The third-ranked Clemson Tigers struck for 3 touchdowns in the first 8 minutes and cruised to a 56-7 homecoming victory over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Saturday. Heisman candidate Tajh Boyd found the speedy Sammy Watkins down the sideline for a 64-yard score less than a minute in, and the Tigers cruised from there.
"The pace of the game was very fast and they made a lot of big plays," coach Jim Grobe said. "We tried our best to minimize the big plays, but unfortunately they made a lot of them. They have got really good players, and my biggest disappointment of today was that we did not play good fundamental football."
Wake Forest (2-3, 0-2 ACC) finally got on the board with 1:17 remaining in the first quarter, when quarterback Tanner Price connected with Sherman Ragland III, who apparently found his way out of Grobe's doghouse and into the Clemson end zone. Price finished 14-22 for 125 yards and 1 touchdown before being replaced by Tyler Cameron.
The lone bright spot for the Deacs was again Michael Campanaro, who hauled in 7 passes for 75 yards before being pulled once the game was out of reach. Redshirt senior running back Josh Harris was unable to duplicate last week's effort against Army, gaining 7 yards on the ground while catching 4 passes for 31 yards. Punter Alexander Kinal was busy again on Saturday, punting 10 times for 410 yards.
One week after the Tigers (4-0, 2-0 ACC) sputtered to a controversial 26-14 victory over N.C. State, Clemson seemingly ran on all cylinders Saturday, racking up 573 yards on the talented Demon Deacon defense. The Deacons tried valiantly to right the listing ship in the first half, including sacks by Kristopher Redding and Nikita Whitlock. Brandon Chubb and Teddy Matthews led the Deacons with 9 tackles apiece in the loss.
"We played a complete game for all four quarters," Clemson 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."
Boyd did nothing to diminish his Heisman campaign, finishing 17-24 for 311 yards passing with 3 touchdowns on the afternoon. In addition, Boyd rushed for 69 yards and one touchdown in barely 3 quarters of play. The Tigers also got 2 touchdowns from running back C.J. Davidson, who carried the ball 9 times for 25 yards.
Next up for Wake Forest is the N.C. State Wolfpack, who come to BB&T Field next week fresh off a dominating 48-14 performance at home against Central Michigan. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. and will coincide with the annual Dixie Classic Fair, which occurs on the grounds adjacent to the stadium.
"It is a huge game, and it is a must win like every other game," Grobe said. "If we play like we did today against Clemson, we will not win another game on our schedule."
BSD will have coverage of Tuesday's press conference and different features throughout the week, as the Deacs hope to continue the Pack's streak of futility at BB&T Field.