Clemson opened its 103rd year of football with a resounding 33-0 shutout win over nearby Furman under a scorching early September sun. The Tigers held Furman without a touchdown for the eighth straight game, dating to 1961. Clemson, behind the leadership of first-year starting quarterback Brandon Streeter, showed a balanced offensive attack, passing for 202 yards and rushing for 212, while the Tiger “D” held the Paladins to only 125 total yards.
The flood gates opened in the middle of the first quarter when Clemson scored 17 points in the span of 3:05. Javis Austin capped an 11-play, 49-yard, 5:54 drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge. Two minutes later, Richardson kicked a 25-yard field goal, which came off a Adrian Dingle caused fumble deep in Paladin territory. Less than a minute later, a snap that sailed over quarterback Justin Hill’s head was scooped up by linebacker Chris Jones for the senior’s first career touchdown. It was also the Tigers’ first fumble recovery for a touchdown since the 1989 Gator Bowl, when Chester McGlockton fell on a loose ball for six against West Virginia.
Richardson added a 22-yard field goal with three seconds left in the first half, giving Clemson a 20-0 lead. That drive was led by red-shirt freshman quarterback Woodrow Dantzler, who rushed for 65 yards on 12 carries, most of which came in a shotgun formation. The drive comprised 18 plays, 99 yards of total offense, and took 8:49, the second longest drive as far as time in Clemson history.
Dingle was the star of the Paladin’s first drive of the second half. He recorded three sacks in the span of six plays. The three sacks tied a Tiger record held by many.
After another Richardson field goal, thanks in part to Rod Gardner’s 29-yard catch and run, this time from 39 yards out, Clemson drove 45 yards in four plays to go ahead 30-0. Streeter connected with Mal Lawyer, who had a team best 76 receiving yards on three catches, for 37 yards to set up Terry Witherspoon’s one yard touchdown run.
The Tiger defense stood up to a Paladin scoring threat early in the fourth quarter. Furman had first and goal at the Clemson eight thanks to a 50-yard pass hookup from Hill to Desmond Kitchings. But Hill’s run around right end from the two on fourth down came up one yard short. The drive was the only one into Clemson’s red-zone.
Clemson then took the ball 91 yards in 10 plays to set up Richardson’s fourth field goal, a 24-yard boot. The drive was highlighted by Lawyer’s second catch of over 37 yards, a 39-yard reception.
Red-shirt freshman Travis Zachery had 73 yards rushing in his first collegiate game. Streeter was impressive as well in his first game as the Tiger full time starter. He completed 11 of 14 passes for 183 yards and no interceptions. Richardson’s four field goals was one short of the Clemson record, as he scored 15 of the Tigers’ 33 points. He was the only player in the nation that week to convert four field goals in four attempts.
On the defensive side, first time starting inside linebackers O.J. Childress and Jones tied for the team lead with nine tackles apiece. Dingle had four tackles-for-loss, three sacks, a blocked field goal, a caused fumble, and two quarterback pressures all in just 27 plays. Rahim Abdullah also had a stellar game with two tackles-for-loss and a sack. Sixty-three Tigers saw action in the game, including 18 freshmen.
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