Clemson survived a shaky first half to earn its first win of the season, a 49-point victory over Charleston Southern that soothes some of the sting from the Tigers’ loss to Duke in the opener.
“We responded and it was good to see them do that, especially at quarterback,” coach Dabo Swinney said. “We really were playing well everywhere except for a couple mistakes, but they were very costly and that’s exactly what happened last week.”
Now the Tigers (1-1) shift their focus to Florida Atlantic, who enter the game on the heels of a disappointing 17-10 loss to Ohio. After the Owls jumped out to an early 10-point lead, the Bobcats rattled off 17 straight points to take down FAU.
Defensively, the Owls (1-1) tallied six tackles for loss, three turnovers and a sack, which gives coach Tom Herman a reason to believe in his team moving forward.
“I told our team that I still believe,” Herman said. “I’ve been doing this a long time and our best is really good. I’m confident that we’ll have learned the lessons that were presented to us tonight and be better because of it.”
After the Buccaneers took the lead in Death Valley following a Leon Thomas pick-six, Clemson responded with 45 unanswered points to put away their in-state opponent. Sophomore quarterback Cade Klubnik was encouraged by the offensive performance and senses chemistry is developing at the right time for the Tigers.
“I have so much confidence in the preparation that we’ve had,” Klubnik said. “I feel like we really had two bad plays the whole game and other than that I think we played a freaking great game on offense.”
And Klubnik is right to have confidence in an offense that nearly recorded 700 yards in their highest-scoring output since 2020.
While the offense remains under intense scrutiny, the Clemson defense showed serious teeth last week. The unit recorded 10 tackles for loss, forced eight three-and-outs, intercepted a pass and registered two sacks while allowing just 73 total yards.
Saturday’s matchup is an unfamiliar one to both programs, with the lone previous meeting coming in 2006, a game in which the Tigers recorded a 56-0 shutout.
–Field Level Media