Friday, January 19, 2018
Sports

Clemson chases doldrums

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson coach Dabo Swinney hoped his team would end an early season funk with a big game and some big plays against South Carolina State. Chances came early and often in a 59-0 rout Saturday.

The game was such a mismatch that the fifth-ranked Tigers scored two touchdowns in the first quarter with no time running off the clock, and the coaches agreed to shorten the third and fourth quarters from 15 minutes to 12.

An NCAA rule allows for games to be shortened by time.

Swinney knew the Tigers had questions about themselves after two, less-than-crisp offensive showings against Auburn and Troy. In this one, Clemson put up 31 points in the first quarter.

"This was great for our team, for our spirit and our morale," Swinney said.

Clemson led 45-0 at half time against the Bulldogs, with Deshaun Watson passing for three touchdowns to get the Tigers rolling.

"I enjoyed myself," Watson said with a smile. "There was a lot more energy on the sidelines, too."

Clemson, with three wins to open the season for the fifth time in six years, is 31-0 against Division I-AA teams.

The lopsided score came after Watson told fans he was sorry for the 30-24 win over Troy for any "negative energy" he brought to that game. This time, he was 4-of-4 on an opening drive that ended with a 7-yard score pass to former Sickles High alumnus Ray Ray McCloud.

Watson and McCloud also connected on a 36-yard scoring pass. Watson hit Deon Cain (Tampa Bay Tech) with a 17-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter before heading to the sideline.

The strangest sequence of the game involved a first-quarter gaffe by South Carolina State's Ahmaad Harris on a kickoff return after a Clemson touchdown. He flipped the ball to the official in the end zone before taking a knee to stop the action. Clemson's Denzel Johnson recovered the fumble — 14 points, no time off the clock.

OKLA. ST. 45, PITT 38: Mason Rudolph threw an 86-yard pass to Jhajuan Seales then Rennie Childs scored on a 1-yard run — his fourth rushing touchdown of the game — with 1:28 left to lift the host Cowboys. Rudolph was 26-of-46 for a school-record 540 yards and two touchdowns, while James Washington had nine receptions for 296 yards — the most in the nation by anyone this season — and two touchdowns. Childs finished with 101 yards on 10 carries.

GA. TECH 38, VANDY 7: Justin Thomas threw an 81-yard touchdown to Marcus Marshall on the first play of the game, Dedrick Mills ran for three touchdowns and the host Yellow Jackets held the Commodores scoreless in the final three quarters. Georgia Tech gained momentum for Thursday night's visit from Clemson as it moved to 12-0-1 against the Commodores since 1941, including six straight wins.

UNC 56, JAMES MADISON 28: Mitch Trubisky threw for a career-high 432 yards and three touchdowns while setting two school records for the Tar Heels in their home opener. Trubisky completed 24 of 27 passes, including a program single-game record 18 straight before calling it a day early in the fourth. He also has thrown 156 consecutive passes without an interception, breaking a record that had stood since 1997.

VA. TECH 49, BC 0: Jerod Evans tied a school record with five touchdown passes for the Hokies. Evans played just the first three quarters, leaving with Virginia Tech leading 42-0. He hit Isaiah Ford twice for touchdowns and also found Travon McMillian, Chris Cunningham and Sam Rogers. Ford's second touchdown came when he was double covered and still came down with the ball at the back of the end zone.

N.C. STATE 49, ODU 22: Backup quarterback Jalan McClendon rushed for two touchdowns and threw for a third, and the host Wolfpack routed Old Dominion to bounce back from a dispiriting loss at East Carolina.

WAKE 38, DELAWARE 21: Matt Colburn rushed for a career-high 118 yards for the host Demon Deacons. Colburn filled in admirably for injured freshman running back Cade Carney, scoring a touchdown just before halftime. Wake Forest bookended intermission with scores.

Comments
Will Brady play in title game? ‘We’ll see,’ he says

Will Brady play in title game? ‘We’ll see,’ he says

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady played it coy Friday about his status for the AFC Championship Game after suffering a right (throwing) hand injury this week. The Patriots quarterback said a bit contentiously only "We’ll see" when asked whether he would...
Updated: 17 minutes ago

Record 119 early draft entries

Quarterbacks Sam Darnold of USC, Lamar Jackson of Louisville and Josh Rosen of UCLA are among the record 106 underclassmen given special entry to the NFL draft, making it four of the last five seasons in which at least 95 players have declared early....
Updated: 1 hour ago

Taking long way to Blackhawks’ net

CHICAGO — For Jeff Glass, there have been so many stops during his existence as a hockey vagabond, so many different jerseys he has worn, so many teams he has tended goal for — from Binghamton, N.Y., to Belarus and plenty of other outposts in between...
Updated: 1 hour ago

George doing it on both ends gets OKC rolling

OKLAHOMA CITY — Thunder coach Billy Donovan can’t pinpoint the best thing about Paul George. Oklahoma City’s versatile forward averages just over 20 points per game, leads the league in steals and is third in 3-point goals while shooting 43 percent f...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Captain’s Corner: What to expect from fish coming out of the cold spell

Extreme cold has brought backcountry water temperatures down. As in years past, extreme dips have shocked many fish, especially snook, which take the biggest hit and become extremely lethargic and often near death. Luckily the cold won’t be long, and...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Why I love the NHL All-Star Game

Why I love the NHL All-Star Game

I love the NHL All-Star Game.Love it.Give me a game when Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are teammates. Give me a two-on-one rush when Nikita Kucherov is trying to set up Auston Matthews. Sign me up for any game where the best hockey players on the p...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Why I hate the NHL All-Star Game

Why I hate the NHL All-Star Game

TAMPA — The NHL All-Star Game is coming to town next weekend, reaffirming our community's ability to step into the breach when needed. We don't stop until we get the Winter Olympics. So, don't be surprised if those next Rays stadium plans ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays infielder Daniel Robertson lends a hand to help families dealing with cancer

Rays infielder Daniel Robertson lends a hand to help families dealing with cancer

Rays infielder Daniel Robertson has much to be excited about heading into his second season in the majors.But before packing for spring training, he took some time last weekend to provide help for families needing assistance in dealing with cancer.Hi...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Time for Lightning leaders to snap team out of funk

Time for Lightning leaders to snap team out of funk

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Steven Stamkos sat at his stall in a near-empty Lightning dressing room Thursday and did what captains often do:He shouldered some blame for the Lightning's listless 4-1 loss to Vegas."As a leader, I've got to be a lot better,...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Steven Stamkos: ‘I have to be a lot better’

Steven Stamkos: ‘I have to be a lot better’

There was plenty of blame to go around after the Lightning's 4-1 loss to the Golden Knights Thursday night.This loss wasn't on one person, no question.But captain Steven Stamkos showed some leadership by shouldering some responsibility for the team's...
Updated: 6 hours ago