COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW: THE CITADEL AT CLEMSON
THE CITADEL NOTES:
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: 1,989 – Quarterback Brandon Rainey enters the game just 11 yards shy of eclipsing the 2,000-yard mark in his career. He will become the school’s 16th member of the 2,000- yard club. He currently ranks 6th all-time for rushing yards by a quarterback. 45 – Freshman Colby Kintner connected on a45-yard field goal in the first attempt of his collegiate career. He would later add a 41 yarder to become first kicker with multiple 40-plus yard field goals since 2015. 1 -For the third time in the last seven years, the Bulldogs will be facing the No. 1 team in the country. The Citadel faced No. 1 Florida State in 2014 and No. 1 Alabama in 2018. 27 – The Bulldogs had 27 rushing attempts by players who entered the season opener without have a carry in their collegiate career. The total equaled half of the ‘Dogs rushing attempts in the game. 12 – Senior All-American linebacker Willie Eubanks III posted 12 solo tackles in the season opener. He added three tackles-for-loss and a sack.
Scouting Clemson Clemson enters the game with a 1-0 record after a 37-13 road victory over Wake Forest. The Tigers jumped out to a 27-0 lead in the second quarter behind three touchdowns from Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence rushed for a pair of scores and threw a 12-yard touchdown pass. He finished the game by going 22-of-28 for 351 yards and a touchdown. Running back Travis Etienne carried 17 times for 102 yards and a touchdown. As a team, the Tigers amassed 561 yards of offense in the victory over Wake, with 376 coming through the air. Amari Rodgers was the top target with five catches for 90 yards. Braden Galloway added five catches for 60 yards. The Tiger defense held Wake to just 37 rushing yards on 34 carries. Freshman Myles Murphy led the defense with seven tackles and a pair of sacks. The defense combined to register six sacks in the game. B.T. Potter was successful on all three field goal attempts, including equaling his career long with a 52 yarder.
CLEMSON HOSTS THE CITADEL FOR 2020 HOME OPENER Clemson will return to Death Valley for the first time in 2020 when the Tigers welcome The Citadel Bulldogs for Clemson’s lone non-conference tilt of the 2020 regular season. Kickoff at Memorial Stadium is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET. Clemson enters its 2020 home opener riding a schoolrecord 22-game home winning streak, the nation’s longest active streak. Clemson’s home crowds have seldom left disappointed in the College Football Playoff era, as the Tigers are an FBS-best 41-1 at home since 2014. Saturday’s contest will be played 78 years to the date following Clemson’s first game at Memorial Stadium, as the Tigers opened the facility that would later become known colloquially as Death Valley with a 32-13 defeat of Presbyterian College on Sept. 19, 1942. Though the facility has since expanded to 81,500, current circumstances will result in Saturday’s game being played in front of a comparable capacity to the stadium’s 1942 configuration, as the stadium opened that year with capacity for about 20,000 spectators. An estimated crowd of approximately 5,000 attended the facility’s debut. Death Valley has played host to 33 of running back Travis Etienne’s 57 career rushing touchdowns and 34 of his 64 career total touchdowns. On Saturday, it could also be the site of Etienne’s foray into the NCAA record books. Etienne enters Saturday’s contest having scored a touchdown (rushing or receiving) in 37 of his 44 career games, already an ACC record for the most career games scoring a touchdown. With a touchdown of any kind on Saturday, Etienne can tie Florida’s Tim Tebow (38 games from 2006-09) and Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon (38 from 2012-15) for the Football Bowl Subdivision record in that category. The game will also be the home debut of a Clemson defense that featured nine players who made their first career starts last week. Some of the most immediate impact was felt by a pair of highly touted true freshmen — defensive end Myles Murphy and defensive lineman Bryan Bresee — who entered in reserve and combined for nine tackles (3.5 for loss) with 2.5 sacks and a blocked field goal. The tandem contributed to Clemson’s six sacks against Wake Forest, 4.5 of which were split among players who registered their first career sacks in the contest (Murphy, Bresee, Regan Upshaw and LaVonta Bentley). Dating back to last year’s Fiesta Bowl, Clemson has posted at least four sacks in three straight games, a streak it will try to extend this week to four for the first time since games 8-11 of the 2018 season.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK – Clemson playing its 120th home opener in school history in its 125th season, as there were five seasons in which Clemson did not play a game at home. – Clemson attempting to improve to 95-17-8 record in home openers. – Clemson attempting to win a 17th straight home debut. Clemson has won 16 straight home openers since a 30-0 home opener loss to Georgia in 2003. It would tie Clemson’s longest winning streak in home openers all-time, set across the 1944-60 seasons. – Clemson playing its latest home opener in a season (Sept. 19) since opening the 1985 season on Sept. 21 against Georgia. – Clemson attempting to improve to 33-5-1 in its alltime series with The Citadel since the teams’ first meeting in 1909. – Clemson entering the game having won the last 17 games in the series since 1932, the third-longest winning streak against a single opponent in Clemson history (31 vs. Furman, 1938-Present; 29 vs. Virginia from 1955- 89). – Clemson entering the game 34-0 against Football Championship Subdivision teams since the NCAA formed the division prior to the 1978 season. – Clemson attempting to win a 23rd consecutive home game to extend its school record for the longest home winning streak in school history. Clemson (22) holds the nation’s longest active home winning streak. Of the 120 players on Clemson’s 2020 roster, 111 have never experienced a home loss in their Clemson careers. Nine fifth-year seniors on Clemson’s 2020 roster were on the 2016 team that recovered from a home loss to Pitt by winning the national championship that season. – Clemson attempting to win its 24th consecutive non-conference game in regular season play, dating to 2014. Clemson’s last regular season non-conference loss came in the 2014 season opener against Georgia. The current 23-game regular season non-conference streak includes wins against South Carolina (six), Auburn (two), Texas A&M (two), Notre Dame (one) and others. Including postseason play, Clemson is 30-4 overall in non-conference play in the College Football Playoff era (since 2014). – Clemson entering the game having won 30 consecutive regular season games, dating to Clemson’s last regular season loss at Syracuse in 2017. Clemson’s streak is presently tied with the 2013-15 Florida State Seminoles for the most in ACC history. A 31st straight regular season win would give Clemson sole possession of the longest such streak in conference annals. – Clemson attempting to push its winning streak in Saturday games to 45 to extend the longest Saturday winning streak in school history. Clemson’s current run of consecutive Saturday victories is the longest active streak in the country.