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Notes From Clemson's Win Over LSU

Clemson vs. LSU Notes
Photo From ESPN

·      LSU was ranked seventh in the nation by USA Today entering tonight's game.  Clemson's 25-24 victory is the highest ranked SEC team defeated by an ACC team since Clemson beat sixth ranked Tennessee in the 2004 (2003 season) Chick-fil-A Bowl 27-14.

Team Notes
·      Clemson had four sacks in the first quarter, the most by the Tigers in a quarter this year.  Clemson’s high for the year for a game is five against Wake Forest.  Clemson ended the night with six sacks, a season high and tied for the second most in a bowl game by the Clemson defense. The Clemson record for a bowl game is seven against Tennessee in the 2003 (season) Chick-fil-A Bowl.

·      Clemson trailed 14-13 at halftime, the first time Clemson has trailed at the half this year.

·      Clemson had one touchdown rushing and one receiving in the first half.  Clemson has had at least one of each in every game this year and the streak is at 15 games in a row over two years.

·      Clemson finishes the year with 11 wins, just the fourth team in Clemson history with at least 11 wins.  The others are the 1948 (11-0), 1978 (11-1) and 1981 (12-0), Clemson teams.

·      This is the highest ranked team Clemson has beaten in a bowl game since the 2004 (2003 season) Chick-fil-A Bowl when Clemson defeated sixth ranked Tennessee, 27-14.  Clemson is now 4-2 in bowl games against teams ranked seventh or better.

·      Clemson trailed 24-13 entering the fourth period tonight, then came back to win 25-24.  This is the first time Clemson has trailed going into the fourth quarter and came back to win a bowl game since 1959 Bluebonnet Bowl.  That year Clemson trailed TCU 7-3 going into the fourth period, then scored 20 straight points to win 23-7.  That TCU team, like tonight’s LSU team, was ranked seventh in the nation entering the game.

·      This is the fifth win over a top 11 team for Dabo Swinney.  He defeated a third ranked Virginia Tech team in the ACC Championship game and that was the highest ranked team he has defeated.

·      Tonight marked the highest ranked SEC team Clemson has defeated since downing sixth ranked Tennessee in the 2004 Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Player Notes
·      DeAndre Hopkins established a Clemson record for reception yardage in a season on Clemson’s first touchdown drive of the game in the first period.  He had two receptions for 29 yards on the drive to give him 1243 receiving yards for the year. He finished the game with 13 receptions for 191 yards and finished the season with 82 receptions for 1405 yards.  He broke Sammy Watkins record of 1219 receiving yards last year.

·      This is the third straight game Hopkins has had at least 100 receiving yards in a bowl game, a first in Clemson history.

·      Hopkins caught an 11-yard scoring pass from Tajh Boyd in the first half, giving him 10 straight games with at least one touchdown reception.   The record of nine in a row had been held by Herman Moore of Virginia in 1990.  He also had a 12 yard touchdown catch from Boyd in the fourth period, giving him 18 touchdown receptions for the year, an ACC season record. Clarkston Hines had the old record with 17 in 1989 for Duke..

·      Hopkins seventh catch of the first half was the 200th of his career.  He and Aaron Kelly (232) are the only Clemson players with at least 200 career receptions in school history.

·      Hopkins tied his own Clemson record for receptions in a game with 13.  He also had 13 in the opener against Auburn, the first game of the season in the same facility.

·      Tajh Boyd had 368 yards of total offense tonight on 79 total offensive plays.  He set a Clemson record for plays in a game by a quarterback.  He finished the season with a Clemson record 4410, breaking his own previous record of 4046 set last year.  He is the first player in ACC history with two 4000-yard seasons in terms of total offense.

·      Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 37-yard field goal on the last play of the game to give Clemson the 25-24 win.  It is the just the fourth walk-off field goal in Clemson history.  He has two of the four.  He also had a 43-yard field goal to beat Wake Forest last year, a win that put Clemson into the ACC Championship game.  The others were done by Mark Buchholz against South Carolina in 2007 and David Treadwell at Georgia in 1986.

·      Boyd also set the ACC record for touchdown passes in the first half with his 35th of the year. He threw another in the second half to finish with 36 for the season. He broke the record of 34 that had been held by Phillip Rivers of NC State in 2003.

·      Dalton Freeman started his 49th game at center for the Tigers tonight. That ties the record of 49 starts by Landon Walker, a tackle who played from 2008-2011.

Scott Rhymer can be reached at scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com
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