WHO: S.C. State (1-0) at Clemson (0-1)
WHEN: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Memorial Stadium, Clemson
CLEMSON - Cole Stoudt whizzed the football, too high for Jordan Leggett's fingertips.
In hindsight, that incomplete pass on 1st-and-10 with a 31-point lead was much more unfortunate than it seemed at the time - especially since on the next play, Stoudt connected with Germone Hopper for a 17-yard touchdown.
The pass to Hopper was the first of 12 consecutive completions from Stoudt to a Clemson teammate to end his afternoon, the highlight of a 52-13 victory over South Carolina State on Sept. 7, 2013.
Paired with Stoudt's first drive - replacing starter Tajh Boyd in the second quarter, and promptly going 6-for-6 with a three-yard touchdown to Charone Peake - Stoudt finished with 19 completions on 20 attempts, a 95 percent success rate, the most accurate passing day a Clemson quarterback's ever had.
The question asked a year later as the Tigers prepare to play S.C. State again: was that pass to Leggett catchable?
"Ahhhh, not really," Stoudt admitted. "He was coming back from a (groin) injury, so he couldn't really leap off it. I kind of tossed it over his head, I got too excited."
Stoudt also remembers coming off the field after his first drive of his junior season, when he looked at Boyd and said, "I just went 6-for-6. That was weird."
There's a chance Stoudt's afternoon Saturday could end after six passes or so. With freshman Deshaun Watson in need of live reps, it wouldn't be a surprise if the backup quarterback logs more snaps than Stoudt.
"If that's the way the game unfolds, then yeah, I'll take advantage of the opportunity," Watson said. "But we've got to go out there and we can't sleep on anyone. We have to execute every time we're out on the field and make sure we get our job done first."
Offensive coordinator Chad Morris said Monday he planned on a "similar game plan" in terms of using Stoudt and Watson as Clemson's opener at Georgia. But that game was a tight contest until the fourth quarter, while S.C. State doesn't figure to put up such a fight.
"We've got to get Deshaun ready, just in case," Morris said. "Obviously, we know what's ahead for him in years to come. It also helps Cole out as well."
Third-stringer Nick Schuessler, a sophomore who played nine snaps in 2013 (seven against S.C. State), could also see action. If it all goes really smoothly, Stanford transfer David Olson, who's paying his own way, might check in as well.
Hopper was the ACC Rookie of the Week last year against the Bulldogs, catching six balls for 66 yards and two touchdowns - all career-bests for the sophomore.
Other notable performances by young players in last year's second week, when Clemson led 38-7 at halftime: running back C.J. Davidson (13 carries, 63 yards; two catches, 13 yards), tight end Jay Jay McCullough (three catches, 15 yards), linebacker Kellen Jones (a team-high seven tackles, two for a loss with one sack) and defensive end Kevin Dodd (six tackles.)
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