The Tigers took the opening kickoff and sped down the field like someone was chasing them. Running and throwing at will, the Tigers went 76 yards in a flash with Tajh Boyd hitting Nuke Hopkins in the left corner of the end zone for a touchdown. Hopkins ties the school record with a touchdown reception in his sixth straight game. 7-0 Clemson.
Duke put together a 12 play drive on its first possession and reached the Clemson 29 as Sean Renfree was sharp with his passes. But on third down, under some pressure, he overthrew an open receiver and the Blue Devils had to settle for a Ross Martin 46 yard field goal. Clemson 7-3.
Boyd and Hopkins went right back to work on the next possession. On the four play of the drive, they teamed up on a 58 yard touchdown strike. That gave Hopkins a school record 21st touchdown reception, and tied Sammy Watkins’ season record with his 12 TD catch of the season. Boyd also set the school record for touchdown responsibilities with 69.
Two plays later, Duke responded with its own lightening. Renfree hit a streaking Jamison Crowder, who had beaten Xavier Brewer on the post pattern, for a 77 yard touchdown pass. Clemson 14-10.
Not to be outdone, Boyd and Hopkins connected for a third time on the Tigers’ next series, this time from 45 yards out to give Clemson a 21-10 lead and give Hopkins the school’s single season record with 13 touchdown catches.
After forcing a punt, the Tigers got Watkins into the mix. Boyd capped a seven play drive with a 30 yard laser to Watkins. It’s the second straight game Boyd has had at least four touchdown passes. Clemson finishes the quarter with 258 yards. Clemson 28-10.
End of Quarter…Clemson 28-10.