Instant Analysis: Clemson 56, Duke 20

by - Staff Writer -

DURHAM, NC – Instant Analysis: Clemson 56, Duke 20

Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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threw five touchdown passes and rushed for another in a record-setting first half in Durham, and the Clemson defense allowed just three points after an early second quarter score as Clemson rolled past the Blue Devils.

Clemson tallied 718 yards of total offense, the second-highest total in the program’s history, trailing on the 756 gained against Wake Forest in 1981.

The Tigers never punted in the first half, and scored on six of nine possessions, with three turnovers ending the other three drives.

What went right: The Tigers scored on the opening drive of the game, with Tajh Boyd hitting Nuk Hopkins on a five-yard fade route for a quick 7-0 lead.

The touchdown gave Hopkins a touchdown in his sixth consecutive game, a Clemson record, and gave him 20 on his career, which ties a Clemson record.

The touchdown also gave Boyd a touchdown responsibility of 68 in his career, tying a Clemson record.

It didn’t take long for Boyd and Hopkins to strike again, with Boyd hitting Hopkins over the top on a 58-yard scoring strike that gave both Boyd and Hopkins the school records.

Boyd and Hopkins hooked up again on the Tigers third drive- this time for a 45-yard touchdown. With that catch, Hopkins has over 1,000 receiving yards for the season.

The Tigers had four possessions in the first quarter, and scored touchdowns on each drive. Three of the four touchdowns were over 30 yards.

D.J. HowardD.J. Howard
RS So. Running Back
#22 5-11, 195
Lincoln, AL

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scored a touchdown in the third quarter- his second of the season.

On fourth down, quarterback Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
So. Quarterback
#8 6-5, 205
Dublin, OH

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found Charone PeakeCharone Peake
So. Wide Receiver
#19 6-3, 200
Moore, SC

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in the corner of the endzone for Clemson’s eighth touchdown of the night.

The Tigers punted for the first time Saturday night with 9:52 remaining in the game.

Clemson finished the game with 718 total yards of offense.

What went wrong: Duke Quarterback Sean Renfree hit Jamison Crowder for a 77-yard touchdown on Duke’s second possession.

On Duke’s second touchdown, safety Rashard HallRashard Hall
Gr. Safety
#31 6-2, 210
St. Augustine, FL

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had no idea where the ball was and Renfree dumped it over his head to tight end David Reeves

On Clemson’s first possession of the second quarter, Nuk Hopkins fumbled the ball after a big gain, and Boyd threw two interceptions in the second quarter.

Clemson’s first drive of the second half ended in another turnover – the Tigers’ third in four possessions – as Sam CooperSam Cooper
RS So. Tight End
#86 6-5, 250
Brentwood, TN

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had a Boyd pass bounce off his hands and into the hands of the defender.

Late in the third quarter, Duke converted a fourth-and-two on a drive that eventually led to a Blue Devils field goal.

Turning Point of the Game:The opening quarter– On Clemson’s first three drives, Boyd found Hopkins for three touchdowns.

Stat of the Game: Clemson finished the game with 718 yards of total offense, gaining 341 on the ground and 379 through the air.

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