Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. speaks in the Smart Family Media Center at the Poe Indoor Facility in Clemson, S.C. Tuesday, November 7, 2023.

Clemson LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr. to enter NFL draft

Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. announced Tuesday that he will skip the team’s upcoming bowl game, forgo his senior season and enter the 2024 NFL Draft.

He announced his decision via social media.

“After long thought and prayer, I am officially announcing that I am taking the next step in a lifelong dream and declaring the the 2024 NFL draft,” he said. “I will always be a Clemson Tiger!”

A finalist for the 2023 Butkus Award given to the nation’s top linebacker, Trotter led Clemson in tackles (87), tackles for loss (14.5) and sacks (5.5) in 12 games this season. He also had two interceptions — including a pick-six in the Tigers’ 31-23 win over Notre Dame on Nov. 4 — and two forced fumbles.

He is the son of four-time Pro Bowl selection Jeremiah Trotter, who played eight of his 11 NFL seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

–Field Level Media

Nov 25, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) is sacked by Clemson Tigers linebacker Barrett Carter (0) in the first half at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

No. 24 Clemson extends dominance of rival South Carolina

Clemson’s Jonathan Weitz kicked three field goals, and the No. 24 Tigers relied on their defense to stymie South Carolina in the 120th version of the Palmetto Bowl on Saturday night, toppling the Gamecocks 16-7 in Columbia, S.C.

Weitz made kicks from 50, 49 and 42 yards, while safety Khalil Barnes returned a fumble for touchdown as Clemson (8-4) won its fourth straight game and its eighth in the past nine meetings with the Gamecocks (5-7).

The Tigers’ defense held its in-state rival to 169 total yards on 56 plays – 3 yards per play — and forced two turnovers.

Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik finished 15 for 27 passing for 100 yards with an interception. He added 52 rushing yards on 11 carries.

Phil Mafah rushed for a game-high 89 yards on 19 attempts, and teammate Will Shipley had 80 yards on 15 carries.

Clemson improved to 73-43-4 in the all-time series.

Gamecocks quarterback Spencer Rattler completed 16 of 32 passes for 112 yards with an interception. Xavier Legette had six catches for 68 yards.

South Carolina had its three-game winning streak snapped and failed to become bowl eligible.

On the second play from scrimmage, Clemson stunned the home crowd when Rattler’s swing pass to Legette was dropped and recovered by Barnes, who raced 42 yards for a score. The play was reviewed and upheld as a fumble.

When the Gamecocks started on the ensuing series, Barnes was at it again on the next snap. He picked off Rattler’s long pass downfield for his third interception.

Rattler’s 16-yard scamper on South Carolina’s third series set up a double-reverse on fourth-and-goal at the 1. Legette’s pitch to backup quarterback Luke Doty tied the game at 6:39.

Weitz put Clemson up 10-7 with a career-best 50-yard field goal late in the first quarter. He added one 49 yards out with 5:07 left in the half.

Clemson’s Barrett Carter sacked Rattler late in the half to stop a drive and leave the Tigers up 13-7.

Weitz capped the first series of the second half by booting a 42-yarder to give Clemson a two-score edge, 16-7.

But with the visitors driving later in the quarter, Nick Emmanwori made a one-handed interception of Klubnik in the end zone to stuff a developing Clemson series.

–Field Level Media

Nov 18, 2023; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Cade Klubnik (2) dives past North Carolina Tar Heels linebacker Power Echols (23) for a touchdown during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson topples No. 20 North Carolina for third straight win

Cade Klubnik passed for a touchdown and ran for another as Clemson took advantage of No. 20 North Carolina’s mistakes in a 31-20 victory Saturday at Clemson, S.C., giving the resurgent Tigers their third straight win.

Will Shipley rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown and Phil Mafah gained 84 yards and scored on a fourth-down play as the Tigers (7-4, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) completed their league schedule.

North Carolina’s quest for a spot in the ACC Championship game was dashed earlier in the day when Louisville won at Miami. The Tar Heels (8-3, 4-3) have lost three of their last five games.

North Carolina’s Omarion Hampton ran for 178 yards on 19 carries, but he lost two fumbles after not fumbling in the team’s first 10 games. Quarterback Drake Maye was 16-for-36 for 209 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.

