These were five minutes and three decisions Appalachian State quarterback Taylor Lamb would love to have back.
Through most of the first quarter Saturday the Mountaineers stuck close to 12th-ranked Clemson. Then Lamb threw interceptions to end three consecutive possessions, the first a promising one with the Mountaineers down only 3-0 and across midfield.
By the time all that was over the Mountaineers trailed 17-0 en route to a 41-10 loss that ended Appalachian State’s seven-game winning streak.
The Tigers (2-0) led 31-0 at halftime, which allowed coach Dabo Swinney to get some starters off the field in the second half. Clemson has a quick turnaround, playing at Louisville Thursday night on ESPN.
The Tigers were looking for a replacement for No. 1 receiver Mike Williams, who suffered a neck fracture in Clemson’s season-opening victory against Wofford. Williams collided with the padded base of a goal post while catching a touchdown pass.
Charone Peake looked like a worthy replacement, ending the first half with 86 yards and two touchdowns off four completions from sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson, who finished with 248 yards passing and three touchdowns.
Appalachian State (1-1) finally avoided a potential shutout with a 31-yard field goal midway through the third quarter.
Running back Marcus Cox led the Mountaineers with 104 yards on 25 carries.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell