Clemson strikes first in the quarter. After an exchange of punts, the Tigers take off on a 66 yard drive capped by a one yard quarterback sneak by Tajh Boyd. The big play was a 39 yard pass from Boyd to DeAndre Hopkins on a flea flicker with Boyd lined up at receiver and coming around and taking the pitch. Hopkins made a leaping catch. With 10:02 to play in the quarter, Clemson led 31-17.
Charles Brown fumbled away the kickoff and set up the Tigers at the Tar Heel 12. Two plays later Boyd hit Brandon Ford with a 12 yard scoring pass. Clemson lead 38-17 with 9:47 left in the third.
Twelve seconds later, it was a 38-24 game. That’s how long it took for CJ Thorpe to take the kickoff back 100 yards for a touchdown.
But Clemson re-seized the momentum after Jaron Brown returned the kickoff to the North Carolina 45. Boyd later found Sammy Watkins open behind the secondary for a 42 yard scoring strike. With 7:11 left in the quarter, Clemson led 45-24.
The Tigers continued to build their lead on their next series driving 79 yards for the score. Boyd hit his tight end Dwayne Allen with a 9 yard scoring pass, his record tieing fifth of the day. With 1:42 left in the quarter, Clemson led 52-24.
And the Tigers weren’t thru scoring in the quarter. Kourtnei Brown scooped up a fumble as Renner was being sacked and returned it 20 yards for a score, his second of the day. Clemson led 59-24 with :14 left in the quarter.
Clemson scored 35 points in the quarter, tieing the school record for points in a quarter, and the most since the Wake Forest game of 1981.