Clemson Handles Aggies 35-6
Oct. 16, 2004
CLEMSON, S.C. - Utah State played a strong first half and trailed Clemson just 7-0 at halftime, before the Tigers erupted for 28 second half points as the Aggies fell 35-6 here on Saturday. USU fell to 2-5 on the season, while Clemson snapped a three-game losing streak to improve to 2-4 overall.
USU's offense struggled producing only 139 yards on the day, its lowest output since at least 1992 (USU had just 141 yards at Colorado in 1998). 88 of the yards came on the Aggies' final drive, which was capped by a two-yard scoring run by Leon Jackson III on the game's final play.
The punting game, which has been a strength for USU all season, had a punt blocked for a touchdown and gave up three of the four longest returns it has allowed this season. USU entered the game with the nation's seventh best net punting average.
Kevin Robinson came up with four receptions for 85 yards as he became the leading receiving freshman in a season in USU history. He now has 350 yards this season, surpassing David Fiefia's mark of 334 set in 2000. Chris Forbes rushed for 31 yards for his second-best day this season. The freshman gained 22 yards on the Aggies' first possession.
Clemson produced 379 yards with 200 rushing and 179 passing. It marked the third straight game USU held the opponent to less than 400 yards of total offense. Meanwhile the Aggie offense recorded 159 passing yards, but netted just minus-20 yards on the ground thanks to 11 sacks by Clemson which resulted in a minus 84 yards.
USU battled hard in the first half and allowed just a two-yard touchdown run at the 10:28 mark of the second quarter. However, Clemson scored on its first two possessions of the third quarter to jump out to a 21-0 lead with 2:55 remaining in the third quarter.
The Tigers then added two touchdowns in a row with a blocked punt for a score and a 32-yard drive to put them ahead 35-0 with 6:20 left in the game. USU then marched 88 yards in 10 plays with Jackson scoring from the two, to avoid its first shutout since losing 40-0 at then ninth-ranked Kansas State in 1999.
Utah State will have a bye week before returning to the road at Middle Tennessee on Oct. 30. The Aggies are in a stretch of playing four straight road games as well as six of seven away from Logan. Clemson will host Maryland on Oct. 23.
UTAH STATE POSTGAME NOTES At Clemson, Oct. 16, 2004
O - USU avoided being shutout for the first time since 1999 (lost 40-0 at #9 Kansas State) when Leon Jackson III scored on the game's final play... USU dropped to 1-3 on the road this year... USU has now lost three straight games after starting the year 2-2.
O - USU had a punt blocked for a touchdown for the first time since Iowa accomplished the feat in 2002. The touchdown was also the fifth non-offensive score by USU's opponents this year (three interceptions, one fumble return and now a blocked punt).
O - USU produced its lowest total offensive yardage total since at least 1992 (that is as far back as we have information in the press box). The lowest yardage total since then was 141 yards at Colorado in 1998.
O - WR Kevin Robinson moved into first on the USU freshman season receiving yardage list. He entered the game with 265 yards while Chris Stallworth was second with 289 yards and David Fiefia was first with 334 yards.
O - Leon Jackson's 67-yard punt in the fourth quarter was a career long for him.
O - Clemson recorded three of the four longest punt returns against USU this season (USU entered the game seventh in the country in net punting). The longest return allowed by USU entering today was 17 yards.
O - TB Chris Forbes rushed for 22 yards on USU's opening drive. His best rushing games of the season entering today were 44 vs. Idaho, 28 at Alabama and 27 at UNLV.
O - TB Peter Shields became the first non-quarterback to throw an interception for USU since TE J.R. Suguturaga threw one in 2001.
O - CB Cornelius Lamb recorded his second interception of the season in the first quarter.
O - Today's game produced the first scoreless first quarter (both teams) in an USU game since the 10th game of last season vs. New Mexico State (Final score was NMSU 26, USU 21).
O - CB Jerome Dennis recorded his second career interception and first this year in the second quarter.
O - USU has recorded multiple interceptions for just the second time this season (picked off four at UNLV).
O - USU was shutout in the first half for the third time this season (trailed Utah 41-0 and Troy 35-0).
O - Clemson's seven first half points tied for the fewest allowed by the Aggies this season (USU trailed Idaho 7-6 in the second game of the year).
O - Kevin Robinson, the nation's leading punt returner, had his first return for less than 10 yards this season with a minus-one yard return in the second quarter.
O - USU entered today 2-3 when trailing at the half this season.