Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd and receiver Nuk Hopkins gave the appearance of two guys tossing around a football in the backyard in Saturday night’s 56-20 victory at Duke. Three times in the first quarter alone the pair hooked up for touchdown passes over a bewildered Duke secondary as they wrote their names into the Clemson record book.
On Clemson’s first possession, Boyd lobbed a pass into the left corner of the end zone and Hopkins went up and over Anderson native Lee Butler to make the catch.
Next possession, Hopkins ran a deep post pattern and beat cornerback Ross Cockrelll by a step. Boyd put the ball right on the money and Hopkins trotted into the end zone.
And on their third possession, Boyd found Hopkins streaking down the left side of the field and hit him in stride for a 45 yard touchdown.
Boyd would go on to finish with 5 touchdown passes on the night to go along with one rushing score. He set the school record for touchdown responsibilities. And Hopkins entered the record books for most touchdown receptions in a season.
Duke tried a number of different defensive looks but nothing seemed to bother Boyd. “I’ve pretty much seemed them all,” he said. “That’s the great thing about playing in this type of system. I’ve seen most of the looks and just have to continue to try to improve.”
AUDIO: Boyd talks about performance in Duke win [2:18]
The Tigers scored a touchdown on each of their first four possessions burying the Blue Devils under their relentless fast pace attack. Hopkins says what they did against Duke is what they plan to do every week. “We want to hammer people. We want to score every drive we get. That’s kind of what we did until I had a mistake, a fumble. That’s the goal of this offense, to be dominant, no matter who we play.”
AUDIO: Hopkins on Clemson’s offensive mind set [1:58]
The Tigers finished the night with 718 yards, second highest total in school history. They are now 9th in the nation in total offense at over 522 yards per game and seventh in scoring at 42.6 points per game.