Clemson place kicker Chandler Cantazaro told reporters he didn’t have any doubt he was going to make the 43 yard field goal at the end of regulation against Wake Forest. Catanzaro exorcised the demons from last year’s miss in overtime against Auburn, as well as a 32 yarder early in Saturday’s game against Wake, and knocked the kick through to give the Tigers the win and clinch the ACC Atlantic division title. Catman said he knew he would make the high pressure kick.
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd doesn’t seem to have a middle gear. He’s either really, really good or he’s really, really shaky. He showed both of those characteristics against Wake Forest, but when it counted he was on his game. Boyd overcame a couple of interceptions and suspect decisions to finish with a 343 yard passing day. He had two touchdown passes.
The Tigers finished with 522 yards of total offense. Offensive coordinator Chad Morris said for the most part the unit did well. He attributed a lot of the early mistakes, especially those from Boyd, to rust from the bye week.
Andre Ellington carried the ball 25 times in his first action since the win over North Carolina. With his injured ankle healed Ellington rushed for 98 yards and two scores.
Wake Forest managed to find room against the Clemson defense for most of the afternoon. The Deacons converted eight of 16 third downs and had a lot of success on the intermediate passing routes. The Tiger defense made the stops when it had to though. They stuffed Wake Forest on fourth and inches inside the five in the third quarter, they also kept Wake from scoring after the Deacons started a drive on the Clemson 33. Most importantly they forced a three-and-out on Wake’s final possession of the game to set up the game winning drive for the offense.
Clemson will play at N.C. State next weekend. The Tigers wrap up the regular season at USC. The ACC title game is at 8:00 on December third in Charlotte.