The third ranked Clemson Tigers started fast and never looked back in the Carrier Dome on Saturday, defeating the Syracuse Orange 49-14.
The scoring started with a blown coverage by the Orange, as Heisman Trophy candidate Tajh Boyd completed a 60-yard touchdown pass to Adam Humphries, making the score 7-0 Clemson.
The two teams traded possessions, with one of the biggest plays of the first half for the Orange being a Riley Dixon punt, which went for a school record 75 yards to Clemson's own 8 yard line.
But, the Tigers would get all of those yards back, going 90 yards in 10 plays, keyed by Boyd completions of 10, 24, 15 and 18 yards. The 18 yard reception by Sammy Watkins put the Tigers on the 1 yard line, which Chandler Catanzaro punched in to make it 14 nothing Tigers.
A Rob Trudo holding penalty started SU's next possession, which resulted in a three and out. On Clemson's next possession, Boyd completed another pass to Adam Humphries for 42 yards for a touchdown, making it 21-0 Clemson.
But, the Orange finally answered in the second quarter with a 66-yard Jerome Smith touchdown run, making the score 21-7 Clemson with 14:51 to play in the half.
The SU defense got a stop on Clemson's next possession, but Terrel Hunt threw his first interception of the season to Bashaud Breeland, which set up another Clemson touchdown. This time, Boyd hit Stanton Seckinger for a 17-yard touchdown, making it 28-7. Boyd would tack on another big touchdown pass, 40 yards to Martavis Bryant, to make the score 35 to 7 at the half. Boyd had 363 yards and four touchdowns at halftime.
SU came out of the locker room in the second half scrappy, driving down the field once again, resulting in a 28-yard Prince-Tyson Gulley touchdown run, making the score 35-14 Clemson.Clemson went three-and-out on their next possession, but Terrel Hunt threw his third interception of the game, this time to Darius Robinson. On the very next play of the game, Boyd threw his second interception of the game, as Ritchy Desir caught a tipped pass at the Clemson 46-yard-line. But, the Orange failed to score, as Ryan Norton missed a 42 yard field goal wide left.The Orange forced another Clemson three-and-out, keyed by a Marquis Spruill sack, SU's fourth of the game at that point. SU could not get any offense going on their first three downs of their next possession, but Devante McFarlane ran 38 yards on fake punt to get to the Clemson 19-yard-line.
The SU offense stalled, and when Clemson took over, Tajh Boyd hit Sammy Watkins on a 91 yard touchdown pass, making the score 42-14 with less than two minutes to play in the third quarter.
CJ Davidson would pound in one more touchdown for the Tigers in garbage time, giving Clemson the 49-14 lead.
Boyd finished 20-27 for 455 yards and five touchdowns. Hunt finished going 8/24 for 52 yards and three interceptions. Jerome Smith was one of the few highlights for the Orange, with 18 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown. Sammy Watkins saw limited duty, but still produced. He had four receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown. Ashton Broyld finished with five catches for 64 yards.