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Hot Start Pushes Clemson Past Furman 35-12

Clemson is 2-0 after an up and down win over Furman.

Furman v Clemson Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

First Quarter

Clemson opened things off with an easy 75 yard drive that ended with a Will Shipley touchdown run. Shipley’s touchdown came after Joseph Ngata made a great catch and landed just short of the endzone. Furman was not going to go quitly. Taking a page from GT’s book, they mixed in some screens to keep negate the pass rush. The Paladins were also able to use some uptempo playcalling to catch Clemson off guard. Tigers hung on and held FU to a field goal. Clemson then marched straight up the field and DJ hit Jake Bringingstool on a nice rollout pass to put Clemson up 14-3.

Second Quarter

DJ continued to look sharp as he orchestrated two more touchdown drives, one with Shipey breaking off a 17 yard touchdown run and one right before halftime with Kobe Pace pounding in the score at the goal line. Cade Klubnik came in for one drive but didn’t have quite the same crispness he did in the Georgia Tech game.

Defensively has been more rough. Furman was shockingly able to move the ball on Clemson. the Paladins eventually found the endzone. Furman might’ve found the endzone a second time if the Tigers hadn’t forced a redzone fumble.

Third Quarter

DJ throws a money pass to Beaux Collins to make it 35-9. It came off of a nice pick from Barrett Carter. After holding Furman to a punt, Clemson came out and had a great first play wiped out by an illegible downfield man penalty. For the first time all day DJ looked out of rhythm and Clemson couldn’t get much. Tigers punt. Furman continues to move the ball on Clemson’s defense, but has to settle for a field goal. Going in to close out the third a DJ fastball goes off Baylon Spector’s hands and is picked by Furman. This is Clemson’s first interception thrown all year.

Fourth Quarter

More sloppiness from the Tigers. Things look promising as the Tigers forced a punt, but Will Taylor muffed the ball, setting Furman up in good field position. Furman was able to slice its way down the field until Clemson bowed up with their backs against the endzone. Clemson studfed Furman on a 4th and goal attempt. Bend but don’t break has been a huge theme for this Tiger defense today. Klubnik came out for the next drive, and once again had trouble getting anything going, forcing Clemson to punt. Furman moves the ball some more but the clock mercifully expires.

Quick Notes.

A lot for Clemson to clean up on defense, but I will say only giving up one touchdown was an encouraging part of an otherwise uninspired effort. Clemson will almost certainly see teams go screen heavy in the future. Here’s where Wes Goodwin can earn his check. One of the best things about Brent Venables was that he never let something beat him twice. Pitt gashed Clemson’s defense on shovel passes in 2016, and to this day Clemson’s defense will snuff those out in their sleep. In 2012 Georgia Tech gave Clemson fits. The rest of Brent’s games against Paul Johnson contained the option, and the only loss (2014) was due to two pick sixes by GT. Hopefully Wes has figured this out from his mentor, and Clemson shuts down the screens from now on.

DJ looked sharp early on, got out of rhythm in the second half. His WR’s dropped some passes. Definitely pleased overall with his game today, but hope that he can work on not letting bad plays put him out of rhythm. Clemson’s offense also seemed to be a lot less efficient once Shipley was done for the day. Ship makes everyone else better.

Cade had a freshman day. Again, not every 18 year old is going to be Deshaun Watson or Trevor Lawrence ready in year one. He’ll be fine, bounce back quick. This is DJ’s team right now, which will let Cade grow.