Clemson rolls up 718 yards of offense in 56-20 rout of Duke

by - Senior Writer -
Clemson rolls up 718 yards of offense in 56-20 rout of Duke

DURHAM, NC – Different week. Different team. Different receiver. Same result.

Clemson scored 42 points in the first half against Duke Saturday night – topping the 35 scored last week at Wake Forest – as Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

View Full Profile
and Nuk Hopkins broke more records and put on an aerial display as No. 9 Clemson defeated Duke 56-20 at Wallace Wade Stadium.

The Tigers’ explosive first half was another for the record books as Boyd and Hopkins each set program records, leaving little in doubt midway through the second quarter. The records weren’t limited to players however, as the Tigers had the second-highest yardage total in program history, gaining 718 yards against the Blue Devils. The record was the 756 yards gained against Wake Forest in 1981.

Clemson gained 339 yards on the ground and 379 through the air.

The Tigers improve to 8-1 overall, 5-1 in conference play while Duke falls to 6-4 overall, 3-3 in the ACC.

The win marked the first time in Clemson history the Tigers have beaten five straight ACC opponents by at least 14 points.

"This was a dominant performance and I am proud of our team," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. "We felt if they were going to play man coverage in the secondary, we could be successful like we were against Wake Forest. Tajh was terrific in the first half and Nuk continues to set records. Overall we continue to respond and play as a team. It feels great to get a 4th win away from home."

With the win, the Tigers finish the regular portion of the road schedule with a 4-1 record.

"I'm proud of our team," Swinney said. "These guys just continue to respond and get better. I'm proud of them for finishing tonight. This is kind of the end of our road season, and it's only the second time in 15 years we've had four road wins. I'm real proud of our guys for that. You win games on the road and you have a chance to be a real good team. It's not easy to win on the road, in this league or in any league for that matter. I'm proud of them."

It didn’t take long for the Tigers to get on the board, taking the opening kickoff and driving straight down the field on the Blue Devils. Facing a 3rd-and-12 from the Duke 42 yard line, quarterback Tajh Boyd hit Jaron BrownJaron Brown
Gr. Wide Receiver
#18 6-2, 205
Cheraw, SC

View Full Profile
down the right sideline for a 34-yard gain, setting up a five-yard scoring toss from Boyd to Nuk Hopkins on a fade route, giving the Tigers a quick 7-0 lead.

Duke answered with a 46-yard field goal on its opening drive, making it 7-3 midway through the first quarter, but the Tigers answered just four plays later when Boyd hit a wide-open Hopkins over the top on a 58-yard bomb, putting Clemson up 14-3 with 7:25 remaining in the first quarter.

Duke got the crowd back into the game on the ensuing series, with Sean Renfree hitting a wide-open Jamison Crowder for a 77-yard gain, the eighth-longest scoring play in Duke history.

The Tigers, Boyd and Hopkins made it three-for-three on scoring drives following the Duke punt. Boyd found Hopkins over the top again – Hopkins beat the coverage deep – this one covering 45 yards and the Tigers had a 21-10 lead.

The defense forced a three-and-out on the Duke offense, and the Tigers took over at their own 20-yard line. It took eight plays for the Tigers to score, but this time Boyd hit Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
So. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

View Full Profile
on a post route for a 30-yard touchdown and a 28-10 lead late in the first quarter.

The Blue Devils were making it look just as easy against Clemson’s defense, however, and the Blue Devils took just five plays to get back on the scoreboard when Brandon Connette hit David Reeves on a 17-yard scoring pass that made it 28-17 early in the second quarter.

The defense finally settled in, and Boyd made it five touchdown passes in the half when he hit Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
So. Wide Receiver
#1 6-5, 200
Calhoun Falls, SC

View Full Profile
on a 41-yard scoring toss that made it 35-17.

The defense again held Duke on the ensuing possession, but Boyd threw an interception on the first play of the next drive, giving Clemson two turnovers in three drives after Hopkins had fumbled the ball away following a long reception.

Boyd finished the scoring in the first half, running up the middle for 21 yards, as Clemson led 42-17 at intermission.

