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09/28/2013 8:25 PM EDT
Boyd leads Clemson to 56-7 win over Wake Forest
CLEMSON 56, WAKE FOREST 7
By PETE IACOBELLI
AP Sports Writer
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) -- Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris
had two words of counsel this week for Tajh Boyd: "Have fun."
It appears he got the message - loud and clear.
Boyd threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another score,
leading the Tigers to a 56-7 victory over Wake Forest on
Saturday. The terrific performance made him the second Atlantic
Coast Conference quarterback to account for 100 career TDs.
"It was a fun game," Boyd said. "I got a lot of chances to smile
Boyd's return to form was part of a solid day on several fronts
for the Tigers, (4-0, 2-0), who have won their first four games
for the second time in the QB's three seasons as starter.
Clemson figures to be the favorite the next two weeks against
Syracuse and Boston College. Then the Tigers host undefeated ACC
rival Florida State on Oct. 19.
Boyd accounted for five TDs in Clemson's season-opening victory
against Georgia, making the quarterback a contender for the
Heisman Trophy and stamping the Tigers as a team to watch this
But Boyd was held without a scoring pass and played less than a
half against South Carolina State. Then he looked out of sync in
Clemson's previous game, a 26-14 win at North Carolina State.
Morris thought Boyd was putting too much pressure on himself,
and the quarterback said he just needed to relax to improve his
"The biggest thing for me is just to go out and enjoy," playing
football, Boyd said. "I've pretty much accomplished everything
you can accomplish in a college career, minus a couple of
things. But, now I've got to enjoy this last go-round with my
Boyd's performance against Wake Forest left him at 102 TDs in
college, joining former North Carolina State star Phillip Rivers
in the ACC's century club. Boyd passed for 311 yards and ran for
69 to surpass Charlie Whitehurst as Clemson's total offense
Morris worked hard to get Clemson's high-speed offense back on
"This has been a very challenging week for those guys," Morris
said. "Just to get into a rhythm, get into a groove and not
Boyd and the Tigers started fast against Wake Forest (2-3, 0-2).
Boyd had touchdown throws of 64 yards to Sammy Watkins, 75 yards
to D.J. Howard and 14 yards to Mike Williams as Clemson built a
35-7 halftime lead.
Clemson's single-game scoring record came in an 82-24 win over
Wake Forest during the Tigers' national championship season in
1981 - and they looked as if they planned to better that mark
early on in this one.
Clemson scored on its first three possessions, with Boyd ending
his mini-slump along the way. He connected with favorite target
Watkins to get the scoring started. Zac Brooks added a 10-yard
touchdown run before Howard turned a simple swing pass into a
second long scoring play that brought Boyd to the century mark.
Rivers accounted for 112 touchdowns with the Wolfpack from
Wake Forest's defense then stepped up, with nose guard Nikita
Whitlock sacking Boyd to stall one series and the Demon Deacons
sending the Tigers off the field for three straight
But Boyd eventually cranked up the Tigers' offense once again.
He ended a 67-yard drive with a 2-yard TD run, powering through
the line when he was initially stopped on a fourth-and-short
Boyd's final touchdown pass went to freshman Williams, a sliding
14-yard grab that gave Clemson a 35-7 lead. Williams was in
because starter Martavis Bryant was held out the opening half
after he made a throat-slash gesture when he scored at North
Carolina State on Sept. 19.
The Tigers outgained Wake Forest 361-142 over the first 30
minutes. The Demon Deacons' lone score came on Tanner Price's
10-yard pass to Sherman Ragland III in the opening period.
Price had Wake Forest on the move on its next series until he
fumbled on third down at the Clemson 32. The Tigers pulled away
"They ran a lot of blitzes on defenses that made it tough for us
to run a lot of offensive stuff," Price said. "We've got to make
some more plays."
Things didn't get much better for Wake Forest in the second
half. Boyd was back for Clemson's first series and directed a
10-play, 46-yard drive that finished with tailback C.J.
Davidson's first career score. Boyd was off to the sideline
after that, smiling and enjoying watching the backups play.
The Demon Deacons managed just 80 yards in the second half.
Coach Jim Grobe put freshman Tyler Cameron and little-used
junior Patrick Thompson in at quarterback for Price.
Clemson starting tailback Rod McDowell had just three carries
before leaving with an ankle problem. He did not return,
although Morris said he could have if the Tigers needed him to
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