Clemson cruises past UConn

Sports

CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson’s defense held UConn’s offense to just 99 yards in a 44-7 win on Military Appreciation Day in Memorial Stadium. Clemson improved to 7-3 on the season with the win, while UConn fell to 1-9 following the schools’ first all-time meeting in football. 

Clemson paid tribute to the active-duty and retired military with several presentations throughout the day and wore all-purple uniforms in tribute. 

Defensively, Clemson registered six sacks from six different players and three more tackles for loss in holding the Huskies’ offense to just 1.7 yards per play on the afternoon. Clemson held UConn to -17 yards rushing, tied for its fifth-fewest allowed in school history, on 25 carries, and just 116 through the air. The Tiger defense did not surrender an offensive touchdown for the fourth time this season, the second-most of any school nationally. 

Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei threw for a season-high 241 yards and a touchdown, and the Tigers ran for three more, with the offense piling up 476 yards. Phil Mafah led the way on the ground with 49 yards and a touchdown, while Dacari Collins had six catches for 97 yards to lead the receivers. 

UConn’s Brian Brewton muffed the opening kickoff but picked up the ball and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown to give the Huskies an early 7-0 lead. 

B.T. Potter connected on the 49-yard field goal to make the score 7-3 in favor of UConn. With fourth and goal from the six-yard line on the following possession, the Tigers faked the field goal and WIll Swinney ran it in for the touchdown to put the Tigers up 10-7 to cap an 11-play, 78-yard scoring drive. 

Collins caught a dime on Clemson’s next possession while being draped by UConn defenders down the right sideline to give the Tigers first and goal at the three-yard line. Connecticut-native Taisun Phommachanh cashed in on the next play with his first career rushing touchdown on a three-yard run to add to the Clemson lead. 

Potter extended the Tigers lead to 23-7 following field goals of 49 yards and 30 yards for his second and third field goals of the afternoon. 

The Tigers would later need just 34 seconds to go 88 yards, as Beaux Collins hauled in a 32-yard over-the-shoulder pass from Uiagalelei to give Clemson the 30-7 lead at the half.  Defensively, the Tigers defense used six sacks to hold the Huskies to a -49 yards rushing on 14 carries and 0-for-7 on third downs in the first half. 

Following a failed onside kickoff attempt by UConn to start the second half, Clemson went 46 yards in 11 plays, with Mafah running in from two yards out to make it 37-7. Jake Briningstool would add a touchdown late on a 25-yard pass from Billy Wiles, coming down with a jump ball in what represented the first career touchdown reception and pass for the duo, respectively. 

Clemson will play its final home game of the season next week when the Tigers host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons for Senior Day on Saturday, Nov. 20. Kickoff at Memorial Stadium is scheduled for noon ET on ESPN.

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