Clemson used a youthful offense and a veteran defense to lead the way to a 48-7 victory against Furman Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
Freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence passed for 137 yards and three touchdowns as the Tigers rolled in their season-opening game in front of 80,048.
The Tigers’ leading rusher was freshman Lyn-J Dixon, who had 89 yards on six carries, including a 61-yard jaunt.
Clemson posted its 31st consecutive victory against Furman - the longest winning streak against a single opponent in program history. The Tigers improved to 43-10-4 all-time against the Paladins, whose last win in the series came in 1936.
Clemson is a perfect 33-0 against Football Championship Subdivision teams since the division was formed prior to the 1978 season.
Clemson is bidding for a program-record eighth consecutive season with 10 or more victories and a fourth consecutive berth in the College Football Playoff and got off to a good startagainst outmanned Furman, a small private school whose campus is in nearby Greenville, S.C.
Clemson’s defense, led by graduate and All-America defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, held Furman to 163 total yards, including 117 on the ground for a mere 2.2 average. Wilkins led the Tigers with seven tackles, including a sack, as Clemson amassed 10 tackles for loss.
Meanwhile, Lawrence’s performance may have clouded Clemson’s quarterback situation. Incumbent Kelly Bryant, who guided the Tigers to a 12-2 record last season and beat out Lawrence for the starting quarterback job in fall camp, was relatively unimpressive. He completed 10 of 16 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown and added a 35-yard scoring run, but was off target on several throws.
Two of Lawrence’s touchdown passes went to fellow freshmen - a 15 yarder to Justyn Ross in the third quarter and a 9-yarder to rookie tight end Braden Galloway in the fourth quarter to give Clemson a 48-0 lead.
Furman’s only score game on a 16-yard pass from quarterback Ryan DeLuca to Darren Grainger with 1:18 left in the game.
Clemson plays at Texas A&M (1-0) next Saturday in a 7 p.m. game at Kyle Field.
—Field Level Media