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Young Tigers work past FCS Terriers

Saturday marked the first time Clemson played Wofford since Sept.8, 2001.

The Football Championship Subdivision foe, located just 60 miles northeast of Memorial Stadium, is unlikely to be invited back for at least another decade.

The Clemson coaches knew they had a challenge against the misdirection offense of the FCS's eighth-ranked team, but the Tigers did not anticipate drama carrying over to the fourth quarter in a 35-27 victory. Perhaps most troubling for Clemson (2-0) is for the second straight week Kevin Steele's young defense struggled with an opponent's running game.

Wofford rushed for 272 yards and 4.7 yards per rush a week after Troy ran for 4.6 yards per rush.

If the Tigers cannot solve their issues against the ground game - Clemson is allowing one yard more per carry than a season ago - life will become difficult as Auburn, No. 5 Florida State and a trip to No. 11 Virginia Tech are next on the schedule.

"I guess we are going to have to start scrimmaging on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to make sure we don't miss tackles," Steele said.

There were issues through the air, too.

Wofford (1-1) had just two pass completions, but the catches went for a combined 127 yards and a touchdown. Clemson's secondary was loaded with inexperience as safety Rashard Hall was held out (knee) and starting cornerback Xavier Brewer was serving a one-game suspension for a violation of team rules.

"I don't know that I've ever been in a game where I've seen two passes completed for 127 yards," Steele said, "but I don't know I've been in a game that I've seen two guys that wide open."

On offense, freshman Sammy Watkins looked like a star while scoring his second touchdown in as many weeks with a leaping 38-yard touchdown grab in the first half.

Quarterback Tajh Boyd improved, completing 18 of 29 passes for 261 yards with three touchdowns and no turnovers. Andre Ellington rushed for 165 yards.

But there are also concerns about the offensive line.

The Tigers failed to convert a fourth-and-1, leading to Wofford's first scoring drive. The offensive line also allowed four sacks. Mason Cloy briefly replaced a struggling Antoine McClain at right guard in the second half.

After failing to pick a critical third down in the fourth quarter, Wofford got the ball back at its 22 with 5 minutes, 24 seconds to play and one last shot to tie the game.

"You hate to come to practice every day and be a rear end but oh well," coordinator Chad Morris said. "The problem is sometimes we want it more than some of the guys (on the field)."

The first two weeks have been shaky for Clemson.

The Tigers were tied with Wofford at halftime, 21-21, a week after trailing Troy at the break, but coach Dabo Swinney noted the 1981 national title team trailed Wofford at the break.

"We have to improve on some things," Swinney said, "we have to get better fast in some places."

CLEMSON 35,

WOFFORD 27

Wofford

14

7

6

0

--

27

Clemson

13

8

7

7

--

35

First Quarter

Wof--Allen 27 run (Reed kick), 10:12.

Clem--Bryant 42 pass from Boyd (run failed), 5:32.

Wof--Bersin 66 pass from Allen (Reed kick), 4:52.

Clem--Ellington 74 run (Catanzaro kick), 4:36.

Second Quarter

Wof--Breitenstein 1 run (Reed kick), 4:01.

Clem--Watkins 38 pass from Boyd (Hopkins pass from Boyd), 2:03.

Third Quarter

Wof--FG Reed 24, 11:46.

Clem--Boyd 5 run (Catanzaro kick), 7:54.

Wof--FG Reed 38, 2:04.

Fourth Quarter

Clem--Hopkins 17 pass from Boyd (Catanzaro kick), 14:35.

A--73,500.

TEAM STATISTICS

Wof

Clem

First downs

16

20

Rushes-yards

57-272

42-215

Passing

127

261

Comp-Att-Int

2-8-1

18-29-0

Return Yards

0

43

Punts-Avg.

5-35.2

4-41.5

Fumbles-Lost

1-0

3-1

Penalties-Yards

6-30

3-44

Time of Possession

33:27

26:33

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING--Wofford, Allen 13-89, Breitenstein 22-62, Johnson 10-56, Redfern 1-28, Boyce 4-16, Youman 1-8, Dunmire 1-7, Nocek 1-3, Farrar 3-2, Monroe 1-1. Clemson, Ellington 22-165, Watkins 3-30, Bellamy 2-19, Boyd 10-9, Howard 1-2, McDowell 1-1, Diehl 1-0, Team 1-(minus 2), Benton 1-(minus 9).

PASSING--Wofford, Allen 2-7-1-127, Kass 0-1-0-0. Clemson, Boyd 18-29-0-261.

RECEIVING--Wofford, Bersin 2-127. Clemson, Hopkins 5-73, Watkins 4-56, Ja.Brown 3-55, Allen 2-15, Ellington 2-12, Bryant 1-42, B.McNeal 1-8.

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