Ellington leads Tigers to 26-19 win over Auburn

ATLANTA (AP) -- Andre Ellington rushed for 231 yards, DeAndre Hopkins set a school record with 13 receptions and No. 14 Clemson opened the season with 26-19 victory over Auburn on Saturday night.

Playing before a 50-50 crowd at the Georgia Dome -- basically halfway between the two campuses -- Clemson shook off any hangover from last season's embarrassing 70-33 loss to West Virginia in the Orange Bowl and showed plenty of offense against Auburn (0-1) even without star receiver Sammy Watkins, who was suspended for the first two games after an offseason drug arrest.

The second half was a battle of field goals before Tajh Boyd lofted a 4-yard touchdown pass to Hopkins, who made a brilliant, twisting catch in the corner of the end zone with 9:17 remaining.

Other Postgame Notes:

Clemson and Auburn both wore home uniforms this evening.{} It is the first time both teams wore home uniforms in a Clemson game since the 2009 game against Coastal Carolina.{} Clemson was dressed in all orange and Coastal Carolina in all black for that Halloween day game in 2009.

*Clemson is now 14-0 under Dabo Swinney in Orange jerseys and white pants.

*Clemson had lost six straight games in the city of Atlanta prior to tonight.{} The last win was a 27-14 win over Tennessee in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl at the end of the 2003 season.

*Clemson is now 3-5 all-time in the Georgia Dome.

*Clemson has now beaten Auburn twice in a row after suffering 14 straight losses to the Auburn Tigers between 1952-2010.

*Clemson now has six wins over top 25 teams over its last 21 games.

*Clemson's game captains for tonight were Dalton Freeman, Malliciah Goodman, Andre Ellington and Xavier Brewer.

*Clemson dressed 80 players for this game.{} Twenty-five are freshmen, including 11 in their first year, 28 are sophomores, 15 are juniors and 12 are seniors. Six of the 12 seniors already have their Clemson degrees.

*Clemson's first string offensive line played all but one play this evening.{} Giff Timothy missed the last offensive play of the game.

*Clemson had 320 yards rushing and 208 yards passing tonight.{}{} Clemson is now 58-0-1 all-time when it has at least 200 rushing and 200 passing in the same game.

*Clemson ran 87 plays in tonight's game. The most plays Clemson had in a game last year was 92 against Auburn.{} One other note of interest on plays.{} Clemson's 48 plays is half way to 96, the total number of plays Ball State ran in its opening game last Thursday night against Eastern Michigan.{} Clemson and Ball State play next Saturday at Clemson.

*Tonight's victory was the first season opening game won away from home since 1985 when the Tigers opened the season with a victory at Virginia Tech on a field goal by David Treadwell on the last play of the game.

*Auburn was ranked 25th by USA Today in the preseason poll.{} This is just the fourth time Clemson has opened the season with a win over a top25 team.{} But, it is the third time it has happened since the 2005 season.

Players Notes

*Clemson freshman Daniel Rodriguez played on the kickoff coverage teams for the Tigers in the first half.{} Rodriguez had received national attention as a US Army vet who desired to play college football after he returned from serving his country.{} He earned a Purple Heart in the war in Afghanistan. This was the first career action for the 24-year old since the 2005 football high school season.

*Andre Ellington rushed for a career high 231 yards this evening.{} His previous high was 212 at Maryland last year.{}{}{} He now has three consecutive games with at least{} 100 yards on the ground.{} He had 20-125 against Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship game last year, then had 10-116 against West Virginia in the Orange Bowl.{} Ellington now has 10 career 100-yard rushing games, more than any other active ACC player.{}

*Ellington's 231 yards rushing rank as the fifth most in a single game in Clemson history and is the most since C.J. Spiller had 233 in the ACC Championship game of 2009 against Georgia Tech.{} Ellington's 231 rushing yards are the most by a Clemson player in a season opener.{} The previous mark was 204 by Buck George against Presbyterian in 1952.{} Ellington's performance tonight was the most by a Clemson running back against an SEC team.{}

*Tajh Boyd had a career high 58 yards rushing on 19 attempts this evening.{} He actually went 88 yards forward and lost 30 yards on four sacks, all in the first half.{}{} His previous high was just 37 yards against Boston College and Maryland last year.

*DeAndre Hopkins had a school record 13 receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown tonight.{} The previous record for receptions was 12 by Airese Currie against Middle Tennessee State on Sept. 13, 2003.{} His position coach for that game was Dabo Swinney.

*Chandler Catanzaro was a perfect 4-4 on field goals this evening.{}{} He made each of his last eight field goals last year, so he is now a perfect 12-12 over a span of six games.{} The Clemson record for consecutive made field goals is 14 in a row by Obed Ariri in 1980.