Klubnik threw for 219 yards on 21-for-32 passing and rushed for 44 yards in a rematch of last year’s ACC title game.

Clemson went up 21-7 when Mafah scored from 3 yards out on fourth down with 7:15 left in the third quarter.

The Tar Heels struck back quickly on Hampton’s 55-yard run on the third play of the next possession.

Clemson wasted no time in re-building a 14-point edge with Shipley reaching the end zone on a 33-yard run. Then an 88-yard drive resulted in Jonathan Weitz’s 21-yard field goal for a 31-14 score.

North Carolina held a sizable statistical advantage in the first half, but two fumbles by Hampton inside the Clemson 10-yard line resulted in scoring chances going for naught.

North Carolina opened the scoring on Maye’s 33-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Jones in the first quarter. But the Tar Heels wasted other opportunities.

Clemson pulled even on Klubnik’s 3-yard pass to Jake Briningstool to conclude a 14-play, 80-yard march.

The Tigers took the lead on an 11-play drive that ended with three seconds left of the first half on Klubnik’s 3-yard run on third down.

–Field Level Media

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and North Carolina Coach Mack Brown talk before the ACC Championship football game with North Carolina at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina Saturday, Dec 3, 2022.

Clemson Tigers Football Vs North Carolina Tar Heels Acc Championship Charlotte Nc

Clemson out to squash hopes of No. 20 North Carolina

North Carolina holds a national ranking and Clemson doesn’t.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way in mid-November. The No. 20 Tar Heels still have aspirations of playing for the championship of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which Clemson has dominated over much of the past decade.

This puts the host Tigers, who have shown a recent resurgence, in a spoiler’s role when the teams meet Saturday in Clemson, S.C.

“They’re the old Clemson again,” North Carolina coach Mack Brown said of the Tigers, who won two College Football Playoff titles in the past eight years. “They’re playing like a playoff team. They’re protecting the ball, running the ball so well. … They dominated a Georgia Tech team that beat us.”

Some preseason projections had this game as a potential preview of the ACC title game. That’s not the case, though North Carolina has a slim chance of advancing.

The Tar Heels (8-2, 4-2), who would need to beat Clemson and win next week at North Carolina State to stay in contention for the ACC title, should know more about their status prior to Saturday’s kickoff. By that time, the game between Louisville and Miami should be done, and a Louisville loss would keep UNC in contention for the spot opposite No. 4 Florida State in next month’s title game.

Brown wasn’t thrilled earlier this year when the schedules came out and he saw his team going to Clemson and rival NC State in consecutive weeks to end the regular season. It still looks like a daunting task.

“We’ve got to get up and go,” Brown said. “I’ve always loved to go on the road and play in great places. Not many people have won there (at Clemson). What a great challenge for us.”

Clemson (6-4, 3-4) has toppled then-No. 15 Notre Dame and Georgia Tech in trying to resurrect its season.

“We’re starting to play how we knew we could,” Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said. “Our defense has played well enough to be a playoff team. But we haven’t done our part offensively taking care of the ball.”

The Tigers have a solid running back tandem with Will Shipley back from injury. He and Phil Mafah combined for 173 rushing yards in last week’s 42-21 rout of Georgia Tech. Cade Klubnik threw for four touchdowns.

Clemson has won 23 of its past 26 November games.

“All that gets your players’ attention,” Brown said. “(The Tigers) get everybody’s attention because they are who they are. They’re really, really good at everything they do. They just had a year where it was uncommon for them that they turned the ball over and weren’t forcing turnovers as much as they have in the past, but now they’ve corrected that.”

North Carolina is trying to build on a 47-45 double-overtime victory against Duke. That came with a couple of situations that had to go the Tar Heels’ way to avoid defeat.

“It’s amazing how that one play makes a difference,” Brown said of the mood around his team.

In addition to quarterback Drake Maye, North Carolina has an offensive threat with running back Omarion Hampton. He’s the ACC’s leading rusher with 1,236 yards, including 169 in the Duke game.

North Carolina leads the ACC in scoring at 39.9 points per game.

Among those who’ll try to slow down the Tar Heels is Clemson freshman cornerback Shelton Lewis, who made his first career start last weekend. That resulted in an interception that was returned 46 yards for a touchdown.

