7:30 PM ET, October 25, 2012
GROVES STADIUM, WINSTON-SALEM, NC
Boyd threw for a school-record 428 yards with five touchdown passes and Watkins added a school-record 202 yards receiving as the Tigers (No. 18 BCS, No. 14 AP) routed Wake Forest 42-13 on Thursday night.
Boyd was 27 of 38 and connected with Watkins for three plays of 50 or more yards, including a 61-yarder for a score.
Man Among Boyds at QB
Clemson QB Tajh Boyd threw for a school-record 428 yards Thursday night and now owns three of the five highest single-game passing yardage totals in Tigers history. Here's a look:
|2012||Tajh Boyd||Ga. Tech||397|
|2007||Cullen Harper||Va. Tech||372|
|-- ESPN Stats & Information|
"Tajh was just lights out," coach Dabo Swinney said. "And now maybe everybody will quit asking me about Sammy Watkins."
Watkins, who missed three games because of suspension and illness, had eight receptions. Boyd added touchdown throws of 9 yards to Brandon Ford, 12 yards each to Sam Cooper and DeAndre Hopkins and 2 yards to Charone Peake.
The Tigers (7-1, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) scored the first 35 points, including a four-touchdown second quarter, in their fourth consecutive victory and fourth straight in the series with the Demon Deacons (4-4, 2-4).
Five days after Virginia Tech held Clemson to season lows in every significant offensive statistic except the final score, the Tigers rolled up 534 total yards and essentially ended this one at halftime.
"We expect to execute in a manner that we score every time we get the ball," Boyd said. "So when you don't do it, sometimes it's kind of frustrating. Sometimes it's kind of disappointing. But all you can do is just keep working, keep pushing."
Boyd broke Charlie Whitehurst's 10-year-old record of 420 yards passing after Watkins took care of the school's receiving mark of 197 yards set last month by Hopkins against Boston College.
"We knew that was coming," offensive coordinator Chad Morris said of Watkins. "You see that spark, and it just gives everybody that much energy. ... Getting him going at the right time -- this team's going to need him the most at this point in time in the season."
Morris said the coaches left Boyd in well into the fourth quarter because they wanted him to reach 400 yards passing for the first time -- and wound up with the record when he hit Martavis Bryant for 37 yards.
The Demon Deacons had minus-23 yards rushing in the first half. They've played two Top 25 teams and have been outscored 94-13 while allowing 1,146 total yards.
"I don't know that we didn't respect (Clemson's speed)," Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said. "I think we didn't realize how fast those guys were."
D.J. Howard added a late 1-yard touchdown run for Clemson, which was legitimately concerned after its lackluster 38-17 victory over the Hokies. In that game, the Tigers managed just 160 yards passing, 135 yards rushing and 295 total yards -- a performance that left Morris vowing it wouldn't happen again.
It certainly didn't -- at least not during an overwhelming first half.
The defending ACC champions eclipsed last week's yardage total by halftime, gaining 343 yards before the break.
Watkins, who sat out for the Tigers' first three plays because he was three minutes late for a team meeting, got the offense rolling on its third possession. He slipped behind the Wake Forest secondary and Boyd found him down the left sideline for the 57-yard pass that set up his touchdown pass to Ford.
Watkins then made it 14-0 on the first play of the second quarter when he took a throw from Boyd near the sideline, shook off two tacklers and outran two more on his way to his first touchdown reception of the season.
"You give up a big play or two, that kind of gets everybody a little bit spooky back there and then you give up a couple more by not playing real aggressively," Grobe said.
Boyd, who also threw for five TDs last year in a home win against North Carolina, then hit Cooper with a scoring pass 6 minutes later, and by then, the Tigers were well on their way to their sixth win in seven meetings with Wake Forest.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins laced up their cleats. Clemson scored the first 35 points of the blowout.
Gameball goes to... Watkins. The Tigers receiver had his first breakout game of the season, catching eight passes for 202 yards and a score.
Stat of the game... 37. Clemson became the second ACC team in history to score at least 37 points in seven straight games.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||10-17||6-18|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||0-1|
|TD||04:03||Brandon Ford 9 Yd Pass From Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro Kick)||7||0|
|TD||14:49||Sammy Watkins 61 Yd Pass From Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro Kick)||14||0|
|TD||08:36||Sam Cooper 12 Yd Pass From Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro Kick)||21||0|
|TD||03:56||DeAndre Hopkins 12 Yd Pass From Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro Kick)||28||0|
|TD||01:18||Charone Peake 2 Yd Pass From Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro Kick)||35||0|
|TD||00:12||Tommy Bohanon 8 Yd Pass From Tanner Price (Chad Hedlund Kick)||35||7|
|TD||07:45||Tommy Bohanon 18 Yd Pass From Tanner Price (Pat Failed)||35||13|
|TD||08:44||D.J. Howard 1 Yd Run (Ammon Lakip Kick)||42||13|
The last time Clemson recorded 400+ passing yards in a road game was when Clemson beat Duke 34-31 on November 2, 2002. The last time Wake Forest allowed 400+ passing yards in a home game was in a 21-14 win vs Boston College on November 4, 2006.
Since 2000, Wake Forest has only allowed 400+ receiving yards and 100+ rushing yards in the same game twice, including last night's loss to Clemson. In 2004, Miami (FL) passed for 424 yards and 4 touchdowns while rushing for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns. In this game, Brock Berlin threw for 361 yards and 4 TD while Frank Gore rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown. Last night, Clemson recorded 433 passing yards and 5 touchdowns while rushing for 101 yards and 1 TD.[+]
400+ Pass Yds and 100+ Rush Yds Allowed in Single Game - Wake Forest Defense Since 2000
Clemson WR Sammy Watkins became the 1st player in Tigers history to have over 200 receiving yards on Thursday night, recording 202 in Clemson's win at Wake Forest. Also of note, the top four receiving yardage games in Clemson history have all taken place on the road.[+]
Most Receiving Yds In A Single Game
Clemson QB Tajh Boyd threw for 428 yards in the Tigers' win at Wake Forest on Thursday night. That total broke Charlie Whitehurst's 10-year old school record for most passing yards in one game. Boyd now owns three of the five highest single-game passing yardage totals in Clemson history.[+]
Most Passing Yds In A Single Game
ESPN Stats & Information