Instant Analysis: No. 3 Clemson 56, Wake Forest 7

by - Staff Writer -

CLEMSON – A Homecoming date with Wake Forest is exactly what the doctors ordered for the Clemson offense.

The third-ranked Clemson Tigers (4-0, 2-0) defeated Wake Forest (2-3, 0-2) 56-7 in a game that was never in doubt Saturday in Death Valley.

It was over when: The Tigers jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead after scoring on their first three possessions of the game. It looked like Clemson was going to let Wake Forest back in the game as the offense sputtered late in the first half without starting center Ryan NortonRyan Norton
RS So. Offensive Line
#58 6-3, 270
Simpsonville, SC

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, but the defense prevented the Deacons from running the ball with any consistency and kept consistent pressure on the assorted play callers that saw the field during Saturday’s game.

Game ball goes to: Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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has caught a lot of grief over the last two weeks, but it was his running ability and ability to move the pocket that fueled Clemson’s offense. Boyd finished the day 17-for -24 for 311 yards and three touchdowns. He also carried the ball 17 times for 69 yards and a touchdown. In his career, he has 1,255 yards of total offense against Wake Forest, a Clemson record for one player against a single opponent.

Stat of the game: Clemson’s ability – or lack thereof – to return punts this season has been well-documented. However, seldom-used reserve Daniel RodriguezDaniel Rodriguez
RS So. Wide Receiver
#83 5-8, 175
Stafford, VA

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had the longest punt return of the season for the Tigers with a 16-yarder in the fourth quarter.

What it means for Clemson: The Tigers continue their quest for an ACC Atlantic Championship by beginning ACC play 2-0. The offense showed what it is capable of in putting up almost 600 yards. Three different Clemson players scored the first touchdowns of their career – C.J. DavidsonC.J. Davidson
RS So. Running Back
#32 5-11, 185
Clemson, SC

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

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, and Jordan LeggettJordan Leggett
Fr. Tight End
#16 6-6, 235
Navarre, FL

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. This was the type of day that Boyd and the offense needed as they head to the Carrier Dome next week to take on Syracuse.

What it means for Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons are now 0-2 in the ACC and are struggling to find any consistency on offense. If Wake Forest is going to make a bowl game, they need to shore up the offensive line and get the ground game going. Nikita Whitlock and the Deacon defense showed toughness in the first half forcing Clemson punt four times, but it’s difficult to keep that type of intensity when the offense is consistently going three-and-out.

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