3:30 PM ET, November 2, 2013
Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA
Tajh the Record Breaker
Clemson QB Tajh Boyd threw for three TDs and rushed for one in Clemson's win. That puts Boyd alone atop the ACC list of career touchdowns responsible for, breaking a tie with Philip Rivers.
|Philip Rivers||112||NC State||2000-03|
|Russell Wilson||93||NC State||2008-10|
|*93 passing, 23 rushing|
Clemson faced a third-and-15 from its 4 yard-line, a situation that usually calls for a more conservative play call, but Boyd saw the home run potential of the matchup and went for it.
Moments later, Watkins was easing into the end zone after a 96-yard touchdown catch that gave the eighth-ranked Tigers a 42-7 lead against Virginia, and Boyd and Watkins were done for the night in what became a 59-10 victory on Saturday.
"When they're out there," Boyd said of Watkins and fellow speedy receiver Martavius Bryant, "you've just got to throw your arm out, honestly, and they'll run and go get it."
The Tigers did plenty of that in what Boyd and coach Dabo Swinney called their most complete performance of the season. It came two weeks after their worst, a 51-14 loss to No. 3 Florida State, and marked the start of a big finish, Boyd said.
"November is when we want to play our best football," Boyd said. "Hopefully we put a stamp on it today and we're just going to try to take off from here."
The Hampton, Va., native played one half and one series, and became the Atlantic Coast Conference's career leader in touchdown-making with a 33-yard pass to Watkins to start the scoring for the Tigers (8-1, 6-1 ACC). It broke a tie at 112 TDs with North Carolina State's Philip Rivers. Boyd later added TD throws of 10 yards to Roderick McDowell and the 96 yarder, the longest completion of his career, and the longest reception of Watkins' career. Boyd also scored on a 1-yard run.
"Tremendous performance by that young man," Swinney said.
Virginia (2-7, 0-5) lost its sixth in a row and 15th in its last 19 tries. It also suffered its second 59-10 loss at home this season, having lost by the same score against No. 2 Oregon in the second week of the season.
"We have no choice but to keep our confidence up," linebacker Henry Coley said after the Cavaliers were also eliminated from bowl contention for the second season in a row. "There are still three more games to play."
Boyd finished 24 of 29 for 377 yards. He's now been in on 116 career touchdowns, with 93 through the air and 23 running. He's also 4-0 against teams from his home state, having won three prior meetings against Virginia Tech.
Watkins caught eight passes for 169 yards and two scores. It was his sixth 100-yard game this season.
The Tigers wasted little time asserting their dominance, taking the opening kickoff and driving 75 yards in six plays and taking just 1:27 off the clock. Boyd hit Watkins three times, the last for 33 yards.
Virginia pulled even after an exchange of punts, Watford running it in from the 6 to cap a 54-yard drive, but the Tigers responded immediately with another 6-play, 75-yard march to C.J. Davidson's 2-yard run. Boyd hit Roderick McDowell for 27 yards on a third-and-4 play and hit Bryant for 37 yards on the next play.
Anthony Harris' sixth interception of the season ended a Tigers' drive deep in Virginia territory, and Clemson punted twice and was stopped on fourth down on its next three possessions, but the Cavaliers could do nothing offensively.
Boyd's screen pass to McDowell made it 21-7, and when Kearse stripped the ball from Khalek Shepherd on the ensuing series, DeShawn Williams recovered at midfield. Five plays later, McDowell ran into the line on third-and-1, broke quickly into the clear and went 25 yards for a touchdown that made it 28-7.
Boyd followed another three-and-out for Virginia by carving the defense up in a crisp eight-play, 86-yard drive. He was 6 for 6 on the drive for 84 yards, then ran it the final yard 0:13 before halftime.
"Probably our best drive of the year," Boyd said, "just because we were just out there playing, not really thinking."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd found receiver Sammy Watkins for a 96-yard touchdown strike to open the third quarter and put Clemson up 42-7.
Gameball goes to... Boyd. The Tigers' signal-caller missed on just five passes and finished with three touchdowns on 377 passing yards. He also rushed for a touchdown.
Stat of the game... 610. The number of total yards Clemson rolled up on Virginia, 435 of which came through the air. The Cavaliers have now lost six straight games.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||6-17||6-22|
|4th Down Conversions||1-2||0-1|
|TD||13:33||Sammy Watkins 33 Yd Pass From Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro Kick)||7||0|
|TD||05:00||David Watford 6 Yd Run (Alec Vozenilek Kick)||7||7|
|TD||02:59||C.J. Davidson 2 Yd Run (Chandler Catanzaro Kick)||14||7|
|TD||04:18||Roderick McDowell 10 Yd Pass From Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro Kick)||21||7|
|TD||01:29||Roderick McDowell 25 Yd Run (Chandler Catanzaro Kick)||28||7|
|TD||00:13||Tajh Boyd 1 Yd Run (Chandler Catanzaro Kick)||35||7|
|TD||10:58||Sammy Watkins 96 Yd Pass From Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro Kick)||42||7|
|FG||08:55||Alec Vozenilek 40 Yd||42||10|
|TD||12:37||Chad Kelly 38 Yd Run (Ammon Lakip Kick)||49||10|
|FG||08:24||Ammon Lakip 41 Yd||52||10|
|TD||03:05||D.J. Howard 10 Yd Run (Ammon Lakip Kick)||59||10|
Clemson matched its largest margin of victory in an ACC game since 2000 with a 49-point win over Virginia... A mark the Tigers set just 5 weeks ago with a 56-7 win over Wake Forest.[+]
Clemson Largest Margin of Victory - Conference Game Since 2000
With his 3 touchdown passes and 1 rushing TD against Virginia Saturday, Tajh Boyd has the most touchdowns responsible for in ACC history.[+]
Most TD Responsible For
ESPN Stats & Information