Still, the Tar Heels with Maye will try to target the relatively young Clemson defensive backs.

This is a rematch of the 2022 ACC championship game that was won 39-10 by Clemson, which has swept the past five meetings overall with the Tar Heels.

–Field Level Media

Oct 28, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers running back Will Shipley (1) twists on a run before he is hit by North Carolina State Wolfpack cornerback Shyheim Battle (7) near the goal line during the second quarter at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Clemson RB Will Shipley (concussion) out vs. Notre Dame

Will Shipley, Clemson’s leading rusher, will miss Saturday’s game against No. 15 Notre Dame due to a concussion, ESPN reported.

Shipley sustained the concussion last week in a loss to North Carolina State.

Shipley has run for 515 yards and scored five total touchdowns — three rushing and two receiving. He’s averaging 64.4 yards per game for the Clemson offense, which is No. 63 in the nation in scoring (28.8 points per game) and No. 48 in total offense (416.6 yards per game).

Fellow back Phil Mafah has gained 459 yards in eight games and scored six rushing touchdowns.

The Tigers are 4-4 on the season. Notre Dame enters the game in Clemson, S.C., at 7-2.

–Field Level Media

Oct 28, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack receiver Keyon Lesane (15) runs after a catch against Clemson Tigers linebacker Barrett Carter (0) and safety Khalil Barnes (36) during the second quarter at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

NC State upsets Clemson, 24-17

KC Concepcion caught two touchdown passes and Payton Wilson returned an interception for a touchdown as host North Carolina State beat Clemson for the second time in three years, 24-17 on Saturday in Raleigh, N.C.

MJ Morris threw both touchdown passes, going 11-for-20 for 138 yards in the air. NC State upset the 9.5-point favorites to improve to 2-1 since Morris was named the starting quarterback in place of Brennan Armstrong.

Wilson’s 15-yard interception return came during a momentum-building third quarter for the Wolfpack (5-3, 2-2 ACC). Concepcion added a 72-yard touchdown play as NC State went up 24-7 heading into the fourth period.

Wilson’s interception came on Clemson’s first snap following a Wolfpack punt. Devon Betty deflected the pass and Wilson was there for the pick. He dove into the end zone along the left sideline.

Phil Mafah scored on two 1-yard runs for Clemson (4-4, 2-4), which has lost two games in a row. Quarterback Cade Klubnik completed 33 of 50 passes for 263 yards and two interceptions.

Mafah’s touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter made it 24-14. Jonathan Weitz kicked a 19-yard field goal with 6:57 to play, pulling the Tigers within 24-17.

Clemson got to the NC State 48-yard-line in the final minute before a sack and an incomplete pass on fourth down.

Clemson’s second possession ended on Devan Boykin’s interception of Klubnik. On the next play, Concepcion ran 50 yards to the Clemson 10-yard line, setting up his first TD reception.

The Tigers punted three times in the first quarter.

The Wolfpack went up 10-0 on Brandon Narveson’s 41-yard field goal with 12:11 to play in the second quarter.

The Tigers got on the board on Mafah’s first TD run to cap a nine-play, 75-yard drive in the second quarter.

Clemson’s bid to pull even was squashed when Weitz was wide right from 43 yards out on the final play of the first half.

Tigers rushing leader Will Shipley left with a second quarter injury and didn’t return.

–Field Level Media

Oct 21, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes safety Kamren Kinchens (5) celebrates with teammates after catching a interception against the Clemson Tigers during the second quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Miami ends losing skid to Clemson in double OT

Ajay Allen scored eight points in double overtime — a 3-yard touchdown run and the ensuing two-point conversion run — as the host Miami Hurricanes defeated the Clemson Tigers 28-20 in an Atlantic Coast Conference game in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Saturday night.

The game ended on a Clemson fourth-and-goal play from the one. Tigers quarterback Cade Klubnik ran to his left and was sacked by Corey Flagg.

Hurricanes star quarterback Tyler Van Dyke sat out the game with an apparent leg injury. Starting running back Henry Parrish Jr. was also absent.

Freshman quarterback Emory Williams won in his first career start, completing 24 of 33 passes for 151 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Miami (5-2, 1-2 ACC), which rushed for 211 yards, beat Clemson for the first time since 2010. In that four-game losing streak, Clemson outscored the Hurricanes 178-30.

