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Paws Up, Paws Down: Wofford edition

Lucas Downs, Contributor

Clemson linebacker Chad Smith (43) waves the flag ahead of the Military Appreciation Game. 

Clemson picked up another blowout victory, this time against FCS opponent Wofford, winning 59-14. The Tigers dominated every phase of the game from start to finish en route to the 45-point win.

Dabo Swinney’s teams are known for peaking in November, and that seems to be the case once again this season. After facing criticism all season for underperforming (the critics words, not ours), Clemson has been firing on all cylinders as of late, racking up its fourth-consecutive, and seventh overall, 31+ point win.

The Tigers looked flawless in the win, racking up over 700 yards of offense and holding Wofford to just 256 yards. Travis Etienne stole the spotlight, scoring two touchdowns to break former Tiger James Davis’ career rushing touchdown mark with 48. Etienne also recorded his third 200-yard rushing game, the first Tiger to do so.

Paws Up: Clemson offense rolls in the first half

The Clemson offense produced a stellar first half, racking up over 400 yards and 42 points in the first 30 minutes. The Tigers jumped on the board on its first drive and never looked back. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence was in prime form, leading Clemson to score on six of its first seven drives. Travis Etienne’s stellar game sealed the Tigers’ win pretty early. The junior looked sharp, racking up 212 yards on just nine carries. The offensive line continued to improve, recording another zero sack performance and giving Lawrence plenty of time to find open receivers. The Tiger offense is rolling and it is a thing of beauty to watch.

Paws Down: Clemson defense struggle just a tad

It was not a picture perfect day for the Tiger defense, but Brent Venables’ unit still played well. Clemson held Wofford to 256 yards and kept the Terriers out of the endzone until the third quarter. There were a few blown assignments, including one pass that should have resulted in six for Wofford. Isaiah Simmons did pick up his first interception of the year, and Clemson dominated with its first string. The Tigers are still relatively young on defense, but this unit is farther along than most people thought it would be.

Paws Up: Rencher scores on his birthday

Everyone knows how big Swinney and his staff are about family and rewarding players who do not get into the spotlight very often. Third string running back Darien Rencher celebrated his 22nd birthday on Saturday and got his number called late in the third quarter, punching it in from three yards out for his second career score. The redshirt junior has looked good in his time on the field this season, adding to the numerous amounts of weapons on the Clemson offense.

Paws Down: B.T. Potter’s field goal woes

B.T. Potter missed one of his field goals on Saturday, once again to the dismay of Swinney. The sophomore made up for it a few minutes later with the final score of the game for Clemson, but Potter has been less-than-stellar from short range. His woes are not necessarily a concern for a team that can score touchdowns at ease, but the points left on the board could become more of a concern down the stretch if the struggles continue.

Clemson improves to 9-0 on the season after the dominating win. The Tigers will travel to NC State next weekend. With a win and a Wake Forest loss, Clemson will clinch the ACC Atlantic Division title for the fifth straight season. If both teams win, the Tigers’ final ACC showdown versus the Demon Deacons in two weeks will decide the division. The home stretch is here for Clemson, and the Tigers are looking great as we begin the best month of the college football season.

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