The Tigers turned the ball over on the opening drive of the second half, but Clemson’s defense continued to hold Duke at bay, and the Tigers were able to effectively put the game away on the half’s second drive.

The Tigers took over on their own 27-yard line, and managed to keep the ball for 10 plays while running the ball in between the tackles and chewing up game clock. D.J. HowardD.J. Howard
RS So. Running Back
#22 5-11, 195
Lincoln, AL

View Full Profile
capped the three minute drive with a one-yard plunge that made it 49-17 with 7:01 remaining in the third quarter.

Duke added a field goal midway through the third quarter to make it 49-20, but the Tigers emptied the bench following the field goal, giving playing time to younger players and reserves.

Center Dalton Freeman said that Boyd, who finished 16-for-23 for 344 yards and rushed for 72 yards, was the key for the Tigers.

"Tajh was awesome tonight. He made all the right calls," Freeman said. "We knew we could hit some big plays to Nuk and Sammy. A big key was our ability to run the ball. It looked like everyone on the offensive line had a strong game. It was good to see our back ups play so well.This was a big win for us because now we have our last three games at home."

Boyd said the Tigers are executing at a high level, thanks to offensive coordinator Chad Morris.

"He changed the culture around here," Boyd said. "We have to play to our standard, no matter who we are playing. That is our goal every time we go out, is to just play to our standard. We feel like if we can do that, there is a lot we can accomplish. Yes, we scored six touchdowns in the first half, but we felt like we should have had seven."

Clemson’s first half notes and records

*Clemson had 487 yards of total offense in the first half, a school record for a half. The previous high was 393 in the second half against Wake Forest in 1981.

*This is not the most points Clemson has scored in a half this year. The Tigers had 45 at the half against Ball State in the second game of the season.

Player Notes

*Tajh Boyd tied the Clemson single game record for touchdown responsibility in the first half with his five touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown. One more in the second half will give him the record for a game. He had six last year against North Carolina and Woody Dantzler had six against NC State in 2001.

*Boyd’s 388 yards of total offense is a record for a half in Clemson history. The previous record was 288 by Dantzler in the second half at NC State in 2001. He had a record 517 yards for the game.

*Boyd broke the Clemson career record for touchdown responsibility tonight when he threw a 58 yard scoring pass to Hopkins in the first period. Entering the second half he has 73 career touchdowns rushing and passing.

*Boyd had 74 yards rushing in the first half, his career high.

*Nuk Hopkins had three touchdown receptions in the first half. It tied a Clemson record for a game and he tied his own record for a quarter. He had three touchdown receptions in the second period against Ball State earlier this year. He did that in just 8:11. Tonight he scored three touchdowns in 7:47.

*Hopkins became Clemson’s career leader and single season leader in touchdown receptions in the first half. He now has 22 TD catches for his career, two more than Aaron Kelly (2005-08) and one more on a season basis than Sammy Watkins had last year.

*Hopkins went over 1000 receiving yards tonight. His 128 receiving yards in the first half give him 2652 entering the second half. He moved ahead of Perry Tuttle (2534) in the first half and needs just 30 receiving yards in the second half to go ahead of his uncle, Terry Smith, who had 2681. Hopkins needs just 82 receiving yards in the second half to become Clemson’s career leader. Aaron Kelly had 2733.

Box Score

Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score

----------------- -- -- -- -- -----

Clemson............. 28 14 7 7 - 56 Record: (8-1,5-1)

Duke................ 10 7 3 0 - 20 Record: (6-4,3-3)

Scoring Summary:

1st 12:36 CU - DeAndre Hopkins 5 yd pass from Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 8-76 2:24, CU 7 - DU 0

08:44 DU - Ross Martin 46 yd field goal, 12-54 3:47, CU 7 - DU 3

07:25 CU - DeAndre Hopkins 58 yd pass from Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 4-75 1:19, CU 14 - DU 3

07:02 DU - Jamison Crowder 77 yd pass from Sean Renfree (Ross Martin kick), 2-77 0:17, CU 14 - DU 10

