By Rixon Lane
It was a wild day in Death Valley, but Clemson emerged from its in-state battle with a 35-27 victory over a well prepared Wofford team Saturday.
The Wofford Terriers made it closer than most of the Tiger faithful probably would have liked, but a 4th quarter touchdown pass from Tahj Boyd and a stand by the Clemson defense helped the Tigers improved to 2-0 on the season.
Wofford started the afternoon by stuffing the Tigers on a 4th down run near midfield. The Terriers then drove down the field and put the first points on the board, courtesy of quarterback Mitch Allen, who scampered 27 yards for the first touchdown of the day.
Clemson answered with just under six minutes left in the quarter, as Boyd tossed his first of three touchdown passes. The extra point was made, but officials waved it off to review the touchdown catch. After upholding the score, the snap would be low, allowing Wofford to maintain a one point lead.
Allen responded by throwing his first pass of the afternoon, a 66-yard touchdown to Brenton Bersin, giving Wofford a 14-6 advantage.
The Tigers would storm back on the very next offensive play, as Andre Ellington streaked 74 yards for a Tiger touchdown, capping an exciting first quarter of action.
Wofford would convert a fake point near midfield and punch the ball in from the one-yard line to take a 21-13 lead with four minutes left in the first half. It would be the last time the Terriers would find the end zone.
Clemson would even the score right before the half, as Boyd led the Tigers down the field and connected with Sammy Watkins on a 38-yard touchdown pass. The Tigers would successfully convert the two-point attempt and the teams would head to the locker room tied at 21.
Wofford would only manage two Christian Reed field goals in the third quarter, sandwiched around a 5-yard touchdown run by Boyd that would give the Tigers a lead they would not relinquish.
Clemson stretched their lead to 35-27 early in the fourth quarter, as Boyd found DeAndre Hopkins for a 17-yard touchdown.
Wofford’s next drive would be thwarted as Kantrell Brown would pick off a Mitch Allen pass and return it to the Terrier 17. The Wofford defense held the Tigers, then stopped a fake field goal attempt to get the ball back with plenty of time remaining.
Clemson’s defense would not allow the Terriers to make the comeback, forcing Wofford to punt the ball back, and stopping a 4th down attempt with just over three minutes remaining to seal the win.
Boyd would finish 18-29 for 261 yards and three touchdowns. The Terriers did manage four sacks on the afternoon. Hopkins hauled in five passes for 73 yards and a touchdown reception. Watkins, along with Martavis Bryant, also pulled in touchdowns from Boyd.
Mitch Allen would only complete two passes on the afternoon, but they would go for 127 yards. Both passes went to Brenton Bursin. Allen would also the Terrier rushing attack with 13 carries for 89 yards.