Ranking Dabo's wins: 25

With an offensive coordinator just two years removed from the high school ranks and a first-year starter under center, there were plenty of unknowns heading into 2011.

25.) Sept. 3, 2011


Clemson 43 Troy 19

What Happened
Tajh Boyd completed 20 of 30 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns in his first appearance as Clemson's starter.

With his first-career touch, Sammy Watkins, scored on 33-yard touchdown pass from Boyd. He finished with seven catches for 81 yards.

Also making his first appearance as a Tiger, Mike Bellamy took his first carry 75 yards for a touchdown.

For Troy, Cory Robinson connected on 24 of 42 for 258 yards, a touchdown and one interception for Troy while D.J. Taylor rushed five times for 63 yards.


Tony Steward was one of several 2011 signees to play in the 43-19 win over Troy.
Despite the good looking numbers and 20-plus point win, it was a slow half for the Clemson offense. The Tigers were 0-for-8 on third-down conversions and had just four first downs before settling down in the second half.

The Stakes
The season opener against a Sun Belt opponent -- no pressure, right?

Wrong.

Not only was it the first game for newly hired Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris, but it was also Boyd's first start for the Tigers. And the head coach needed to get off on the right foot in 2011.

Coming off a 6-7 season in 2010, the last thing Dabo Swinney needed was a loss to Troy, an opponent with penchant for making life miserable for BCS opponents.

Before and After
Swinney opted to make two changes on his offensive staff after the Clemson offense struggled through the 2010 season. Offensive coordinator Billy Napier and running backs coach Andre Powell were pushed out the door.

In came Morris, who was coaching high school football in Texas just two years earlier. In his only season as a college assistant, Morris led Tulsa to an impressive 2010 campaign.

The Clemson offense eventually caught fire in 2011. En route to an ACC Championship, the Tigers totaled 6,171 yards of offense, third most in ACC history. They also set single-season school records for passing yards, total offense and points scored.


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