It took less than 40 seconds for Clemson to get on the board in Syracuse, and the Tigers used that strong start to cruise to an 49-14 victory over the Orange. Tajh Boyd racked up more than 300 passing yards in the first half, finishing the day with a career-best 455 yards passing.
While the Tigers were dominant over the first 30 minutes, they came out sluggish in the second half. Boyd tossed his second interception, and Syracuse had its way with Clemson for the majority of the third quarter, surprisingly enough.
The Orange actually had chances to make the game tight after pulling to withing 35-14 early in the period. But a missed field goal and a turnover on downs in Clemson territory effectively put to rest whatever hopes the Orange had at an improbable comeback. Immediately after the turnover on downs, Boyd hit Sammy Watkins for a 91-yard score, pushing the lead to 42-14, and that was the end of what life the Orange thought they had.
The fourth quarter was largely uneventful; Syracuse wouldn't mount a serious threat after that energetic third period, and the Tigers tacked on a garbage score late.
Box Score Hero: Tajh boyd finished 20-of-27 for 455 yards, five touchdown passes and two interceptions, and he didn't even play the full four quarters. He connected on big pass plays to Watkins (the aforementioned 91-yarder) and Adam Humphries (60-yard score). Both Watkins and Humphries finished with more than 100 yards receiving.
Rankings Ramifications: Clemson came into the day ranked in the top five in both major polls and could move up, but it will need some upset help from Colorado (which is playing Oregon) or Northwestern (which is playing Ohio State.) Syracuse was and will remain outside the rankings.
But Did They Cover?
The Tigers ccame in as two-touchdown favorites, covering with ease.
For More On This Game:
For more Tigers football, visit Clemson community Shakin' The Southland.
For more on Cuse football, visit Syracuse community Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.
Next Week's Schedule:
Clemson hosts Boston College on Oct. 12.
Syracuse hits the road for a game at N.C. State on Oct. 12.