Found November 03, 2012 on
Fox Sports Carolinas:
Florida State Seminoles
North Carolina Tar Heels
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Duke Blue Devils
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Tajh Boyd threw for 344 yards and tied a school record with five touchdown passes for the second straight week to help No. 10 Clemson beat Duke 56-20 on Saturday night.
DeAndre Hopkins caught three of those TD tosses in the opening quarter for the Tigers (8-1, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who scored 42 points by halftime and rolled to their fifth straight win -- all by at least 14 points. Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant also had first-half touchdown catches, helping Clemson rack up nearly 500 yards by halftime and 718 for the game.
The win moved Clemson into a tie with No. 9 Florida State atop the ACC's Atlantic Division, though the Seminoles beat the Tigers in September for the head-to-head tiebreaker in the division race to reach the ACC championship game.
The loss dropped Duke (6-4, 3-3) a game behind Miami for the Coastal Division lead.
Duke is already bowl eligible for the first time since 1994 and entered the week tied atop the Coastal with Miami and North Carolina, though the Tar Heels are ineligible for the division crown due to NCAA sanctions. That success had put the long-struggling Duke program in the unusual position of playing meaningful games in November, though some of that momentum has ebbed after a brutal two-game stretch.
First came last week's 48-7 loss at FSU. Then came Saturday night, with the Blue Devils managing more offensive success but finding no way to slow Boyd or the Clemson receivers sprinting downfield for big gains.
It was Duke's first loss in six games at Wallace Wade Stadium this season.
Boyd threw for a school-record 428 yards with five touchdown passes in an easy win at Wake Forest last week, then added another five TD passes by halftime against Duke. He also ran for a 21-yard score to give Clemson a 42-17 halftime lead, setting up the Tigers for a stress-free second half.
The Tigers played almost the entire game without Andre Ellington, the ACC's second-leading rusher. Ellington suffered an unspecified leg injury on a 26-yard carry on the game's first offensive play and didn't return. But it didn't matter with the Clemson passing attack humming so well.
Boyd hit Hopkins for a 5-yard touchdown 2 minutes in, then connected with him again over the middle for a 58-yard TD on a ball that slipped by the outstretched arm of top Duke cornerback Ross Cockrell for a 14-3 lead midway through the first.
Boyd and Hopkins connected again minutes later, this time for 45 yards out in a sign that Duke's secondary -- featuring three players that had been named ACC defensive back of the week -- was in for a long night. Boyd found Watkins for a 30-yard touchdown for a 28-10 lead with 16 seconds left in the first quarter, then found Bryant for a 41-yard TD midway through the second.
Boyd left the game late in the third quarter. Hopkins finished with four catches for 128 yards, reaching the 1,000-yard mark for the season while also setting the program record with his 22nd career touchdown catch.
Sean Renfree threw for 240 yards and a 77-yard scoring pass to Jamison Crowder for the Blue Devils, while Brandon Connette also had a touchdown pass.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
DURHAM, NC -- Even with the miscues, Tajh Boyd is on the prowl.
The Clemson quarterback set a personal record by throwing three interceptions Saturday night at Duke, but he still put on such an amazing performance in Clemson's 56-20 rout of the Blue Devils that he's arm-and-arm with Giovani Bernard in the hunt for the ACC's Player of the Year honor.
On Saturday, Boyd...
Tajh Boyd threw for 344 yards and tied a school record with five touchdown passes for the second straight week to help No. 10 Clemson beat Duke 56-20 on Saturday night.
DeAndre Hopkins caught three of those TD tosses in the opening quarter for the Tigers (8-1, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who scored 42 points by halftime and rolled to their fifth straight win - all by at least...
(Eds: Adds quotes, details. With AP Photos.) By AARON BEARD AP Sports Writer Tajh Boyd is flirting with school records, DeAndre Hopkins keeps hauling in touchdowns and Sammy Watkins is emerging from a slow start.
Clemson's passing attack looks as though it's still improving entering the final month of the regular season.
The 10thth-ranked Tigers (8-1, 5-1 Atlantic Coast...
CLEMSON, S.C. - Clemson coach Dabo Swinney thinks the 10th-ranked Tigers have grown since their late-season collapse of last fall and have the experience to avoid a similar slide this season.
"Consistency is something this program has lacked," Swinney said. "That's the next thing we've got to do."
The quest starts Saturday night when the Tigers visit...
ACC Power RankingsThe ACCs upper echelon gained more separation from the rest of the league this past weekend even though two of the leagues top three teams didnt play.
Florida State and North Carolina further solidified their spots in the ACC Power Rankings despite having open dates, but three of the teams ranked Nos. 4-8 lost in ugly fashion, thus the increased divide. Here are...
At times it looked like the Duke secondary was a high school JV team trying to play against professionals, it just looked that bad for the Blue Devils and that easy for Clemson.
The Blue Devils have come a very long way on the football field but are clearly still no match for a very talented offensive team in Clemson. For the first time this season Duke dropped its second...
CLEMSON - Offensive coordinator Chad Morris weighs in on the play of the reserve offensive linemen, Tajh Boyd's play and the backup running backs.
Clemson coordinator Chad Morris says his team's offensive confidence growing with every milestone it reaches this season.
The 10th-ranked Tigers had their biggest offensive explosion since their national championship season 1981, piling up 720 yards in a 56-20 victory over Duke last Saturday. It was the team's sixth game with 500 yards or more this season, a program record...
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd and offensive lineman Brandon Thomas headline a list of nine players named as the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Players of the Week, announced by the conference on Monday. Boyd tied the ACC record for touchdown responsibility with six, all in the first half, and Thomas helped the offense accumulate 718 yards for the 10th...