Clemson receiver Ray-Ray McCloud carried over his success from last week’s win over Auburn by putting together a monster first half Saturday night against Louisville.
The junior had seven catches for 115 yards in the opening half to help Clemson to a 19-7 lead.
McCloud led the Tigers with six catches for 81 yards last week against Auburn.
The biggest play of the half on Saturday was Clemson’s longest play in years as Tigers quarterback Kelly Bryant found McCloud wide open down the right sideline for a 79-yard touchdown.
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The play was the longest for Clemson since 2013.
McCloud also had a 15-yard punt return in the first half.
“Offensively our mindset is don't beat Clemson. Don't have turnovers, which we didn't,” McCloud said. “Just go out there and execute and play consistent and when mistakes do happen play through adversity and stay with the chemistry and keep pushing.”
FIRST CAREER TOUCHDOWN
Tigers linebacker Dorian O’Daniel scored his first career touchdown in the third quarter as he picked off Lamar Jackson and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown.
The turnover was the first forced by the Clemson defense this season and put the Tigers in control, giving them a 26-7 lead. O’Daniel finished with 4.5 tackles, including a tackle for loss.
“I saw the ball coming to me and it just kind of happened to be honest,” O’Daniel said. “Once I caught it I knew I had to do something with it. I was too close to the end zone for me not to score.”
He set a career high in tackles last week against Auburn with 14.
Van Smith started at safety for Clemson after missing last week’s game against Auburn with a knee injury.
Tigers cornerback Marcus Edmond didn’t make the trip for the game with a foot sprain. The Lower Richland alum was injured on the first series last week against Auburn.
Louisville All-ACC cornerback Jaire Alexander missed the game with a knee injury after being injured in the opener against Purdue.
Clemson safety Tanner Muse was ejected in the first quarter after being called for targeting on Jackson.
Muse made one tackle and had a pass breakup before being ejected from the game. He was replaced at safety by freshman Isaiah Simmons.
GETTING THE START
C.J. Fuller started at running back for Clemson after being removed from the game in the third quarter following a fumble last week against Auburn. Fuller had six carries for 23 yards in the first half.
Tremayne Anchrum started at right tackle for the Tigers and played better after struggling last week. He battled with Sean Pollard for the starting spot this week during practice.
Clemson scored a touchdown on its first possession of the game as Bryant scored on an 8-yard run. It was the 12th time in the 34 games Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott have been co-offensive coordinators that Clemson has scored a touchdown on its first possession.
▪ Bryant, Clelin Ferrell, Hunter Renfrow and Austin Bryant were Clemson’s captains for the game.
▪ Greg Huegel missed his first field goal attempt from 42 yards and also missed an extra point but did bounce back to make a pair of field goals in the first half, including one from 49 yards late in the second quarter.