by - Senior Writer -
<span style=Photo by Mitch Stringer / US PRESSWIRE">
Photo by Mitch Stringer / US PRESSWIRE

COLLEGE PARK, MD – Entering the fourth quarter of No. 9 Clemson’s game at Maryland Saturday afternoon and the Tigers holding on to a precarious 19-13 lead, it began to look as if the Tigers’ last trip to Maryland for an ACC game might end in devastating fashion.

Clemson responded with 21 fourth quarter points, the Tigers went over the 200-yard rushing mark for the first time this season and Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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set a school record with 14 receptions as the Tigers escaped College Park with a 40-27 victory at Byrd Stadium.

Clemson’s offense committed three more turnovers –an alarming trend – and while they scored on seven of eight red zone trips, just three of those ended with touchdowns as the Tigers held a slim 19-13 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Both teams muddled through possessions and punts until early in the fourth quarter. Needing a big play, the Tigers got it from their defense and corner Bashaud BreelandBashaud Breeland
RS Jr. Cornerback
#17 6-0, 195
Allendale, SC

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, who missed the first half after being ejected last week for targeting.

Maryland running back Albert Reid took the handoff from Rowe and bounced outside, where he was hit by Breeland, who forced the fumbled. It was picked up by linebacker Spencer ShueySpencer Shuey
Gr. Linebacker
#33 6-3, 230
Charlotte, NC

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at the Maryland 31 and returned to the 22.

Four plays later, Boyd ran a quarterback power up the middle for a five-yard touchdown, and the Tigers were able to find a little breathing room with the 26-13 lead, and McDowell later added a three-yard run that made it 33-13 midway through the fourth quarter. The Terrapins got right back in it with a touchdown that made it 33-20, but McDowell capped off a record-breaking day with a 45-yard touchdown that accounted for the final points.

McDowell set career highs with 30 carries for 161 yards and two touchdowns and the Tigers ran the football 56 times for 248 yards, the first time this season they broke the 200-yard barrier in a game.

The Tigers won the toss but elected to defer – the first time in 17 games the Tigers didn’t take the opening kickoff – and stopped Maryland with a three-and-out on the game’s opening possession.

The first drive for the Tigers covered 11 plays and 57 yards and ended with a 31-yard field goal by Chandler CatanzaroChandler Catanzaro
Gr. Punter / Kicker
#39 6-2, 195
Greenville, SC

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for a 3-0 lead. On the drive, Boyd went over 10,000 yards passing for his career, second only to former N.C. State quarterback Philip Rivers.

The Terps answered on the ensuing drive, getting a 71-yard pass from Caleb Rowe to Levern Jacobs that made it 7-3 Terrapins.

The Tigers drove down for a first-and-goal at the Maryland two-yard line, but went backwards on the next three plays – losing 11 yards - and completed the 15-play drive with a 29-yard field goal by Catanzaro that made it 7-6.

Maryland drove down the field on the next possession and threatened to score again, but freshman safety Jayron KearseJayron Kearse
Fr. Safety
#20 6-4, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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intercepted Rowe in the endzone and returned it out to the 25-yard line. The Tigers were able to get points off of the turnover – a 25-yard field goal from Catanzaro – and it was 9-7 Clemson early in the second quarter.

The Clemson offense finally managed to get into the endzone just before intermission, after taking over at its own 42-yard line with 1:53 remaining on the clock. The Tigers managed to get down to the Maryland seven yard line with just one timeout remaining and a little more than 20 seconds left on the clock, but called a running play to McDowell that gained just two yards. The Tigers were then forced to call their final timeout with 14 seconds remaining.

The Tigers came out of the timeout in a tight formation and Boyd faked the run before stepping back and hitting freshman tight end Jordan LeggettJordan Leggett
Fr. Tight End
#16 6-6, 235
Navarre, FL

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in the corner of the end zone for a 16-7 lead at the break.

A Sammy Watkins fumble on Clemson’s second drive of the second half set up a field goal by Maryland that made it 16-10 Tigers, and Clemson’s McDowell fumbled on the very next offensive play by the Tigers and Maryland turned that into a field goal that made it 16-13 just four minutes into the second half.

The Tigers drove down to the Terrapin five yard line on the ensuing possession, but the red zone woes continued as they settled for another Catanzaro field goal and led 19-13 at the 6:42 mark of the quarter.

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