CLEMSON, S.C. — Appalachian State will try to pull off another big upset on Saturday when the black and gold make the trip to Death Valley to battle the Clemson Tigers.
It has most certainly been a decade to remember for Mountaineer football, a 10-year run that has included three Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) National Championships, the upset over Michigan, and of course, the move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).
The Mountaineers have to feel good coming off of a dominating performance over the Howard Bison last week, a 49-0 victory.
Sophomore quarterback Taylor Lamb completed 16 of 21 passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Junior tailback Marcus Cox had 101 yards on just 11 carries with a touchdown and freshman Jalin Moore reeled off 64 yards on 9 carries with a touchdown.
Shaedon Meadors led App with 4 catches, 64 yards and a score. Simms McElfresh had 4 grabs for 51 yards and a score and Isaiah Lewis made his lone catch of the day count with a 37-yard touchdown.
Clemson, the 12th-ranked team in the nation, had no problem dispatching of ASU’s former Southern Conference rival Wofford with a 49-10 victory.
Standout quarterback Deshaun Watson had 194 yards passing with two touchdowns. Running back Wayne Gallman carried the ball 14 times for 92 yards and a touchdown.
The Clemson defense set the tone the entire ballgame, limiting the Wofford option attack to just 123 yards on 45 carries, less than three yards per carry. When Wofford went to the air, the results were just as bad. The Tiger defense held them to only 90 yards passing after completing just 33-percent of attempted passes.
The Mountaineer defense shut out the over-matched FCS team, but things will change quite a bit this week with the athleticism that Clemson will have all over the field.
One star player App State will not have to deal with will be wide receiver Mike Williams. Williams was injured after colliding with the goal post on a touchdown pass. Williams was taken off the field on a stretcher and transported to an area hospital. An MRI later revealed that Williams had suffered a small fracture in his neck, but thankfully, was able to walk and had all feeling in his extremities. Williams will be re-evaluated in six weeks to determine whether or not he will be able to play again this season.
Stepping up in Williams’ absence, Ray-Ray McCloud led the Tigers with 8 catches for 80 yards and Artavis Scott had 6 catches for 75 yards and a touchdown.
Kickoff from Death Valley (officially named Clemson Memorial Stadium) will be at 12:30 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN3.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87