Hopkins off to a flying start

CLEMSON - During DeAndre Hopkins' record setting second quarter, Sammy Watkins approached his fellow playmaker with a request.

Slow down, buddy.

Hopkins hauled in six receptions for 105 yards receiving with three touchdowns in the first half of Saturday's 52-27 win over Ball State.

Through two games, Hopkins has 19 receptions for 224 yards and four touchdowns.

It was after Saturday's third touchdown grab when Watkins put in the request.

According to Tajh Boyd, Watkins said, "Hey, man. You can't score any more. He was like; you're running away from me right now."

With his three touchdown grabs, Hopkins tied the school's single-game record for receiving touchdowns, tying Rod Gardner, Dreher Gaskin and Tony Horne as the only other players to turn the trick.

Dating back to the Orange Bowl, Hopkins also has three consecutive games with at least 100 or more receiving yards. Only three other players in school history have done the same.

"It just felt great to come out and make plays for my team," Hopkins said. "Coach [Chad] Morris trusts me, to put the ball in my hands. I wanted to come up for my team."

Despite not having his best playmaker to call plays for during the first two games of the season, Morris believes Hopkins is better than plenty of other team's No. 1 option.

"There's no question Nuk's one of the best receivers in the country," Morris said. "There's no doubt."

Boyd is just as confident in Hopkins' ability.

"I just trust him. In any situation, I'm comfortable," Boyd said. "I don't care who's guarding him. It can be a guy in the league, whatever…he can catch any type of ball in any situation."

Just imagine how potent the Clemson offense will be once Watkins makes his return next week.

"We're going to be more explosive," Hopkins said. "I'm not Miss Cleo, so I can't tell the future. But we're going to do what we do every week."

Boyd doesn't need a crystal ball.

"It's going to get ugly out there," he said, when asked what the Tigers' offense will look like when Watkins steps on the field next Saturday.

"It's so explosive right now, as it is."

Much of the early explosiveness can be attributed to Hopkins.

"I come out and play to my potential, not the [opponent's] potential. Tajh made great reads to get me the ball and I just came up big for my team," he said.

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