Matching Sammy Watkins with a true freshman corner is not ideal, but that's exactly what Virginia faced with Tim Harris (a four-star prospect) and Clemson in 3rd-and-15, pressed against its goalline Saturday.
All the star receiver had to do to free himself, in his words, was run.
"Just run real fast," said Watkins, with a smile. "I don't know what the cornerback was doing but he was a very young guy and that's what our game film showed to look that way."
A 55.6-yard Tajh Boyd toss (by ESPN's metrics) and a Watkins' effortless grab-and-glide later: it was the second-longest play from scrimmage in Clemson history, 96 yards.
"We all know how explosive (Watkins) is," Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris said, "and he's got a great feel for the ball. Tajh has a great feel for him to go get the ball and make the play."
The South Fort Myers (Fla.) product is no stranger to history this season, putting together a career year of career years
Watkins is currently is besting former teammate DeAndre Hopkins' single-season yards per game record, 109.1 to lead the ACC, and sits only 111 yards from Nuk's career receiving record (3,020).
He says he's still working towards the standard set by Hopkins, trailing five scores from another one of his career marks (27 TDs).
"I think I'm getting to that level," he said. "I still think I've got a lot more in me. Coaches push me every week and I'm getting better every week with just blocking and being physical and making the catch they expect me to make."
Morris says Watkins' current run is even more impressive with how they use him.
"(Boyd and Watkins have) got a great feel for each other and that's kinda what you're starting to see," he said. "The difference between Nuk and Sammy now is Nuk didn't move all over the field. Sammy's moving all over the field and Tajh has to find the matchup."
The junior has had six catches or more in seven games this season, out-pacing his 2012 yards per catch average (12.4) in five games already. Boyd has looked his way for 31 percent of his targets - a full nine percent higher than any other Tiger (Martavis Bryant, 22).
He's rewarded the opportunities with six 100-yard receiving efforts in nine games, besting his five in 13 games in 2011. To no surprise, Watkins holds the Clemson record for career 100-yard receiving games (13).
"We always want to get the ball to No. 2," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "We've been pretty consistent all year long getting him the ball. He's been very consistent. There's no question it's a major emphasis every week."
More notes on Watkins' season to date
* With Clemson inside its 40, Watkins is averaging 18.7 yards per catch, with 598 receiving yards and four touchdowns. He has five catches of 20-plus yards and 16 first down grabs.
* 12 of his 15 third down catches have gone for first downs and 4-of-5 on third down-and-10-plus have been conversions.
* He's coming off his first multi-score game since Maryland 2011 (3), after touchdown receptions of 33 and 96 yards.
* In ACC play, Watkins is averaging 119 yards and 8.1 catches per game, with six touchdowns.
* He is on track to set the Clemson single-season receptions record in the bowl game, currently 22 short of Aaron Kelly's record (88).