Clemson University blows out Charleston Southern University in home opener

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Published: Sep. 9, 2023 at 12:33 PM EDT
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4th quarter

The Clemson University Tigers defeated the Charleston Southern University Buccaneers 66-17.

The Tigers went for it on fourth down and reached the first down marker.

Running back Tristan Rigby gained 35 yards on the ground, bringing the Tigers to the Bucs 27-yard line.

The Tigers scored again after shutting down the Bucs defense, making the game 66-18 with four minutes left in the game. Clemson’s defense did not allow a score in the second half of the game.

Running back Jay Haynes made an eight-yard run to bring the lead 58-19 with a little over 8 minutes left in the game.

The Tigers’ offense continued to look unstoppable up against the CSU defense, Clemson was getting anything they wanted, including receiver Hampton Earle making a one-handed catch over a CSU defender.

To take time off the clock, the Tigers started running the ball with Keith Adams Jr. making huge gains on the field.

A quick three-and-out for the Buccanneers, gave the Tigers the ball back after a 22-yard return was called back due to a penalty call for a block to the back, Clemson started on their own side of the field.

3rd quarter

The third quarter concluded with a 25-yard pass from Klubnik to Sapp, extending the lead, 52-17.

The Tiger came alive in the third quarter, scoring 28 unanswered points, with the Bucs having no answer to combat the skill and size of the Clemson Tigers.

Clemson’s smothering defense continued to overwhelm the Buccaneers, with CSU creating virtually little to no offense throughout the third quarter.

A 69-yard from Klubknik to Collins extended the lead to 44-17. The Tigers looked like they finally figured out the Bucs’ defense.

With the Buccaneers on offense, a receiver was hit by a Tigers defensive back so hard that the ball fell out of his hands was fell out his hands and into Clemson’s Christopher Vizzina’s where he ran it to the touchdown for a pick-six.

A Shipley run brought the games within the 10 yard-line, and on the next play, Maffah ran the ball into the touchdown, giving Clemson a 30-17 lead. An extra point made by Dunn added a point to the Tigers, giving the Tigers a 31-17 lead.

Klubknik continued to sling the ball around, with Shipley adding important yards on the ground.

CSU received the kick-off to start off the third quarter. a quick three-and-out and Clemson gained control of the ball just before the 50-yard-line.

2nd quarter

The Tigers scored a field goal with a 24-17 lead heading into halftime.

A horse collar penalty against the Bucs brought the Tigers to the Clemson 42-yard line. The Tigers continued to hold off the Bucs while attacking the defense with the ball on multiple sides of the field.

JD Moore continued to have a good game on the ground gaining yards on third down. CSU Kicker Babbush was out on the field before a timeout. When Babbush came back on the field, he kicked a 40-plus-yard field goal, bringing CSU within four of Clemson.

CSU started to show life with a few good plays but Bucs quarterback Bartalo was sacked by Nate Wiggins for a loss of eight yards.

The Buccaneer continued to use the golden rush triple offense, when two defenders are read, the play is a triple option. Leaving a defender unblocked creates a numerical advantage for the offense. finding little success against the Tigers.

The pressure of the Tigers continued to stifle the Buccaneers’ offense, the team struggled mightily to gain yards with the pressure being difficult for the Bucs to fight through

A Cade Klubnik pass to Antonio Williams for 29 yards, and a Shipley run, led to a touchdown caught by Williams, giving Clemson the lead again.

Freshman Brown caught the punt from CSU and ran inside the Bucs’ 40-yard line. Gaining yards was not the problem for the Tigers, it was the mental errors that hurt the team.

CSU running back JD Moore had two running plays that gained two yards. Clemson adjusted, leading to a quick three-and-out.

1st quarter

A three-yard run by Phil Maffah brought Clemson within one, and the extra point by Dunn tied the time.

Shipley made a run, the Tigers seemed to still be stunned after the loss on Monday, and the Buccaneers did not have a first down in the quarter.

The Bucs brought press Klubnik, which led to him throwing an interception and a 66-yard return giving CSU the lead.

The Tigers were in Bucs’ territory after Collins caught a pass from Klubnik, with the Tigers moving along the field with seven straight yards for positive yards, it looked like Clemson was trying to tire the Bucs’ defense out.

A 13-yard run by Will Shipley continued Clemson’s momentum, and the gain was followed by two back-to-back throws by Troy Stellato.

The Buccaneers’ recovery of an onside kick was followed by a quick three-and-out, with Clemson starting on CSU’s 1-yard line. An 18-yard first down catch by wide receiver Beaux Collins for 17 yards, bringing the Tigers to the Clemson 18-yard line and a first down.

CSU followed the touchdown with an onside kick and recovered the ball. The Buccaneers came up with a game plan that the Tigers were not expecting.

Clemson went for it on fourth down multiple times, and a fumble by Clemson at their own 29-yard line, which led to a touchdown by the Buccaneers, tying the game.

The defense of the Tigers stifled the Paladins’ offense, making it harder for the team to get going. Clemson University scores after marching up the field to lead Charleston Southern at the quarter mark of the first quarter.


The Clemson University Tigers (0-1) take on the Charleston Southern University Buccaneers (1-0) in the first Tigers home game of the season.

The Tigers are coming off a disappointing 28-7 loss to the Duke University Blue Devils, Clemson will be looking to avoid its first back-to-back losses for the first time in Dabo Swinney’s era as head coach.

Saturday’s game will be the 123rd home opener in Tiger football history as Clemson looks to move 38-0 all time will be the program’s 123rd home opener and the Tigers are looking to improve to 38-0 all-time against Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) opponents.

Clemson’s offense will be looking to click after it struggled to get going against the Blue Devils, quarterback Cade Klubnik will need to establish a connection with wide receiver Adam Randall because the wideout only had one catch for eight yards in Clemson’s last game.

The game against the Buccaneers begins at 2 p.m. at the Clemson Memorial Stadium in Death Valley. The game will broadcast on the ACC Network, ESPN, and on ESPN apps.

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