Matt Connolly

Thumbs up, thumbs down: Clemson vs. Kent State


Clemson quarterbacks: All three Clemson quarterbacks played well, with starter Kelly Bryant leading the way. The junior accounted for 313 total yards while barely playing the second half. Backups Hunter Johnson and Zerrick Cooper finished the game, with Johnson completing 5 of 6 passes for 39 yards and Cooper going 4 of 6 for 37 yards and a touchdown. The only interception was thrown by Bryant on a tipped pass.

Jeff Scott/Tony Elliott: Clemson’s offensive coordinators got Bryant into a rhythm early by running the ball and throwing short passes. Bryant was comfortable by the time he threw his first deep pass, which he completed to Deon Cain for a 61-yard score.

Clemson’s defense: The Tigers dominated the line of scrimmage and held Kent State to 120 total yards. Clemson had 26 defenders make a tackle.

Travis Etienne: Clemson’s freshman running back showed why he was the talk of preseason camp with eight carries for 81 yards and a touchdown. His longest run was a 54-yard gain as he broke a pair of tackles on the play.


Kent State play calling: The Golden Flashes did not attempt a pass in the first half, despite facing several third-and-longs. Kent State’s game plan appeared to be to run up the middle on nearly every play, often into a blitz.

Kent State execution: Twice Clemson was facing a fourth down and Kent State had 12 players on the field, resulting in an automatic first down.

Officials: Late in the first half, there was confusion after Kent State was called for pass interference. The Tigers had the ball at the 24-yard line. The penalty was half the distance to the goal, but the ball ended up being spotted at the 7.

Kent State passing game: The Golden Flashes attempted five passes, all in the first half, and completed one of them for 1 yard.

Matt Connolly