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(Saturday, September 7th)
Final Score: (4) Clemson 52, South Carolina State 13
Clemson, SC (Sports Network) - Martin Jenkins and Darius Robinson each returned interceptions for touchdowns, leading fourth-ranked Clemson to a 52-13 rout of South Carolina State.
There could have been somewhat of a letdown for the Tigers (2-0) after their thrilling 38-35 season-opening win against Georgia, but Clemson received a strong defensive effort and a solid game from quarterback Tajh Boyd as well as backup Cole Stoudt.
The Tigers racked up 512 yards of total offense while running 95 plays, while holding South Carolina State to 241 yards.
"Today was a great day to develop the entire team," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. "I thought we had good focus where everyone played well and did their job."
Boyd completed 14-of-23 passes for 169 yards and added a touchdown on the ground as Clemson built a 38-7 halftime cushion. Stoudt got plenty of playing time and missed only one of his 20 passes for 143 yards with a trio of touchdowns.
"I believe Cole can be a starter at any place in the ACC," Boyd said of his backup. "I think he proved that today."
Richard Cue threw for 84 yards with a score and the two picks for South Carolina State (0-2) of the MEAC. Tyler McDonald racked up 138 yards on four receptions, including touchdowns of 63 and 51 yards in defeat.
Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 38-yard field goal on Clemson's first series, which was aided by a fourth-down conversion, and Justin Taylor fumbled on South Carolina State's initial series. The Tigers again tried on fourth down inside the SC State 15 and came up short, but got the ball back after a punt and went 57 yards for a touchdown.
Boyd converted a 3rd-and-8 with an 18-yard pass to Charone Peake, then leapt over the pile from a yard away for the touchdown and a 10-0 lead. Clemson's defense extended the advantage on the first play after the kickoff, as Jenkins picked off Cue and raced 52 yards for a touchdown.
Robinson then intercepted Cue early in the second quarter and took it back 35 yards for a 24-0 advantage, but Tyler McDonald burned the Clemson secondary on the next South Carolina State possession when he hauled in a Cue crossing pass and raced 63 yards to the end zone.
Stoudt took over behind center for Boyd on Clemson's next series and threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Peake for a 31-7 lead.
Boyd directed the next Clemson series, a 9-play, 77-yard trek that ended with a 19-yard run by D.J. Howard. Stoudt again took over in the second half and threw scoring passes of 17 and 26 yards to Germone Hopper to make it 52-7.
McDonald scored on a 51-yard TD pass from TeDarrius Wiley for the final margin.
Clemson is off until the Sept. 19 ACC opener at NC State ... Redshirt freshmen Chad Kelly and Nick Schuessler also saw action at quarterback for Clemson, going 3-of-8 for 17 yards ... C.J. Davidson led Clemson with 63 rushing yards ... Cue finished 7-of-18 passing and was sacked three times.
09/07 18:03:24 ET
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