We continue the game into the second half, as Clemson took control of the game with a 17-3 lead heading into halftime. The Tigers would receive the ball first, but would strike out with two stalled drives gaining only 10 combined yards. Texas A&M would do the same with their first two drives, gaining a net total of 15 yards. It wasn’t until Clemson’s third possession midway through the quarter that the offense would find its footing again.
Clemson Ball, 2nd & 10, Clem 17 , 8:16
- Following an incomplete pass to Justyn Ross, Trevor Lawrence completes an 8-yard pass to Travis Etienne and is taken down by Demani Richardson. Richardson, who is called for a horsecollar tackle, moves the Tigers an additional 15 yards to the Clemson 40 fand an automatic 1st down.
- Trevor Lawrence completes a pass on a clever pitch sweep to Justyn Ross for 14 yds to the A&M 28 for a 1st down.
- Lawrence’s pass is incomplete to Tee Higgins. However, pass interference is called on defensive back Elijah Blades, which moves Clemson to the A&M 13 and an automatic first down.
- Following a nine-yard run to the A&M 4-yard line, Lyn-J Dixon scores on his next carry, capping off a seven-play, 83 yard drive in 2:32. B.T. Potter kick is good.
Score: Texas A&M 3, Clemson 24
This game demonstrated Dixon’s ability as the No.2 running back, providing the explosive element between the tackles and on the edge. This is especially the case for the former, as backs like Adam Choice (last season’s primary backup) did not have the kind of explosiveness on the edge or ability to move in the open field like Dixon.
Texas A&M Ball, 1st & 10, A&M 25, 5:44
- Kellen Mond comes out with quick consecutive strikes to receiver Jhamon Ausbon, who hauls in consecutive catches of 16 and 10, respectively.
- However, A&M is briefly stalled on their drive thanks to a monster sack by K’Von Wallace, who put on the wheels to close it out.
- However, Ausbon comes up big yet again for the Aggies, hauling in a 16-yard reception on 2nd and 20, setting up a much-better third down scenario.
- Despite the completion, Clemson’s defense won’t be denied, stuffing the Aggies offense and forcing another punt.
Clemson Ball, 1st & 10, CU 11, 2:42
- Following a two-yard gain by Etienne, the offense moves forward with an eight-yard completion to Ross. Etienne then takes his next carry a full 10 yards to the Clemson 31 for a 1st down.
- After an incomplete pass to Ross, Dixon takes a handoff 10 yards, which is subsequently followed by a face-mask penalty from A&M’s Charles Oliver. moving the Tigers to A&M’s 44.
- A pass to Ladson for no gain rounds out the 3rd Quarter.
End of 3rd.
Score: Texas A&M 3, Clemson 24
Start of 4th
Clemson Ball, 2nd and 10, T A&M 44, 14:53
- Two incomplete passes force the Tigers to punt the ball back to the Aggies.
TX A&M Ball, 1st & 10, T A&M 20, 14:17
- Following a five yard run by Isaiah Spiller on 1st down and zero yards on 2nd, Mond completes two long strikes of 12 and 16 to Kendrick Rogers and Spiller, respectively, bringing the Aggies to the Clemson 47.
- Mond continues to find the holes in the Tigers’ zone defense, finding Rogers again for 16 yards, driving deeper into Clemson territory to the 31.
- After missing a pass to Quartney Davis on 1st down, Mond finds him again for 15 more yards, moving into the redzone at the Clemson 16.
- Forcing the Aggies to 3rd and 5 following short completions to Ausbon and Davis, Clemson’s defense doesn’t break, with their additional pressure forcing Mond to throwing an interception to Tanner Muse.
Clemson Ball, 1st & 10, CLEM 1, 9:11
- After some odd calls and review from the referees after a carry from Dixon that barely managed to get out the endzone, Clemson gains some additional space courtesy of a 19-yard run from Dixon.
- Dixon breaks off 14 total yards on his next two carries, moving Clemson’s offense closer to midfield.
- Trevor Lawrence completes a 25-yard pass to Joseph Ngata, moving the Tigers into Aggies territory at the 41-yard line.
- After short gains by Etienne and Reicher, an underthrown ball from Lawrence, intended for an open Ross on a 9-route, is intercepted by the Aggies.
Aggies Ball, 1st & 10, A&M 9, 5:41
- Regaining possession, A&M moves the ball down the field courtesy of a three and six yard carry from Spiller and an eight-yard reception from Rogers, moving the ball to the TX A&M 35.
- Mond completes a pass to Davis for nine yards. Wallace is penalized for roughing the passer during the play, moving the ball into Clemson territory to the CLEM 41.
- Forced into 3rd and 11 from the CLEM 42, Mond responds with another 16-yard pass to Davis to the CLEM 26.
- Following a seven yard completion to Rogers to move the Aggies into the redzone, Spiller takes his next two carries 11 yards to the CLEM 8 and six yards to the CLEM 2.
- Mond’s pass attempts to Davis and Ausbon are broken up by Muse and Terrell, respectively, forcing a final 4th down play for the Aggies.
- Following an A&M timeout, Mond completes his first touchdown pass of the day to Jalen Wydermyer with six seconds left in the game. However, it’s too little too late for the Aggies.
Final: Texas A&M 10, Clemson 24
Clemson passes what could end up being its stiffest test in the season despite some mistakes on offense. While it certainly feels that the offense left points on the board, the defense improved dramatically from its performance against Kellen Mond a year ago. The improvement of the Tiger secondary was on display in this one, as the defense relied heavily on nickel and dime sets to throw Mond off and force him to make throws into zone coverage. It looks like Kendrick’s found a permanent home at corner, and the defensive line is the same as it ever was: dominant.
On the other side, Dixon continues to show he’s ready to shoulder the load as the No. 2 back (and likely showed fans part of the reason Feaster might’ve transferred). Lawrence got back to form, and the offensive line is thriving in the run game, especially with Cervenka at right guard.
Now, on to Week 3 against the Syracuse Orange.