By: Ethan Smith, News Editor
A football game was indeed played in Clemson, South Carolina despite Hurricane Florence’s impact on the college football world. The Eagles entered the game against the second-ranked Tigers 2-0 with wins over South Carolina State and UMass, but Clemson was a much different beast and proved it on Saturday.
The Eagles shutout a tough Tigers defense in the first quarter, forcing two turnovers and a missed field goal. Kindle Vildor forced an interception on Kelly Bryant on the first drive of the game for Clemson while Raymond Johnson III would recover a fumble late in the first quarter.
Clemson’s offense ignited in the following quarter, scoring 21 points on three drives of 70 yards or more. Star QB Trevor Lawrence threw for 194 yards, but the Tigers offense was fueled on the ground as RB Travis Etienne ran for 162 yards and two touchdowns. RB Adam Choice and RB Tavien Feaster added touchdowns on the ground as well.
QB Shai Werts would score the Eagles lone points in the final quarter to bring the game within 17 points, but the Eagles couldn’t capitalize late, leading to the Tigers running away with the game, quite literally.
Much of the game was dictated in the trenches, with Clemson’s defensive front demolishing the Eagles offensive line en route to five sacks and seven tackles for loss. The Tigers also held the Eagles rushing attack to 80 total yards, with RB Wesley Fields picking up 27 of those yards.
The Eagles took their first loss of the season in rough fashion against a superior opponent. The season rolls on for Chad Lunsford’s team as they return to Statesboro to face off against the Red Wolves of Arkansas State.