak across the final two games of 2019 and first two games of 2020.

Clemson held UConn to 116 passing yards and has now held three consecutive opponents below 200 passing yards for the first time since the Miami (Fla.), Georgia Tech and Syracuse games last season.

Clemson ran 99 plays, a season high and its most since running 99 against Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game to end the 2016 season.

Clemson has now scored at least 30 points in three consecutive games for the first time since the first 11 games of the 2020 season.

Clemson led in first downs gained, 26-6, and its plus-20 margin in first downs was its highest in a game since 2020 at Georgia Tech.

Clemson held UConn to -17 rushing yards, tied for the fifth-fewest allowed by Clemson in a game all-time. It matched the 1948 Furman game for the fifth-fewest and was the fewest allowed by Clemson since 2018 (-21 at Florida State).

The game marked the second time Clemson has held an opponent to negative rushing yardage under Dabo Swinney. It is the ninth time Clemson has accomplished the feat since 1954.

Clemson played four quarterbacks, with the quartet combining for 27-for-57 for 347 passing yards with two touchdowns through the air. 

Clemson’s 347 passing yards were a season high and its most since throwing for 400 yards in last year’s Sugar Bowl. Clemson’s 57 pass attempts were also a season high and were its most since the 2016 season finale against Alabama (57).

Clemson has now thrown multiple touchdown passes in consecutive games for the first time since last year's ACC Championship Game and Sugar Bowl.

Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei completed 21-of-44 passes for 241 yards with one touchdown and one interception. His 241 yards were a season high and his 44 attempts tied his career high set at Notre Dame last season.

Quarterback Taisun Phommachanh recorded his first career rushing touchdown on a three-yard run in the second quarter.

Phommachanh was playing against a UConn team for which his brother, Tyler, plays quarterback. Tyler was unavailable to play for the Huskies on Saturday following a knee injury suffered earlier in the season.

Wide receiver Dacari Collins posted career highs with six receptions for 97 yards.

Wide receiver Beaux Collins caught a 32-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, giving him a touchdown catch in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. He became the first Clemson true freshman with a touchdown in back-to-back games since Justyn Ross against Notre Dame and Alabama in two games in the College Football Playoff to end the 2018 season.

Clemson completed passes to 14 different receivers, tied for the fifth-most in a game in the Dabo Swinney era. It was Clemson’s most since completing passes to 17 different receivers at Georgia Tech last season.

Running back Phil Mafah scored his second career rushing touchdown on a two-yard run in the third quarter. With his only previous score coming at Pittsburgh, it was his first career touchdown in Death Valley.

Tight end Jake Briningstool recorded a career-long 31-yard reception on a pass from Uiagalelei in the second quarter.

Briningstool later scored on a 25-yard pass from quarterback Billy Wiles in the fourth quarter.

The touchdown was the first in the careers of both Briningstool and Wiles.

With the touchdown pass by Wiles, Clemson has now had a walk-on quarterback throw a touchdown pass in back-to-back seasons, as Hunter Helms threw for two touchdowns at Georgia Tech in 2020.

Wide receiver Justyn Ross extended his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 37 to pass Jerry Butler (36 consecutive games from 1975-78) for sole possession of the third-longest streak in school history.

Cornerback Mario Goodrich recorded the game’s first takeaway on an interception in the second quarter. It was his fourth career interception and his first of the season.

Cornerback Sheridan Jones added his first interception of the season in the third quarter. It was his second career interception and his first since last October against Miami (Fla.).

The game was Clemson’s second multi-interception game of the season and its first since Oct. 2 vs. Boston College.

Defensive tackle Myles Murphy recorded 1.5 sacks, the third multi-sack game of the season.

Murphy forced a fumble on a full sack in the second quarter, his first forced fumble of the season and the fourth of his career.

Defensive tackle Tyler Davis recorded his first full sack of the season to push his career sack total to 9.0.

Defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro pushed his season-high sack total to 2.5 with a full sack.

With a second-quarter sack, linebacker Trenton Simpson became the first Clemson player with at least half a sack in four straight games since Clelin Ferrell in 2018.

Defensive end K.J. Henry added his first full sack of the season in the second quarter.

Placekicker B.T. Potter went 3-for-3 on field goals and 4-for-4 on PATs.

Potter, who was 3-for-3 on field goals last week, has now kicked at least three field goals in consecutive games for the first time in his career.

During the game, Potter (312 career points) became the eighth player in school history with 300 career points. 

Potter set a season-long with a 49-yard field goal in the first quarter and added another 49-yard field goal in the second quarter.

During the game, Potter (312) passed Travis Zachery (300 from 1998-01), Nelson Welch (301 from 1991-94) and C.J. Spiller (308 from 2006-09) to move into fifth on Clemson's all-time leaderboard for career points. Passing Welch would also push Potter into fourth in Clemson history in career kicking points.

Punter Will Spiers started his 66th game to add to his school record for career starts. Wide receiver/holder Will Swinney's career total as Clemson's primary holder parallels Spiers' run as starting punter.

Spiers, Swinney and linebacker James Skalski each played in their 66th career game to extend their school record for most career games played.

Swinney gave Clemson its first lead on a six-yard rushing touchdown on a fake field goal in the first quarter. 

The rush came on Swinney’s first carry of the season and the fourth of his career.

The touchdown was the second total touchdown of Swinney’s career, joining an eight-yard touchdown reception against Louisville in 2018.

Running back Darien Rencher recorded a 32-yard kickoff return in the first quarter on his first career kickoff return.

Captains for the contest were cornerback Mario Goodrich, wide receiver Max May, running back Darien Rencher and defensive end Regan Upshaw.

Linebacker Trenton Simpson led Clemson down the Hill with the American flag on Military Appreciation Day. His father, Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy D. Simpson, served 17 overseas tours since 1994 before retiring this past May after a decorated career with the Army Rangers.

The Notes: Clemson 44, UConn 7

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