Tigers pound Coastal Carolina

Posted Oct 31, 2009

CLEMSON - On a rainy Homecoming afternoon, the Tigers improved to 5-3 with an easy 49-3 win over Coastal Carolina.

Holding true to their word in not looking past Coastal Carolina, Clemson handed the Chanticleers a 49-3 Homecoming beat down in Death Valley on Saturday.

Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney called the third-straight victory a “good team win.”

“There was no let down at all. These guys are very workman-like, very business-like,” he said. “They had good energy in the locker room pre-game and good energy in the second half.”

Coastal Carolina’s offense didn’t cross the 50-yard line until Justin Cramer scrambled for 13 yards to the Clemson 39 with nine minutes left in the game. The drive concluded with the lone Chants score: a 31-yard Justin Durham field goal.

Chapped about losing the shutout, defensive coordinator Kevin Steele rounded his troops up on the sideline after the drive for a serious reminder of what he expects from his unit.

“We tell them it doesn’t matter who we play, where we play, what time we play,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what time it is in the game…we missed some tackles on that drive that gave them first downs. We should have been off the field.”

Otherwise, it was another solid outing for the defense, which gave up 170 yards of total offense, many coming on the scoring drive. Corico Hawkins was credited with the two sacks and Rashard Hall and Crezdon Butler each had an interception.

It was Butler’s first of the year and Hall’s fourth--each had long returns that ended deep in Coastal Carolina territory.

Like any defensive player who scores a touchdown from a turnover, DeAndre McDaniel was promised an offensive play for his interception return for touchdown at Miami. In the first quarter, his shot to score on offense never really happened since Kyle Parker slipped while dropping back from center.

Hall was embarrassed that his return up the Clemson sideline didn’t end with six points.

“It was a quarterback for one,” he said. “For two, it was at the one-yard line and three--you’ve got to make the play.”

“But we scored.”

The interception set up the sixth of seven touchdowns scored by the Clemson offense on Saturday. Three plays later, Willy Korn crossed the goal line on a one-yard keeper.

The scoring assault started with Jacoby Ford in the first quarter and ended with Jamie Harper scoring on a three-yard carry with less than a minute to play in the third quarter.

Ford made a nice adjustment in the air for his touchdown catch--a 36-yard completion from Kyle Parker.

Ford threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Dye after receiving a backwards pass from Parker. The pass made Ford the second player in school history to account for a touchdown five different ways. C.J. Spiller accomplished the feat on a punt return against Boston College.

Spiller carried only five times for 27 yards. His final carry was a six-yard score into the West End Zone.

Up 21-0 at halftime, the Tigers weren’t satisfied.

“We didn’t execute like I thought we should have in the first half offensively,” said Thomas Austin. “But in the third quarter, I think we were clicking and put a lot of points up.”

The Tigers reached pay dirt on every third quarter possession.

Andre Ellington started the four touchdown scoring spree when he broke off a Spiller-like run for 55 yards.

Korn hooked up with Jaron Brown for an 18-yard catch and run that gave Clemson a 35-0 lead. With his fair share of unlucky breaks this season, Korn said it felt good to complete five of his six passing attempts for 55 yards and a touchdown.

“It was fun to get out there and finally find a little bit of success,” he said. “I really haven’t gotten a lot of opportunities to get into a rhythm and get comfortable. I was really appreciative to have three or four series in a row to get into a good comfort zone.”

Outside of winning, the biggest goal for any team playing an opponent from a lower division is to walk away with everyone healthy. During the first quarter, Da’Quan Bowers strained a PCL, though it doesn’t appear to be serious. Swinney said Bowers could have probably gone back in to play.

“We just didn’t want to take any chances with him,” Swinney said.

Bowers said he’ll practice this week and play against Florida State next Saturday.

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