Clemson clobbers Tar Heels

Powered by four third-quarter touchdowns from quarterback Tajh Boyd on Saturday, No. 8 Clemson blew past visiting North Carolina 59-38.

Boyd rushed for a 1-yard score and completed touchdown passes to Brandon Ford (12 yards), Sammy Watkins (42 yards) and Dwayne Allen (9 yards) as the Tigers (8-0, 5-0 ACC) turned a 24-17 halftime advantage to a 52-24 cushion late in the third.

The victory gives Clemson, the ACC Atlantic Division leader, its best start since 2000.

Boyd continued his breakout season, completing 27 of 46 passes for 367 yards and five touchdowns against a North Carolina defense that had yielded 22 points or less in five off its first seven games. He also threw touchdown passes to DeAndre Hopkins (25 yards) and Martavis Bryant (29 yards).

Turnovers helped doom the Tar Heels (5-3, 1-3). Clemson forced six turnovers, including Kourtnei Brown’s 20-yard interception return for a touchdown with 4:45 to go before halftime, giving the Tigers a 24-10 advantage. Brown returned a fumble 26 yards for a touchdown with 14 seconds left in the third quarter to cap a 35-point quarter for Clemson.

North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner, the ACC leader in passing efficiency entering the game, was intercepted three times, completing 19 of 33 passes for 255 yards.

The Tigers travel to No. 19 Georgia Tech next Saturday night for a potential ACC championship game preview. Georgia Tech entered the day leading the Coastal Division. North Carolina plays host to Wake Forest next Saturday.

Photo Credit: Mark Sturgis

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