Instant Halftime Analysis: Clemson 35, Wake Forest 7

by - Staff Writer -

CLEMSON. – The much-maligned Clemson offense finally started clicking for the first time since the Georgia game, scoring on its first three possessions.

After jumping out to a quick 21-0 lead, Wake Forest’s defense started to slow Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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and Clemson’s offense down; however, the Tiger lead 28-7 at half time.

Player of the half: Tajh Boyd looked out of synch for most of the games against South Carolina State and North Carolina State, but Boyd appeared to be having fun and hitting on all cylinders once again. Boyd completed 13-of-18 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns. Boyd also rushed for one score.

Stat of the half: During the first half, Boyd threw for 286 yards – 42 more than he had during all of last week’s game against N.C. State. Clemson also has 361 total yards and is averaging nine yards per play, compared to just 3.7 yards per play for Wake Forest.

What’s working for the Tigers: On offense, Boyd is spreading the ball around to all of his receivers as well as mixing in the run to keep the Wake Forest defense off balance. Boyd appears more comfortable in the pocket and is having an easier time connecting with Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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downfield for the big play. Defensively, the Tigers have gotten good pressure on Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price.

Clemson receiver Mike WilliamsMike Williams
Fr. Wide Receiver
#7 6-5, 205
Vance, SC

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- a true freshman - also caught the first touchdown pass of his career, and he looks like a player who will continue to compete for playing time.

What’s not working for the Tigers: Injuries were big in the first half for the Tigers. Running back Roderick McDowellRoderick McDowell
Gr. Running Back
#25 5-9, 195
Sumter, SC

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, defensive back Martin JenkinsMartin Jenkins
RS Jr. Cornerback
#14 5-10, 180
Roswell, GA

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, and offensive linemen Brandon ThomasBrandon Thomas
Gr. Offensive Line
#63 6-3, 305
Spartanburg, SC

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and Ryan NortonRyan Norton
RS So. Offensive Line
#58 6-3, 270
Simpsonville, SC

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were all banged up. The Clemson defense continues to give up the big play, but gave up just the one touchdown.

What the Tigers need to do to win: The Clemson defense needs to eliminate the big play and limit the underneath passes to Wake Forest wide receiver Michael Campanaro. On offense, the Tigers simply need to keep its foot on the gas and keep doing the little things right like they did in the first half.

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