Sept 7, 2002
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By JEFFREY COLLINSAssociated Press Writer
CLEMSON, S.C. – Backup tailback Yusef Kelly ran for 97 yards and three touchdowns as Clemson beat Louisiana Tech 33-13 on Saturday.
Clemson kicker Aaron Hunt had a career-high four field goals and Kevin Youngblood caught a career-best 10 passes for 89 yards as the Tigers (1-1) beat the Bulldogs (1-1) for the second time in nine months. They beat Louisiana Tech in last year’s Humanitarian Bowl 49-24.
Kelly, who carried the ball 25 times, replaced starting tailback Bernard Rambert, out with tendinitis in his right foot.
Louisiana Tech’s Luke McCown went 26-of-44 for 213 yards, but his offense sputtered in the third quarter, and punted twice on fourth-and-1. Both times, Clemson drove for field goals to take a 23-13 lead early in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs had a chance to cut into Clemson’s lead, but Justin Miller picked off a fourth-down pass in the end zone with about seven minutes left.
On the next drive, Maurice Fountain picked off McCown for a third time. Kelly sealed the win for the Tigers with a a 2-yard touchdown run two plays later to give Clemson its final margin.
A week after holding Georgia to just 203 yards, Clemson’s defense again put together a solid performance. The unit, which allowed an average of nearly 395 yards a game last year, gave up 293 against the Bulldogs.
Willie Simmons, starting his second career game for the Tigers, went 25-of-43 for 242 yards and no interceptions.
The Tigers again had a sloppy game. A blocked punt and a fumble led to field goals by the Bulldogs, and Louisiana Tech’s lone touchdown drive was kept alive by a 15-yard face mask penalty.
The Tigers committed nine penalties for 79 yards. Clemson also failed to convert a fake field goal as Chad Jasmin came up about 6 yards short.
Clemson opened the game with a 55-yard touchdown drive capped by Kelly’s 1-yard run. Simmons kept the drive alive with a 2-yard keeper on fourth-and-1 from the Louisiana Tech 21.
But turnovers let the Bulldogs stay in the game early. Josh Scobee kicked two field goals in the first quarter, including a 51-yarder that tied his career best.
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