CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson receiver Ray-Ray McCloud had a clear path to the end zone as he sought to give the sluggish second-ranked Tigers the jump start they sorely needed against Troy.

But he dropped the ball in a premature TD celebration. McCloud released the football just before crossing the goal line to wipe out his 75-yard punt return for a touchdown. Clemson leads 13-10 at halftime.

McCloud’s big run would certainly have been a lift for the Tigers as their offense struggled to get in synch. He burst through several defenders and outran them into the end zone. But right before end zone, McCloud nonchalantly dropped the ball inches before crossing the goal line. Troy recovered it in the end zone for a touchback.

McCloud sat nervously on the bench before officials overturned the play.


Online: AP College Football website www.collegefootball.ap.org