Turning Point: picture-perfect 87-yard, 42-second drive sets rout in motion

Tajh Boyd completed six straight passes to five different receivers, then followed 3 blockers to the end zone

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney greets his team as they come off the field after scoring against Virginia.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney greets his team as they come off the field after scoring against Virginia.

Freshman Jayron Kearse had already turned the game decisively in Clemson's favor with an interception and fumble-causing tackle, both of which led to touchdowns and helped the Tigers open up a 28-7 lead.

The only question remaining was what Clemson would do with its upper-hand opportunity.

The Tigers answered affirmatively on their final possession of the first half, after taking the ball at their own 13 with 55 seconds remaining.

What followed was what Dabo Swinney saw as Clemson's offense at its finest.

Propelled by the pin-point passing of Tajh Boyd, who completed six straight passes to five different receivers, the Tigers made the most of their quick-face attack and set the wheels in motion for what would become a 59-10 rout.

First came quick, clock-stopping sideline passes to Mike Williams, Germone Hopper and Sammy Watkins, which moved the Tigers 30 yards to their own 43. Boyd then went back to Williams for a 22-yard gain, hit Martavis Bryant for 12 yards, and then found Adam Humphries open for a 25-yard catch-and-run that ended just short of the goal line.

On first-and-goal, Boyd took care of the final yard himself, as he found a gap between Brandon Thomas and David Beasley and following pulling guard Tyler Shatley through the hole for the touchdown and a 35-7 halftime lead.

The score capped the game-deciding second-quarter surge and the Tigers were off and running for their eighth victory of the season and their eighth straight win away from home.

"That was our offense at its best," said Swinney. "It was the tempo-setter for the rest of the game."

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Comments » 9

rsb8931#286014 writes:

I've been watching football for a long time and I can't remember a "2 minute drill" being run any better than that one yesterday. That was pretty good.

DahlonegaJoe writes:

It was an outstanding 1 minute drill.
Executed perfectly.
Congrats to coaches, line play, and major kudo's to Tajh.
Go Tigers

waran writes:

One of the best games this season. The best play for a decade. Congratulations.

Clemorange writes:

It's easy to look good against a team that can't match up athlete to athlete. I have bled solid orange for as long as I can remember but if we lose to scar this year I'm giving up my bragging rights. We can't dominate teams that are not up to par and then get smacked around by Florida state and South Carolina every year. I really thought this was our year. I mean convincing wins over LSU and UGA before those teams lost there mainstays on the starting charts. LSU lost what 6 or 8 defensive starters to the draft and UGA unfortunately is loosing its wheels with all these skill position injuries. Every time we face a team that is even close to having the same caliper players for each position we stumble around a little bit. I mean watch the Boston college game. Nc state. Heck Virginia caused us to have 5 unsuccessful drives in a row. I don't need to mention Florida state do I? They shut Boyd down and we for some reason never pulled him. Boyd only got one of those touchdowns. I hated swinney for that 5 out of 10 comment he made after the Florida state game however he is right. We are definitely a good enough team to beat them and its a shame we are in the same devision. A Florida state vs clemson acc championship rematch would be a good seller. But we can't control that. We can only control what's coming up next, which is plenty of prep time for the Thursday showdown with Georgia tech. If we don't concentrate and slow down a little bit on defense it can get away from us. Boston college and Florida state exposed how easy it is to take advantage of a defense that moves laterally a little too quickly for their own good. Lets drag them through the mud, move on to coaching citadel through a lose and then laying a gauntlet down on a few chicken heads. Lets go tigers!

TigerNE writes:

It's clear from this season that the offense is tuned - maybe to a fault? - to run this kind of quick tempo multiple option way. Every time Boyd is held back from choosing to run out of trouble or we slow down the offense's pace we get into trouble. Seems like we should be able to play both modes, but so far when we are up against a really solid team we don't play well in any other mode but quick tempo.

clemvol writes:

Finally, the light has turned on. This is the way you are suppose to beat an inferior opponent. Don't let your foot off the gas. Finally, the light has turned on about quit talking your game, instead your talking be done on the field. Again, it's about focus, the drive, the decision to play every play with a fire in your belly. Now keep the mouth closed, keep the fire stoked and play knowing that you cannot be beat. Show your metal and your attitude and truly this will be a "November to Remember". Finish the job, GO TIGERS

f8thwlk writes:

This game means NOTHING.............

TigerNE writes:

in response to f8thwlk:

This game means NOTHING.............

Riiiight. NOTHING. Except more school records. And a confidence builder for the team. And a move up in the polls especially the BCS. But otherwise it means nothing. Got it.....

kellytown writes:

This is what I have been waiting on since the syracuse game we beat virginia like we were suppose to. We took them right out of the game.Our Defense is playing like we knew they could.the offense showed what they are capable of doing when they are on the same page it just seems to me that they have their up and downs being consistant. Our D has been right on.

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