|by Nikki Steele|
They took care of business on the road, routing Virginia 59-10 at Scott Stadium Saturday night.
It was over when: The Tigers led 14-7 with just under five minutes to play in first half when freshman safety Jayron Kearse intercepted a David Watford pass and returned it 37-yards, setting up a Clemson touchdown. The Tigers would score three times before intermission, making the score 35-7 and essentially putting the game out of reach.
Game ball goes to: Tajh Boyd has caught his fair share of heat this season, and minus an early interception, was all but spectacular during his Virginia homecoming. Boyd played two-and-a-half quarters and finished the day 24-of-29 for 377 yards and three touchdowns. Boyd also accounted for a rushing touchdown right before halftime.
Stat of the game: At one point, late in the second quarter, Clemson had minus-19 yards rushing, but Roderick McDowell’s 25-yard touchdown run before the half sparked the ground game, which ended the day with 179 yards rushing (before taking a knee to end the game).
What it means for Clemson: Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney preached this week about making it a November to remember, and the Tigers started the month off as well as could be expected. The Tigers improve to 8-1 overall and 6-1 in conference. Clemson is still battling for at-large BCS bowl bid and a convincing win on the road Saturday night can only fuel those hopes.
What it means for Virginia: With the loss, Virginia falls to 2-7 overall and 0-5 in conference. The Cavs are on a six-game skid and must find a way to get back in the win column. Next weekend at North Carolina may just be their only chance until the final week of the regular season when UVa hosts a struggling Virginia Tech team.
Nikki Steele can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org