Clemson Tigers overpower Oklahoma Sooners at Russell Athletic Bowl

Clemson’s Cole Stoudt threw for a career high 319 yards Monday night at the Russell Athletic Bowl as the Tigers defeated the Oklahoma Sooners in dominating fashion 40-6.

Following Clemson’s defense forcing a three and out to start the game off, the offensive would capitalize on their first possession as Stoudt found Artavis Scott on a screen route, which he would turn into a 65-yard touchdown reception on the first play of the game.

“It was a huge momentum booster, starting off seven and nothing right off the bat for the first play. And I knew that was one of the big plays,” said Stoudt, who won game MVP, in response to Scott’s fifth 50-yard touchdown of the season. “It all comes down to who makes the big plays in the game.  And we had the most this game.  And starting off on the first play is a huge momentum booster.  It just piled on from there and just kept getting.  And we really didn’t hit the brakes from there.

In addition to Stoudt’s 319 passing yards, he also passed for three touchdowns (both season-highs) and ran for his first touchdown of the season. Stoudt relied heavy on receivers Scott and Mike Williams, who both finished with more than 100 yards and a receiving touchdown.

The Tigers were clicking on all cylinders. They held Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight —  who starred in last year’s Sugar Bowl — into zero touchdowns. Knight finished the game 17-of-37 for 103 yards and three interceptions; one interception in which Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware returned to the house for a 47 yard pick-six.


“First of all, I’m proud of them, I’m proud of our staff. We had great preparation. I’ve said that many times. We practiced well. We’ve got a process that we believe in as far as how we get ready for bowl prep and our guys believing in what we do. And we were ready, you know. I mean, we were ready. We were ready from the opening kick,” said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney. “Oklahoma is a great football team. And the breaks just kind of went our way tonight. Turnovers were critical. We had gains and we got a lot of key turnovers tonight and it really just kind of got away from them. But Oklahoma is a great football team. That’s a lot of the same guys that drove Alabama up and down the field last year.

“They have a great program and it was our night tonight. I have a great respect for Coach Stoops and we knew were going to have a great challenge. It’s sad when the season ends every year. I love the season. My I love game day. I love the preparation process. I love being with the players every day. And it’s always sad when it ends but it was”

Samaje Perine rushed for 134 yards on 23 carries for the Sooners. Held scoreless for most of the game, Oklahoma would get on the board late in the fourth quarter when sophomore running back Alex Ross rushed for an 11 yard touchdown.

Clemson’s victory at the Russell Athletic Bowl, in front of an announced crowd of 40,071, marked the team’s fourth straight 10-win season, a first for the program since Clemson had four straight 10-win seasons between 1987-90.

“Three ten-plus win seasons in a row. We’re in the top 15. Three consecutive Bowl wins. And not just Bowl wins but championship programs, LSU, Ohio State and Oklahoma. And the biggest thing about winning the Bowl games, you get momentum. And this is a three-game winning streak for us. It gives us good momentum in the offseason,” said Swinney.z