CLEMSON, SC - If life were fair there would have been many more autumn afternoons at Death Valley like this for Brandon Streeter.
He had to wait a while - his entire career in fact - but he finally had one of those games where everything went right from beginning to end.
Clemson (5-4 overall, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 21-0 before Duke's offense crossed midfield Saturday. The Tigers cruised to a 58-7 win in front of 75,000 at Death Valley.
"The players' efforts in practice this week were good, and I think the coaches pushed them pretty well," said Clemson coach Tommy Bowden. "A lot of the credit goes to the players for how they worked this week."
Streeter made it look easy. He pitched the ball to Travis Zachery for four touchdowns and threw a 25-yard pass to Mal Lawyer for another in the first half. Before shadows started crawling across the sun-drenched field, the Tigers had the game well in hand.
"It was a picture-perfect ending for me," Streeter said. "I had the most fun I've ever had today."
It was a party the likes Clemson hasn't seen in a while. The last time the Tigers scored that many points against a conference opponent, they were a couple of months from winning a national championship.
"We weren't ready offensively, we weren't ready defensively," said Duke coach Carl Franks, who saw his team fall to 2-7 overall and 2-4 in the ACC. "We had a hard time tackling and a harder time stopping the pass. It seemed like at times they could just throw it up and they could come down with it."
The Tigers took a 31-7 lead into the half. By the time Streeter walked off the field with 14:15 left in the game, Clemson led 51-7. There was little that Clemson coach Tommy Bowden could find wrong with the Tigers' performance.
"The thing I can remember about Clemson's defense from when I was at Duke, I remember coming in here on two buses and going out on two buses and three ambulances. That's kinda what happened today."
Clemson had eight sacks. Linebacker Keith Adams had five by himself. Safety Robert Carswell had two of Clemson's four interceptions. While Clemson's offense had 558 yards of total offense, the most all season, it was the defense that scared the Devil out of Duke.
"They kicked us pretty good today," said Franks.
Travis Zachery scored on runs of 14 and 8 yards in the first quarter. Streeter hit Mal Lawyer with a 25-yard touchdown pass later in the quarter.
After Tony Lazzara hit a 26-yard field goal, Zachery scored on a 9-yard run to give Clemson a 31-0 lead with 4:30 left in the first half. Zachery, who rushed for a season-high 141 yards, made all the runs look easy.
"It was kinda hard at first - this style of offense," he said. "I'm trying to be more patient and more patient."
Zachery added a 44-yard touchdown run - the longest run of his career - with 8:03 left in the third quarter.
After Streeter hit Brian Wofford with an 18-yard touchdown pass, the defense added some scoring on the first play of Duke's next drive.
Jason Holloman tipped a pass by Duke quarterback Bobby Campbell into the arms of Terry Jolly. Jolly picked off the pass at the Duke 20 and returned the ball down the left sideline for a touchdown with 2:32 left in the third quarter.
Clemson's final score came on a 25-yard pass from Woody Dantzler to Jackie Robinson, a couple of high school teammates.
The score gave Clemson the most points against a conference opponent since an 82-24 win over Wake Forest in 1981.
The win sent Streeter out with a game that he couldn't have scripted any better.
"This was the perfect ending," he said.