This one was over before the Clemson homecoming queen had the chance to finish putting on her makeup. Scoring on the third play of the game and, for the most part, scoring at will, the Tigers blasted Wake Forest 56-7 on a picture perfect Saturday afternoon in Death Valley. It’s the Tigers 5th straight win over Wake Forest (all under Dabo Swinney) and is their 61st in the series, their most against any other current ACC team.
Quarterback Tajh Boyd was, again, a magnificent maestro of the Tiger offense. Bouncing back from what some said was a poor performance in the win at NC State, the Tigers rolled up 573 yards of offense. Boyd accounted for 380 himself, 311 thru the air in becoming Clemson’s all time total offense leader with 9971 yards. He passed for three scores and ran for a fourth. It’s the 9th time in his career he’s thrown for at least 3 touchdowns and rushed for at least 1 in a game.
Boyd also reached the 100 mark in touchdown responsibility in his career. only the second player in ACC history to accomplish that. He has thrown 166 consecutive passes without an interception, a Clemson record. And he had 1255 total yards in his career against Wake Forest, a Clemson record for total yards in a career against one team.
Sammy Watkins caught six passes for 113 yards including a 64 yard touchdown pass on the third play of the game to start the rout. DJ Howard also contributed in the big play category taking a short pass from Boyd and turning into a 75 yard score to make it a 21-0 game in the first quarter. That was the longest touchdown by a Clemson running back since CJ Spiller went 83 yards against Duke in 2008.
Wake Forest, for a brief time, tried to make it a game. The Demon Deacons scored to make it 21-7 late in the first quarter and their defense was able to force a series of Clemson punts from the latter part of the first quarter and thru most of the second quarter.
But the Clemson defense never let the Deacons get going after that score. The Tigers so dominated the Wake Forest offense that the Demon Deacons ran only 8 plays in Clemson’s territory after scoring their touchdown.
After those three consecutive punts, the Clemson offense got back into rhythm and they knocked in a pair of touchdowns in the final five minutes of the half to put the game on ice.
On the day, seven different Tigers scored touchdowns, eight different players rushed the ball and 12 different receivers caught passes.
The Tigers are 4-0 and will play at Syracuse next Saturday. The game time and TV outlet will be announced Sunday.