Clemson (4-3, 2-3) was led by 6-foot-6 tight end Jake Briningstool, who had five catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns.

Klubnik completed 18 of 34 passes for 314 yards and two touchdowns. He was intercepted once and he fumbled twice, losing one.

Miami won an ACC home game under coach Mario Cristobal for the first time in six tries.

The first quarter featured two goal-line fumbles on consecutive plays.

First, Clemson’s Will Shipley fumbled a split-second before he would’ve scored, and Miami’s James Williams recovered for a touchback.

Then, Brashard Smith ran 80 yards for a would-be Miami touchdown, but was stripped just before he scored. Miami receiver Jacolby George, hustling down the field, recovered for the Hurricanes’ touchdown. It was the longest run allowed by Clemson in 14 years.

Clemson tied the score 7-7 in the second quarter on Klubnik’s 32-yard touchdown pass to Briningstool, who reached over 6-foot-2 linebacker K.J. Cloyd.

That was the score at halftime, although Miami nearly went up 9-7 on a would-be safety. Linebacker Francisco Mauigoa sacked Klubnik, who fell down in the end zone. The officials, though, ruled Klubnik down at the one.

Clemson took a 10-7 lead in the third quarter on Jonathan Weitz’s 41-yard field goal. On the previous play, Klubnik fumbled on Te’Cory Couch’s strip-sack, but Shipley recovered.

With 2:01 left in the third, Briningstool made his second TD catch, this one a 19-yarder over the 6-5 James Williams. The play was originally called incomplete, but a video review showed Briningstool was in bounds.

On third-and-3 on the ensuing drive, Emory Williams threw an 11-yard TD pass to Colbie Young as Miami cut its deficit to 17-14 with 8 minutes left in the fourth. That capped a 15-play, 75-yard drive.

Miami then tied the score 17-17 with 1:52 in the game left on Andres Borregales’ 38-yard field goal. Williams completed a pair of third-down passes on that drive — 16- and 25-yarders to Young.

The teams traded field goals in the first overtime.

–Field Level Media

Oct 7, 2023; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro (33) sacks  Wake Forest quarterback Mitch Griffis (12) during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson emerges from defensive battle with Wake Forest

Will Shipley ran for 97 yards and a touchdown and Clemson’s defense handled most of the rest in a 17-12 victory against Wake Forest on Saturday in Clemson, S.C.

Cade Klubnik completed 18 of 28 passes for 131 yards for Clemson (4-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), which has won two straight ACC games.

Wake Forest (3-2, 0-2), which has lost two games in a row, was held to 239 yards of total offense compared to 338 for Clemson.

The Demon Deacons put together a late 11-play drive for 75 yards culminating in Demond Claiborne’s 3-yard touchdown run with 1:34 to play. A two-point conversion failed.

Clemson went 61 yards in eight plays for a key touchdown on Shipley’s 1-yard run with 5:49 remaining to create the game’s first double-digit margin.

Mitch Griffis of Wake Forest threw for 137 yards on 15-for-25 passing.

Wake Forest didn’t have 100 yards on the ground or through the air until the final six minutes of the game.

Shipley had 19 carries, while teammate Phil Mafah gained 63 yards on nine attempts.

Clemson went ahead 7-3 on a 16-play, 75-yard drive that consumed more than seven minutes. Klubnik’s 7-yard run gave the Tigers their first points with 10:18 to play in the first half.

Wake Forest had four first-half possessions begin in Clemson territory but managed only three points.

Wake Forest scored first on Matthew Dennis’ 35-yard field goal, but this came after the Demon Deacons faltered on an earlier scoring chance.

A Clemson fumble gave Wake Forest the ball at the 9-yard line. The Demon Deacons reached the Clemson 2 before failed pass plays on third and fourth downs.

The teams traded short field goals in the third quarter after long drives.

Clemson went up 10-3 on Jonathan Weitz’s 25-yarder at the end of a 15-play, 67-yard possession. Dennis was good from 22 yards out at the end of Wake Forest’s 12-play, 71-yard drive.

Weitz missed from 51 yards away on the fourth play of the fourth quarter.

