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No. 6 Clemson Tigers rebound with easy win over SC State

Sep 11, 2021; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei (5) looks to throw against the South Carolina State Bulldogs during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2021; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei (5) looks to throw against the South Carolina State Bulldogs during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

D.J. Uiagalelei threw for 171 yards and accounted for three touchdowns Saturday as No. 6 Clemson established a 28-0 first-quarter lead on its way to a 49-3 rout of visiting FCS opponent South Carolina State.

Will Shipley added 80 rushing yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers (1-1), who had a predictably easy bounceback from their season-opening loss to then-No. 5 Georgia last week.

Backup quarterback Taisun Phommachanh added 75 yards passing and a touchdown as Clemson finished with 504 total yards offensively, converting 8 of 13 third downs. The Tigers registered touchdowns on all seven trips inside the Bulldogs’ 20-yard line.

Corey Fields Jr. completed 10 of 24 passes for 132 yards with an interception for South Carolina State (0-2). The Bulldogs avoided a shutout when Dyson Roberts converted a 27-yard field goal with 19 seconds left in the first half.

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By then, Clemson already scored all the points it needed, thanks to its first-quarter explosion. It started when Uiagalelei scored on a 4-yard run 3:22 into the game, capping a game-opening 72-yard drive.

Shipley made it 14-0 on a 7-yard run with 7:20 left in the quarter, followed by Kobe Pace’s 2-yard rush up the middle at the 3:21 mark. Will Taylor’s 51-yard punt return set up Uiagalelei’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Justyn Ross with 2:21 remaining.

Uiagalelei upped the margin to 35-0 with 6:43 left in the second quarter on a 5-yard run, finishing a six-play, 84-yard drive.

The Tigers tacked on two more third-quarter touchdowns. Shipley polished off a 65-yard drive with a 13-yard run at the 9:39 mark, followed by Phommachanh’s 14-yard scoring strike to J-Lyn Dixon with 3:52 remaining.

Clemson flooded the field with backups and walk-ons for most of a scoreless fourth quarter. But the reserves kept the Bulldogs out of the end zone despite Will Vereen’s four catches for 96 yards.

The Tigers limited South Carolina State to 235 total yards and nine first downs.

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–Field Level Media