Hannon's debut as a starter impresses Clemson coach

Cumulative statistics below; Furman at Presbyterian next

STAFF REPORTS
Published on Saturday, September 15, 2012

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Freshman Reese Hannon passed for 235 yards and one touchdown with 19 completions on 29 pass attempts. He threw for one touchdown and had one pass intercepted. 

Furman University

Freshman Reese Hannon passed for 235 yards and one touchdown with 19 completions on 29 pass attempts. He threw for one touchdown and had one pass intercepted. 

Reese Hannon’s college starting debut as a freshman for the Furman Paladins at Clemson today got rave reviews from Tigers coach, Dabo Swinney.

Hannon filled in for injured starter Dakota Derrick. Hannon, former standout student and athlete at Greer High School threw for 235 yards and one touchdown with 19 completions on 29 pass attempts. He threw for one touchdown and had one pass intercepted. Clemson beat Furman 41-7, handing the Paladins their third straight loss opening the season.

"He’s a ballplayer and he’s a winner,” Swinney said. “Look what he did last week against Coastal. He’s just a young player who came into a tough environment and scrapped his tail off the whole game that made some plays for his team and took advantage of some opportunities. I was impressed with him. I think he’s only going to get better and I think they’ve got a winner.”

“It was a good opportunity being my first start even though it didn’t end the way we wanted it too,” Hannon said. “We played well in the first half but just fell short a little bit. It was pretty cool to come out at first and see all these people. It really gets you extra excited. It’s a great experience not only to start a game here, but anywhere in college football.”

“When you come into Clemson with a freshman quarterback (Reese Hannon) playing in his second game, his performance says a lot about our offensive coaches, the game plan they put together, and a lot about Reese,” said Furman Head Coach Bruce Fowler. “I thought he did a good job, as did the guys around him, because it's not a one-man thing.  That was encouraging."

Hannon drove Furman 63 yards to the Clemson 5 on the opening series. Furman failed to score, forsaking a fourth down field goal attempt for a trick play that misfired when Will King’s pass was overthrown and intercepted by Clemson in the end zone.

"It was an aggressive call. We're trying to win the game.  The ball's on the five-yard line, and you don't throw an interception, it's a 95-yard field,” Fowler said.

“The first half we ran the ball well and the offensive line was great all night,” Hannon said. “We pounded (Clemson) the first half and then in the second half had some things go a little bit wrong, but it’s things we can work on and get ready for next Saturday.”

Furman missed another scoring chance with a bad snap on Ray Early's 42-yard field goal attempt.

Hannon’s 37-yard touchdown pass to Jason Snellings cut Clemson’s lead to 17-7. That followed a 39-yard run by Jerodis Williams to set up the scoring play.

The 80,000 announced attendance was the biggest for a Furman-Clemson game at Death Valley. Hannon soaked in the environment. “It was great to quickly get settled in with the team in this environment,” Hannon said. “Football is still a game of 11 on 11, that’s how it was and that’s how we approached it even though this place holds 80,000 people.”

Swinney said he missed meeting up with Hannon after the game. “He’s a good player and a Clemson kid too, by the way. I think he has several family members that were Clemson grads so I know that was a thrill for him to play in Death Valley. I wish I’d seen him (afterward) because I was hoping to get a chance to speak with him.”

Hannon said Furman’s game plan was simple. Win. “My job as quarterback is to lead my team the best I can and just give them a chance to win and that’s all I was concerned about. Our idea going in was to win the game and we were going to do whatever it took whether that meant running it or throwing it 30 times.”

Hannon quickly sidestepped a question who should be the starting quarterback if Derrick was ready to play. “That’s not my job to worry about that (maybe being full-time starter now). I’m just going to keep playing and practicing as hard as I can and keep doing whatever I can do for the team.”

Furman plays at Presbyterian next Saturday at noon.

Hannon’s statistics through Furman's first three games are:

Comp.

Att.

%

Yards

YPG

YPA

TDs

Int.

Sacks

41

64

64.1

490

245.0

7.7

5

1

3

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