DURHAM, N.C. — Perhaps the only concern on offense in No. 10 Clemson’s 56-20 win over Duke on Saturday night was the sight of running back Andre Ellington in a sweatshirt on the sidelines in the second half.
Ellington (Berkeley High School) suffered a hamstring injury after his 26-yard gain on the first play of the game.
Ellington was listed as questionable to return to the game prior to halftime. Roderick McDowell and D.J. Howard carried the rushing load.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney doesn’t think Ellington’s injury is significant.
“He tweaked his (hamstring) on the first play,” Swinney said. “It doesn’t seem serious.”
Clemson tight end Brandon Ford (Hanahan High School) was taken to the locker room in the second quarter with an apparent abdominal injury. He didn’t return to the game.
Hopkins breaks records
DeAndre Hopkins scored Clemson’s first three touchdowns — all in the first quarter — and smashed the record books in the process. Hopkins, now with 22 career TD catches, broke Aaron Kelly’s record of 20 set from 2005-2008. His 13th TD catch this season broke Sammy Watkins’ record of 12 set last season.
Hopkins also had three TD catches in a quarter against Ball State this season.
Hopkins also went over 1,000 receiving yards for the season Saturday. He has 2,652 career receiving yards, moving ahead of Perry Tuttle (2,534). He needs 30 yards to move ahead of his uncle, Terry Smith, for second place (2,681) in school history and is closing in on program leader Aaron Kelly (2.733)
Dante Stewart, a former walk-on, started at cornerback when head coach Dabo Swinney benched cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland, Cortez Davis and Garry Peters at the start of the game or missing a team meeting.
Stewart is a redshirt sophomore from Swansea. He had played 47 snaps this season, 21 at Wake Forest.
Shuey solidifies role
Clemson linebacker Spencer Shuey made his third straight start over former five-star prospect Stephone Anthony. Shuey has provided the Clemson defense with a physical presence.
Anthony played a limited number of snaps off the bench.