No. 2 Clemson eases into season against FCS underdog Furman
Furman (8-5 last season) at No. 2 Clemson (12-2), 12:20 p.m. ET (ACC Network)
Line: No line.
Series record: Clemson leads 42-10-4.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
It’s the first showing this season of Clemson’s fearsome defensive front four of tackles Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence, and ends Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant — all potential high-round NFL draft picks next spring — and the first college game for freshman QB Trevor Lawrence. It’s also Furman’s chance to end Clemson’s perfect (32-0) mark against FCS teams.
Clemson QB Kelly Bryant vs. Furman’s defense. Bryant, a senior who started last season, held off Lawrence’s push in preseason camp and will look to show a more diverse, downfield game than he did last year. Bryant had nearly as many TDs running as throwing (11 to 13) and struggled at times to connect with Tiger receivers. Any mistakes will be amplified by many of the 81,500 fans at Death Valley screaming for Lawrence.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Furman: QB Harris Roberts. Roberts has a banged up thumb that could keep him from seeing much action. But he’d love to play inside the stadium he parks at daily as a full-time Clemson student finishing an engineering program that began at Furman and will conclude at Clemson.
Clemson: RB Travis Etienne. Etienne led the Tigers in rushing yards and TDs as a freshman last year and showed explosive speed at times.
FACTS & FIGURES
Clemson has won 30 straight over Furman, about 30 miles away. ... Furman has scored in double digits in two of their past 12 meetings with the Tigers. ... The Paladins play in the Southern Conference and were reached the NCAA playoffs last season. They lost their first-round playoff game to Wofford. ... Clemson has won eight of nine season openers with coach Dabo Swinney. The loss came at Georgia in 2014. ... Strange, but true: Clemson and Furman shared the same set of uniform pants in different games in 1960. Clemson used the water-repellent pants to defeat Virginia, and then sent the pants to Furman for a game that night against William & Mary. Both the Tigers and Paladins won.