No. 2 Clemson pounds Furman 48-7, QB question unanswered
By JEFFREY COLLINS Associated Press
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - Freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw for three touchdowns and No. 2 Clemson scored on all five of his drives as the Tigers opened their season with a 48-7 rout of Furman on Saturday.
Even with Lawrence's impressive debut, going 9 for 15 for 137 yards and no interceptions, senior starter Kelly Bryant also shined. He went 10 for 16 for 127 yards and a touchdown and ran five times for 44 yards and another score.
It was the romp everyone expected as Clemson overmatched the Paladins from the Football Championship Subdivision.
The Tigers' front four on defense dominated Furman's option attack. The Paladins (0-1) gained just 163 yards and the one touchdown came with 1:18 left after Clemson emptied its bench on a steamy afternoon.
Both Clemson quarterbacks showed signs of brilliance and some shortcomings. Lawrence's best pass was a 40-yard strike where only Cornell Powell could get to it when Furman jumped offside and the freshman recognized he had a free play. Several of Lawrence's incompletions were behind receivers or overthrown.
Bryant, who started every game in Clemson's playoff run last year, threw several passes at the feet of his receivers. He did show some nice moves on a 35-yard touchdown run - mobility Lawrence doesn't quite have. Bryant has thrown for 15 touchdowns and run for 15 TDs in his career.
Furman: Nobody appeared to be injured. The Paladins picked up $360,000 for their short trip to Death Valley. The ride back to Greenville is about 30 miles and the bus has air conditioning.
Clemson: A no pressure, no injury opener was just what the Tigers wanted. Freshman running back Lyn-J Dixon ran six times for 89 yards in an impressive debut. Kicker Greg Huegel returned from a knee injured suffered in practice last September to make five extra points and two field goals, including a 49-yarder. The Tigers haven't lost to a Southern Conference team since 1952 (the year they left for the Atlantic Coast Conference) and are now 33-0 against FCS teams, winning by less than 10 points just once.
The No. 2 team in the country beating a FCS team by 41 isn't going to move the poll needle much - unless No. 1 Alabama loses.
Furman: The Paladins get to face someone their own size when they head to Elon.
Clemson: Everyone will get a better idea if this year's Tigers should be a favorite to make a fourth straight playoff appearance as they head to Texas A&M.
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