04:49 CU - DeAndre Hopkins 45 yd pass from Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 6-75 2:13, CU 21 - DU 10

00:16 CU - Sammy Watkins 30 yd pass from Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 7-80 3:06, CU 28 - DU 10

2nd 13:12 DU - David Reeves 17 yd pass from Brandon Connette (Ross Martin kick), 5-75 2:01, CU 28 - DU 17

09:29 CU - Martavis Bryant 41 yd pass from Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 5-72 1:39, CU 35 - DU 17

01:52 CU - Tajh Boyd 21 yd run (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 5-84 1:29, CU 42 - DU 17

3rd 07:01 CU - D.J. Howard 1 yd run (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 10-69 3:20, CU 49 - DU 17

01:56 DU - Ross Martin 47 yd field goal, 13-47 4:57, CU 49 - DU 20

4th 13:16 CU - Charone Peake 12 yd pass from Cole Stoudt (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 11-86 3:33, CU 56 - DU 20


FIRST DOWNS................... 34 21

RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 52-339 33-85

PASSING YDS (NET)............. 379 257

Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 29-21-3 44-24-0

TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 81-718 77-342

Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0

Punt Returns-Yards............ 6-28 0-0

Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 3-66 4-74

Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 3-0

Punts (Number-Avg)............ 1-31.0 9-39.9

Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-1 1-0

Penalties-Yards............... 6-65 6-60

Possession Time............... 26:53 33:07

Third-Down Conversions........ 7 of 10 6 of 19

Fourth-Down Conversions....... 1 of 2 1 of 2

Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 3-3 1-1

Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 4-41 2-4

RUSHING: Clemson-Roderick McDowell 13-83; Tajh Boyd 9-72; Zac Brooks

12-67; D.J. Howard 13-65; Cole Stoudt 3-28; Andre Ellington 1-26; TEAM 1-minus

2. Duke-Shaquille Powell 10-38; Jela Duncan 6-28; Josh Snead 3-27; Patrick

Kurunwune 1-13; Brandon Connette 7-10; Anthony Boone 1-minus 6; Sean Renfree

5-minus 25.

PASSING: Clemson-Tajh Boyd 16-23-3-344; Cole Stoudt 5-6-0-35. Duke-Sean

Renfree 23-39-0-240; Anthony Boone 0-4-0-0; Brandon Connette 1-1-0-17.

RECEIVING: Clemson-Sammy Watkins 6-97; DeAndre Hopkins 4-128; Sam Cooper

2-30; Charone Peake 2-23; Adam Humphries 2-14; Zac Brooks 2-7; Martavis Bryant

1-41; Jaron Brown 1-34; Daniel Rodriguez 1-5. Duke-Jamison Crowder 7-167; Conner

Vernon 5-47; Josh Snead 3-12; David Reeves 2-21; Desmond Scott 2-7; Issac

Blakeney 2-1; Jela Duncan 2-minus 2; Shaquille Powell 1-4.

INTERCEPTIONS: Clemson-None. Duke-Ross Cockrell 1-0; Lee Butler 1-0; Walt

Canty 1-0.

FUMBLES: Clemson-DeAndre Hopkins 1-1; Tajh Boyd 1-0. Duke-Sean Renfree


Stadium: Wallace Wade Stadium Attendance: 31894

Kickoff time: 7:00 pm End of Game: 10:36 pm Total elapsed time: 3:36

Officials: Referee: W. Davenport; Umpire: David Goodwin; Linesman: Mike Pavese;

Line judge: Allen Andrick; Back judge: Scott Maslin; Field judge: Chris Brown;

Side judge: Jim Corpora;

Temperature: 53 deg Wind: NE @ 1 Weather: Clear

Comment on this story
Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment
Clemson softball sweeps doubleheader over Phoenix
Clemson softball sweeps doubleheader over Phoenix
4-star OT has Clemson in top schools, announces offer
4-star OT has Clemson in top schools, announces offer
WATCH: Will Shipley high school highlights
WATCH: Will Shipley high school highlights
Post your comments!
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Daily Digest