CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Tajh Boyd threw for five touchdowns and ran for three more scores to lead No. 11 Clemson to a record-shattering 62-48 win over North Carolina State on Saturday.
The Tigers (10-1, 7-1 Atlantic Coast) gained 754 yards, two off the school record. The teams combined for 1,351 yards and the 110 combined points were just seven off the ACC record set by Georgia Tech and North Carolina last week.
The Wolfpack (6-5, 3-4) led 24-13 early in the second quarter before Clemson scored 42 straight points. Boyd was responsible for every Clemson touchdown. The junior was 30-for-44 for 426 yards and ran for 105 yards – the combined 531 yards set another school record.
The Tigers won a share of the ACC’s Atlantic Division title, but their loss to Florida State will keep them out of the title game
Clemson won its 10th regular season game for the first time since it won its only national title in 1981.
Boyd threw for TDs of 69, 62, 40, 27 and 7 yards and ran for a 4-yard score and two 9-yard touchdowns. The eight touchdowns set both school and ACC records. He also broke his own ACC record, scoring 41 TDs this season.
Clemson ran 102 plays, the most in school history. The teams combined of 1,351 yards of offense.
N.C. State’s Tobias Palmer also set an ACC record with 496 all-purpose yards. He had 277 yards on kickoff returns and caught seven passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns. Mike Glennon was 29-of-53 for 493 yards and five touchdowns. Four of N.C. State’s touchdown drives took just one play.
But with all the offense, the Tigers may have won the game thanks to its defense making plays at critical moments. They stopped the Wolfpack on fourth down twice deep in Clemson territory. They picked off Glennon in the end zone and forced a fumble that gave the Tigers one more scoring drive in the first half.
Meanwhile, Clemson’s offense keeps clicking. Since the 49-37 loss to Florida State, the Tigers are averaging almost 48 points a game. In its 11th game, Clemson has scored a record 491 points. Last year’s team set the mark at 470 in 14 games.
Next up for the Tigers is their traditional finale against South Carolina.
Andre Ellington ran for 124 yards on 22 carries. Sammy Watkins caught 11 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown, all in the first half, while Brandon Ford had five receptions for 101 yards and two TDs for Clemson.
Marion Carter caught seven passes for 105 yards and a score, while Shadrach Thornton ran 21 times for 114 yards and a touchdown for the Wolfpack.
The first half seemed like a whole game, with two huge momentum swings, 65 total points and 805 total yards.
Clemson took a 13-0 lead scoring on its first three possessions, but Glennon threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to Tobias Palmer, then followed it with a 49-yard scoring pass to Palmer on the next offensive play. The Wolfpack scored on their next two drives and led 24-13 early in the second quarter.
The Tigers’ defense stiffened up a bit, stopping North Carolina State on a fourth-and-1 and picking off Glennon in the end zone. The Clemson offense kept clicking, with Boyd throwing for three touchdowns and running for a fourth to give the Tigers a 41-24 halftime lead.
And just in case Clemson fans didn’t know their archrival South Carolina is up next, the Tigers mascot was show on the big screen with 32 seconds left, swinging a Gamecock around on a noose.