Tigers roll over hapless Deacons 56-7 on Homecoming

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Homecoming opponents are typically supposed to be easy pickings for the home team, and Wake Forest played that part perfectly Saturday as No. 3 Clemson rolled to a 56-7 victory over the Demon Deacons on a sun-splashed, early autumn Homecoming afternoon in Death Valley.

Clemson jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead in the first quarter, led 35-7 at halftime and continued to roll in the second half as Wake Forest played three different quarterbacks in the loss.

"That a great team win. We played a complete game for all four quarters," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. . "There were no lulls in our play. We played a ton of guys and they played to our standard of excellence. Our team is growing and improving. We played outstanding in all three aspects of the game. I’m really pleased with the growth, and it was just a great day for our football team.”

It didn’t take long for the Tigers to get on the scoreboard, taking the opening kickoff and scoring on just three plays on a drive that took just 46 seconds. Following a quick first down and a run by Boyd, Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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beat the Wake corner on a double move – he was interfered with on the play – and outran the coverage into the endzone to complete a 64-yard pass play for a 7-0 lead.

Clemson’s defense forced a three-and-out, and the Tigers responded with a 10-play drive that ended on a 10-yard run by Zac BrooksZac Brooks
So. Running Back
#24 6-1, 185
Jonesboro, AR

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, the first rushing touchdown of his career, for a 14-0 lead at the 9:56 mark of the first quarter.

The Tigers forced another Wake punt, and made it look almost too easy when Boyd hit D.J. HowardD.J. Howard
RS Jr. Running Back
#22 5-11, 195
Lincoln, AL

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on a 75-yard pitch-and-catch down the left sideline for a 21-0 lead.

“He had a great run, and that cut (on the touchdown pass) made a few guys miss," Swinney said of Howard's run. "He’s one of the fastest guys we have, so when he gets into open space there aren’t a lot of guys who can catch him.”

However, the Deacons responded with an impressive drive, capped off by a 10-yard scoring toss from Tanner Price to Sherman Ragland, and Clemson lead 21-7 with 1:17 remaining in the first quarter.

The Clemson offense finally got back in gear midway through the second quarter, and Boyd capped off a seven-play drive with a two-yard touchdown plunge that gave the Tigers a 28-7 lead with just under five minutes remaining in the half.

Clemson forced the Demon Deacons to punt on the ensuing drive, and took over at its own 28-yard line with 2:29 remaining in the half. Eight plays later, Boyd hit a sliding Mike WilliamsMike Williams
Fr. Wide Receiver
#7 6-5, 205
Vance, SC

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in the end zone for the final touchdown of the half and Clemson led 35-7 at intermission.

The Clemson defense forced a Wake Forest fumble on the second drive of the second half, giving the Tigers the ball near midfield, and Boyd and the Tigers effectively put the game out of reach with a ten-play drive. Boyd scrambled for 13 yards on a 3rd-and-15, and then got six yards on fourth down to set up 1st-and-goal. C.J. DavidsonC.J. Davidson
RS So. Running Back
#32 5-11, 185
Clemson, SC

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ended the drive with a one-yard touchdown run, and Clemson led 42-7 midway through the third quarter.

Boyd’s day was done after that drive, a day in which he looked like he was having fun again – he finished 17-for-24 for 311 yards and three scores through the air and carried the ball 17 times for 69 yards and a touchdown. That gave him 1,255 yards in his Clemson career against Wake Forest, a Tiger record for one player against an opponent. The previous record was the 1,127 yards former Tiger Woody Dantzler collected against NC State from 1998-2001.

Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Jr. Quarterback
#18 6-4, 205
Dublin, OH

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took over for Boyd on the ensuing possession and made it look as easy as Boyd, and the Tigers ended the drive with a beautifully thrown ball from Stoudt to Jordan LeggettJordan Leggett
Fr. Tight End
#16 6-6, 235
Navarre, FL

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in the corner of the end zone for an 18-yard score.

Clemson's defense held Wake to 222 total yards, and the Deacons converted on just 2-of-14 third down conversions.

“Our defense has improved greatly, starting with the second half of last season and it has carried over to now," Swinney said. "They are playing sound, fundamental football. Our defense is giving our offense the ball. They’re doing a tremendous job, hats off to them. They’re playing with that next guy up mentality, which is what you need when you play a lot of guys like we did today. We talked about forcing turnovers and they responded with two today. I have a lot of confidence in those guys.”

The Tigers added a late touchdown on another Davidson run. Clemson travels to Syracuse next week for a date with the Orangemen in the Carrier Dome in what will be a historic contest – it will be Syracuse’s first ACC game.

Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score
-----------------    -- -- -- --   -----
Wake Forest.........  7  0  0  0  -  7       Record: (2-3,0-2)
Clemson............. 21 14 14  7  - 56       Record: (4-0,2-0)

Scoring Summary:
1st 14:14 CU - Sammy Watkins 64 yd pass from Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 3-82 0:46, WF 0 - CU 7
    09:56 CU - Zac Brooks 10 yd run (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 10-63 2:50, WF 0 - CU 14
    07:32 CU - D.J. Howard 75 yd pass from Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 3-80 1:03, WF 0 - CU 21
    01:17 WF - Sherman Ragland III 10 yd pass from Tanner Price (Chad Hedlund kick), 8-54 3:05, WF 7 - CU 21
2nd 04:57 CU - Tajh Boyd 2 yd run (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 7-67 2:47, WF 7 - CU 28
    00:29 CU - Mike Williams 14 yd pass from Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 8-72 2:00, WF 7 - CU 35
3rd 06:41 CU - C.J. Davidson 1 yd run (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 10-46 3:40, WF 7 - CU 42
    01:11 CU - Jordan Leggett 18 yd pass from Cole Stoudt (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 9-64 2:57, WF 7 - CU 49
4th 09:21 CU - C.J. Davidson 1 yd run (Ammon Lakip kick), 12-56 4:53, WF 7 - CU 56

                                     WF       CU
FIRST DOWNS...................       14       27
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............    31-60   47-166
PASSING YDS (NET).............      162      407
Passes Att-Comp-Int...........  30-19-1  36-28-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS.....   61-222   83-573
Fumble Returns-Yards..........      0-0      0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............      1-0     5-30
Kickoff Returns-Yards.........    5-106     1-18
Interception Returns-Yards....      0-0      1-1
Punts (Number-Avg)............  10-40.5   5-43.2
Fumbles-Lost..................      3-1      3-0
Penalties-Yards...............     4-30     4-40
Possession Time...............    29:43    30:17
Third-Down Conversions........  2 of 14  8 of 17
Fourth-Down Conversions.......   1 of 1   3 of 4
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      1-1      6-6
Sacks By: Number-Yards........     2-11     3-12

RUSHING: Wake Forest-Tyler Cameron 6-21; Deandre Martin 4-18; John
Armstrong 3-18; Josh Harris 4-7; Patrick Thompson 1-5; Joshua Wilhite 5-1;
Tanner Price 8-minus 10. Clemson-Tajh Boyd 17-69; D.J. Howard 7-34; C.J.
Davidson 9-25; Zac Brooks 5-24; Roderick McDowell 3-10; Chad Kelly 2-3; Haamid
Williams 2-2; Cole Stoudt 1-0; TEAM 1-minus 1.

PASSING: Wake Forest-Tanner Price 14-22-0-125; Patrick Thompson 3-4-1-15;
Tyler Cameron 2-4-0-22. Clemson-Tajh Boyd 17-24-0-311; Cole Stoudt 10-11-0-90;
Chad Kelly 1-1-0-6.

RECEIVING: Wake Forest-Michael Campanaro 7-75; Josh Harris 4-31; Deandre
Martin 2-5; Joshua Wilhite 1-14; Sherman Ragland III 1-10; John Armstrong 1-9;
Tyree Harris 1-7; Jordan Garside 1-6; Jared Crump 1-5. Clemson-Sammy Watkins
6-113; Adam Humphries 5-67; Jordan Leggett 3-38; Daniel Rodriguez 3-10; D.J.
Howard 2-86; Martavis Bryant 2-29; Germone Hopper 2-18; Stanton Seckinger 1-16;
Mike Williams 1-14; Wes Forbush 1-6; Zac Brooks 1-6; T.J. Green 1-4.

INTERCEPTIONS: Wake Forest-None. Clemson-Ben Boulware 1-1.

FUMBLES: Wake Forest-Tyler Cameron 2-1; Tanner Price 1-0. Clemson-Tajh
Boyd 1-0; Chad Kelly 1-0; TEAM 1-0.

Stadium: Memorial Stadium      Attendance: 80607
Kickoff time: 3:33 PM   End of Game: 6:38 PM   Total elapsed time: 3:05
Officials: Referee: Gary Patterson; Umpire: Rich McMahan; Linesman: Robert Bassett;
Line judge: Deon Lawrence; Back judge: Tommy Pace; Field judge: Harry Tyson;
Side judge: Duane Heydt;
Temperature: 74 deg    Wind: Calm      Weather: Mostly Sunny

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