–Field Level Media

Sep 30, 2023; Syracuse, New York, USA; Clemson Tigers defensive end T.J. Parker (12) rushes Syracuse Orange quarterback Garrett Shrader (6) in the first quarter at the JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Cade Klubnik, Clemson hand Syracuse first loss of season

Cade Klubnik passed for 263 yards and two touchdowns as visiting Clemson notched a 31-14 victory over Syracuse in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup Saturday.

Playing in just his fifth career game, Tyler Brown racked up 151 yards on eight catches for the Tigers (3-2, 1-2 ACC), while Will Shipley and Phil Mafah combined for 104 rushing yards and two scores.

Garrett Shrader passed for 181 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for Syracuse (4-1, 0-1), which suffered its first blemish following an unbeaten run through nonconference play. LeQuint Allen chipped in 90 total yards and a touchdown.

Clemson surged out of the gate with two touchdowns in the game’s first 10 minutes — both scores set up by Syracuse fumbles.

Shrader was hit and fumbled near midfield on the opening possession of the game, and the Tigers were in the end zone seven plays later. Klubnik rolled out to his right on third-and-7 and found Troy Stellato for the first points of the contest.

Later in the half, Allen fumbled and Xavier Thomas returned it 20 yards to the Syracuse 3. Two plays later, Shipley plunged into the end zone for a 2-yard score, making it 14-0.

The Orange promptly answered with a 75-yard drive, capped by Shrader’s 28-yard TD pass to Dan Villari.

However, the momentum swung back in Clemson’s favor late in the first half. With about 3 1/2 minutes left before intermission, Orange kicker Brady Denaburg came up short on a 57-yard field goal. The Tigers then took advantage of the good field position as Klubnik found Beaux Collins wide open down the sideline for a 47-yard score.

The third quarter featured five punts with the only scoring courtesy of Clemson’s Jonathan Weitz, who kicked a 38-yard field goal on the half’s opening drive to make it 24-7.

The Orange took advantage of a Tigers fumble early in the fourth, cashing in on Shrader’s 6-yard scoring pass to Allen with 12:23 to play.

However, Clemson put an exclamation point on its strong performance with less than seven minutes left. Jeremiah Trotter Jr. made a diving interception at the Syracuse 32 and, on the next play, Mafah sprinted into the end zone to cap the scoring.

–Field Level Media

Sep 16, 2023; Clemson, South Carolina; Clemson tight end Jake Briningstool (9) catches a pass for a touchdown against Florida Atlantic against Florida Atlantic at Memorial Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY NETWORK

Cade Klubnik accounts for four TDs as Clemson rolls past FAU

First-year starter Cade Klubnik accounted for more than 200 yards and four total touchdowns to lead the Clemson Tigers (2-1) to a 48-14 victory over the Florida Atlantic Owls (1-2) on Saturday in Clemson, S.C.

Clemson recorded just 367 total yards in the game but had a season-low one turnover. The Tigers have six turnovers through three games.

On the other side, the Owls recorded 293 yards of total offense, but two fourth-quarter touchdowns spoiled Clemson’s hope for its first shutout of the season.

The Tigers got off to a quick start. Nate Wiggins intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown to spoil the Owls’ opening drive. It was the first of three first-quarter touchdowns for Clemson, with Klubnik finding freshman wide receiver Tyler Brown and junior tight end Jake Briningstool in the end zone.

Junior running back Phil Mafah, who led the Tigers with 42 rushing yards, opened the second quarter with a 19-yard touchdown run. Klubnik ran from 1 yard out a few minutes later for his rushing touchdown of the year, which gave the Tigers a 34-point lead at the break.

After a sluggish start to the second half, Klubnik connected with Brown for his second touchdown of the game. Brown finished with three receptions for 49 total yards, by far the biggest output of his young career.

Wes Goodwin’s defense came close to earning the program’s first shutout since the 2021 season, but reserve quarterback Michael Johnson Jr. powered his way into the end zone in the fourth quarter for the Owls.

Freshman Clemson running back Domonique Thomas scored on a 2-yard run, his second touchdown in as many games, to complete the Tigers’ scoring.

But it was FAU that closed out the scoring on a 33-yard touchdown pass from junior receiver Javion Posey to junior wide receiver Devin Price.

Both teams return to the field next weekend, when the Tigers host No. 3 Florida State and the Owls travel to take on Illinois.

–Field Level Media