Cade Klubnik accounts for four TDs as Clemson rolls past FAU

Sep 16, 2023; Clemson, South Carolina; Clemson tight end Jake Briningstool (9) catches a pass for a touchdown against Florida Atlantic against Florida Atlantic at Memorial Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY NETWORK

First-year starter Cade Klubnik accounted for more than 200 yards and four total touchdowns to lead the Clemson Tigers (2-1) to a 48-14 victory over the Florida Atlantic Owls (1-2) on Saturday in Clemson, S.C.

Clemson recorded just 367 total yards in the game but had a season-low one turnover. The Tigers have six turnovers through three games.

On the other side, the Owls recorded 293 yards of total offense, but two fourth-quarter touchdowns spoiled Clemson’s hope for its first shutout of the season.

The Tigers got off to a quick start. Nate Wiggins intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown to spoil the Owls’ opening drive. It was the first of three first-quarter touchdowns for Clemson, with Klubnik finding freshman wide receiver Tyler Brown and junior tight end Jake Briningstool in the end zone.

Junior running back Phil Mafah, who led the Tigers with 42 rushing yards, opened the second quarter with a 19-yard touchdown run. Klubnik ran from 1 yard out a few minutes later for his rushing touchdown of the year, which gave the Tigers a 34-point lead at the break.

After a sluggish start to the second half, Klubnik connected with Brown for his second touchdown of the game. Brown finished with three receptions for 49 total yards, by far the biggest output of his young career.

Wes Goodwin’s defense came close to earning the program’s first shutout since the 2021 season, but reserve quarterback Michael Johnson Jr. powered his way into the end zone in the fourth quarter for the Owls.

Freshman Clemson running back Domonique Thomas scored on a 2-yard run, his second touchdown in as many games, to complete the Tigers’ scoring.

But it was FAU that closed out the scoring on a 33-yard touchdown pass from junior receiver Javion Posey to junior wide receiver Devin Price.

Both teams return to the field next weekend, when the Tigers host No. 3 Florida State and the Owls travel to take on Illinois.

–Field Level Media

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