Cole Stoudt completed 22 of his 31 passes for 302 yards and No. 23 Clemson scored its highest point total in 33 years in a 73-7 win over South Carolina State on Saturday.
The Tigers (1-1) gained 735 yards against the outmatched FCS Bulldogs (1-1), who were held to 44 yards.
The 73 points were the most scored by the Tigers since an 82-24 win over Wake Forest in 1981 and it was their biggest margin since beating Presbyterian 67-0 in 1957. The Tigers are now 29-0 against FCS teams.
Clemson's goal in this one was simple — get the offense and defense back on track after a disastrous second half in last week's loss to Georgia with No. 1 Florida State up next in two weeks. And the Tigers clicked on both sides of the ball.
Clemson scored on six of its first seven possessions and 11 players caught passes before halftime.
It took the Bulldogs eight offensive plays before they moved the ball forward. Twenty-one of their first 27 plays want for no gain or losses. Except for a 37-yard run by Dondre Lewis-Freeman, the Bulldogs had negative yardage in the first two quarters.
South Carolina State didn't get past midfield until late in the third quarter, and on the first play in Clemson territory, backup quarterback TeDarrius Wiley had a pass picked off by Jadar Johnson, who ran it back 60 yards for a touchdown.
The Tigers started the senior Stoudt at quarterback, but true freshman Deshaun Watson played four series, with the crowd at Death Valley cheering each time he came in. Watson led his team to a touchdown each time, although it appeared offensive coordinator Chad Morris kept the playbook simpler for the 18-year-old than for Stoudt.
Watson completed eight of his nine passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran five times for 20 yards.
Artavius Scott caught six passes for 164 yards, setting a record for a freshman at Clemson. Wayne Gallman led the Tigers in rushing with 77 yards on 10 carries.
The Bulldogs avoided a shutout when Dominique Mitchell returned a fumble 35 yards for a touchdown with four minutes to go. It was the worst loss ever for South Carolina State in 12 defeats against Football Bowl Subdivision teams, eclipsing a 56-0 loss to Arizona and a 70-14 defeat by Texas A&M in back-to-back weeks in 2012.
The Bulldogs picked up a $275,000 check for their cash-strapped athletic department, which debated shutting down its men's basketball program over the summer. They also left without any serious injuries, which was one of coach Buddy Pough's main goals as he tries to win the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title and make the FCS playoffs for a second straight season.
Clemson pounds S.C. State
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