CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson showed why he is one of the top quarterbacks in the country, passing for 248 yards and three touchdowns to lead the 12th-ranked Tigers (2-0) to a 41-10 victory.
The Mountaineers (1-1) struggled all day offensively, turning the ball over four times, including three interceptions from quarterback Taylor Lamb.
In the first quarter, the game was very close between the two teams. Clemson kicker Greg Huegel hit a 39-yard field goal with 7:09 left to play. The kick ended up being the only points of the quarter for either team.
Things started to go downhill in the second quarter.
Lamb dropped back to pass deep in his own territory but saw his throw picked off by Carlos Watkins and returned for a 15-yard touchdown and a 10-0 lead for Clemson.
After the kickoff, Lamb threw another INT and once again, Clemson made ASU pay. Watson found wide receiver Charone Peake for a 24-yard TD with 10:10 left in the second quarter.
Clemson added two more touchdowns in the half.
Tailback Wayne Gallman capped off a nine-play drive with a 23-yard TD run and finally Watson found Peake again for another big play, this one a 59-yard strike for the score. Clemson held a 31-0 lead at the half.
The Tigers kept the pedal down in the second half. Watson threw his third and final TD pass of the day, a 41-yard toss to Artavis Scott.
App State finally got on the scoreboard after a 14-play, 63-yard drive ending in a 31-yard field goal from Zach Matics.
The Mountaineers got into the end zone with 11 minutes left in the game with a one-yard TD pass from Lamb to Barrett Burns.
Clemson added a late field goal, a 47-yarder from Huegel to close out the contest.
Lamb completed just 9 of 28 passes for 95 yards, one TD and three INTs.
Junior running back Marcus Cox was able to cross the century mark in rushing with 104 yards on 25 carries. Terrence Upshaw added 69 yards on 11 carries. Upshaw also had 27 receiving yards on one catch.
Isaiah Lewis, Shaedon Meadors and Malachi Jones all were held to just one catch while Simms McElfresh had two grabs for only 12 yards.
Gallman led Clemson with 79 yards on 15 carries with a score.
Peake was the leading receiver with 86 yards on four catches. Scott finished with six grabs for 73 yards. Jordan Leggett and Hunter Renfrow each had three catches.
The loss snapped the Mountaineers’ seven-game winning streak which was the fifth longest in NCAA Division 1 FBS. App State is now 7-30-1 all-time against Atlantic Coast Conference programs.
Defensively, Ronald Blair had two sacks, giving him 15.5 for his career and 37 tackles for loss, closing in on the top 10 in both categories in Mountaineer history.
Next up, the Mountaineers will head to Old Dominion University on Sept. 26 after having this coming weekend off.
Clemson will break into conference play with a road game at Louisville (0-2) on Thursday night.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87