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No. 25 Clemson, QB Klubnik bounce back to roll past FCS foe Charleston Southern

Clemson Cade Klubnik - The Canadian Press

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Cade Klubnik threw for a career-high 315 yards and four touchdowns as he and No. 25 Clemson rallied from a mistake-filled first half to roll past Charleston Southern 66-17 on Saturday.

Antonio Williams had touchdown grabs of 10 and 5 yards while Phil Mafah ran for two short touchdowns as the Tigers (1-1) improved to 38-0 all-time against teams from the Football Championship Subdivision.

The Tigers and their sophomore passer bounced back from an opening-week meltdown, losing 28-7 at No. 21 Duke. But miscues and poor execution from that game were on display the first two quarters here.

A fumble by Klubnik deep in Clemson territory led to Charleston Southern’s first touchdown. A series later, Klubnik’s throwaway was picked off by cornerback Leon Thomas, who went 67 yards for a score to put the Buccaneers (1-1) up 14-7 before a stunned Death Valley crowd.

Clemson didn’t restore order until after halftime with four third-quarter touchdowns — three on TD passes from Klubnick.

Clemson’s Beaux Collins had seven catches for 137 yards, including a 69-yard TD after a pass over the middle where several Charleston Southern defenders were sprawled on the field behind him.

The first half was difficult for many of the orange-clad supporters to watch. The crowd booed several times as the errors piled up and the Clemson attack under first-year coordinator Garrett Riley looked lost too often against an overmatched opponent.

The Tigers were well ahead in almost every category by halftime, yet were up only 24-17. It was much the same a week ago when it outgained No. 21 Duke, but had three turnovers to lose.


Clemson continued to dominate statistically in the second half against Charleston Southern and finished with 679 yards to 73 for the Big South Conference. team.


Charleston Southern: The Buccaneers, who took home $400,000 for the game, looked like they might get an upset for the ages. Instead, they fell to 24-0 in program history against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents. They’re scheduled to play Florida State in November 2024.

Clemson: The second half had to be a relief for Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and Riley after the first six quarters of misfires, drops and poor execution. The Tigers have one more game next week at home against Florida Atlantic to find offensive rhythm before No. 4 Florida State heads to Death Valley on Sept. 23.



The Tigers probably didn’t convince many voters they belong in the rankings after barely hanging on last week. Will their 21-week poll streak continue Sunday?


Charleston Southern returns home to face William & Mary on Sept. 16.

Clemson continues a three-game homestand against Florida Atlantic on Sept. 16.


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