CLEMSON - Head coach Dabo Swinney talks about Saturday's 43-19 win over Troy.
Tigers pull away late
A couple of freshmen played key roles for the Tigers.
Sammy Watkins had seven catches for 81 yards. His first reception went for a 33-yard touchdown. Mike Bellamy took his first carry 75 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
In all, freshmen gained 266 of Clemson's 468 yards.
Cory Robinson went 24-for-42 for 258 yards, a touchdown and one interception for Troy, while D.J. Taylor ran five times for 63 yards for Troy.
The Trojans have won five straight Sun Belt Conference titles but haven't beaten a BCS team since knocking off Oklahoma State in 2007. Clemson has never lost to a Sun Belt team.
This is a critical season for Clemson coach Dabo Swinney. He brought the Tigers to their first ever Atlantic Coast Conference title game in 2009, but followed that up with Clemson's first losing season since 1998.
This season also started out rough. Clemson's first half left already-anxious Tigers fans hot and angry. Clemson was 0-for-8 on third-down conversions and had just four first downs. Boyd looked uncomfortable in the pocket with several bad throws and a few near-interceptions broken up by his receivers.
But the Tigers first third-down conversion of the day seemed to give Boyd the confidence he had been lacking. He made a nice throw just over the shoulder of wide-open tight end Dwayne Allen for a 54-yard touchdown that put Clemson up for good at 20-16 with 6:56 to go in the third quarter.
The Tigers finally seemed to grasp Morris' offense on the next drive. Boyd completed all nine of his passes, broken up by a few nifty runs by Andre Ellington. Boyd ended the drive with his best pass of the day, threading a ball through two defenders to Jaron Brown for a 7-yard score that put Clemson ahead 26-16 just before the end of the third quarter.
Boyd completed 13 passes in a row at one point in the second half. But he was stuffed twice by Troy's defense while trying to sneak in for a fourth-quarter touchdown and finished the day with minus-7 yards rushing on 11 attempts.
Ellington ran 18 times for 89 yards. Freshman quarterback Cole Stoudt came in late in the fourth quarter and led the Tigers on a 42-yard touchdown drive where only freshmen ran or caught the ball. The drive ended on a 1-yard TD run by D.J. Howard.
Clemson kicker Chad Catanzaro made three field goals, all 45 yards or more, but he missed an extra point.
Troy had 13 different receivers catch passes, led by Eric Thomas' three catches for 63 yards.
CUTigers.com Recommended Stories
Dr. Roto Video: Week 12 Key Matchups
Dr. Roto highlights each and every game upcoming for Week 12 and a Fantasy matchup to monitor within. Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon (pictured above) makes his return against the less-than-stellar…Read More
The 10 Biggest Anti-Knife Cities In The U.S.
If you're a hunter or an outdoorsman like us, chances are you carry some sort of pocket knife or multi-tool with a blade at all times. If you visit some of these cities your every-day tool could put…Read More
OU's Perine rushes into record books
Norman has seen a lot of special days, but few will compare to what Samaje Perine did Saturday in rushing for 427 yards and five touchdowns.Read More
6 Biggest Man-to-Man Rivalries in Sports
From Pierce and Lebron to Peyton and Tom to Ali and Frazier, we're celebrating love/hate on and off the field of play.Read More
Apache Administers Death to Taliban (VIDEO)
The Apache helicopter is one of the most famed and efficient killing machines in the U.S Army. Get the skinny on this 'steel dragon' and watch what one does to a platoon of Taliban fighters in…Read More