The Troy Trojans (1-1, 0-0 Sun Belt) fell to the Number-two ranked Clemson Tigers (2-0, 0-0 ACC) in a difficult road test.
This is only the third time in school history that Troy has faced a top-three team.
The Trojans would get on the board first as Ryan Kay kicked a 39 yard field goal with 10:22 left in the first to take a 3-0 lead. The Tigers answered quickly, marching down the field with 7:26 left in the first to allow Greg Heugel to tie the game with a 26-yard field goal.
The remainder of the first quarter was a hard fought defensive battle between the two teams as the score held 3-3 until Deshaun Watson found Hunter Renfrow through the air for the 35 yard touchdown with 10:06 left in the second. After the extra point kick by Heugel, the Tigers were on top 10-3.
On the ensuing Trojan drive, Jabir Frye broke free on a 66 yard rush to even the score at 10-10 with 7:52 left in the first half. With 2:45 left in the first half, Heugel booted through a 32-yard field goal to take a 13-10 lead heading into the locker room.
Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, the leading candidate for the Heisman trophy, went 27-53 through the air along with 55 yards on the ground. Watson also threw one interception.
Brandon Silvers completed 24 of his 42 attempts through the air with 233 yards and two interceptions. Jabir Frye went for 61 yards on his 4 touches. The third quarter of the game was a defensive standoff as the teams exchanged punts.
Clemson began to find their offense in the fourth quarter as the Tigers drove 66 yards down the field for the score. Watson found Christian Wilkins for the 1-yard pass touchdown with 13:50 left in the fourth quarter to take the lead 20-10.
After forcing the Trojans to punt on the ensuing drive, the Tigers were able to score once again as Watson found Deon Cain for the 23-yard pass with 10:00 left in the fourth.
With the score 27-10, the Trojans were able to tack on another score to cut into the Tiger lead. Troy drove 86 yards and topped it off as Brandon Silvers found Deondre Douglas for the 2-yard touchdown pass. After Ryan Kay converted the PAT, the score stood 27-17 in the Tiger’s favor.
Clemson was then able to drive into field goal range for Greg Heugel to get a chance at a 34-yard kick. After the field goal, the Tigers began to distance themselves with a score of 30-17.
With under a minute left in the game, the Trojans marched down the field and Silvers found Douglas for their second touchdown connection of the day.
Troy lined up for the ensuing onside kick with 0:44 left in the game with the score 24-30. The Tigers recovered the kick on the Troy 43 yard line, however, and sealed the victory.
The Trojans will travel to Southern Miss to take on the Golden Eagles on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 6:00 p.m.
For full coverage of the Clemson game, see the sports section of the weekly Tropolitan this Thursday.