ACC Football: Clemson 36, Boston College 14
CLEMSON, S.C. — Tajh Boyd threw for a touchdown and ran for another before leaving No. 8 Clemson’s 36-14 victory Saturday over Boston College with a hip injury that raised concerns about how long the Tigers could stay undefeated without him.
The severity of Boyd’s injury wasn’t immediately known. He came in leading the Atlantic Coast Conference in total offense and has been the catalyst for the Tigers’ first 6-0 start in 11 years.
Clemson (3-0 ACC) got five field goals from Chandler Catanzaro and 117 yards and a touchdown from tailback Andre Ellington to put away Boston College (1-5, 0-3).
The Eagles played without ACC preseason player of the year Montel Harris, who aggravated a knee injury in last week’s loss to Wake Forest.
Boyd, a sophomore, had thrown for 200 yards or more each game this year and was on his way to a third 300-yard performance when, with Clemson ahead 23-7, he was hit by Boston College defensive end Max Holloway. Boyd tried to get up but rolled back to the ground as coaches, teammates and trainers surrounded him. Death Valley, 78,000 strong for homecoming, was silent as Boyd remained on the ground.
He was finally carried off the field, his left leg held above the turf. He was taken to the locker room for X-rays and Clemson announced he had a hip injury.
Boston College tried to catch Clemson groggy after Boyd’s departure, Chase Rettig’s 24-yard pass to Bobby Swigert cutting the lead to 26-14. The Tigers, though, found their footing and fast-paced attack under freshman backup Cole Stoudt, the son of longtime NFL quarterback Cliff Stoudt. Catanzaro added a 47-yard field goal and Ellington broke out for a 36-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-1 to seal the victory.
The Tigers finished with 500 yards, the fifth time in six games they’ve gained 440 yards or more under new coordinator Chad Morris. Can they keep it up if Boyd is out?
Clemson goes to Maryland next week before returning home to play North Carolina. An ACC showdown at Georgia Tech comes after that.
Boyd was 16 of 26 for 283 yards. He also had 37 yards rushing.
The Tigers to put this one away early, scoring on its first three possessions to go up 17-0.
Morris emphasized all week that his guys hadn’t put up a TD against Boston College since 2008. They quickly brushed that monkey from their back on Boyd’s 3-yard scoring pass to Jaron Brown to finish an eight-play, 80-yard drive that lasted less than three minutes.
Clemson was back at it a series later, Catanzaro hitting the first of three field goals in the opening half.
The defense got into the act moments later, Malliciah Goodman sacking Rettig and causing a fumble that Tyler Shatley recovered on the BC 16. Boyd ran it in for a 14-yard touchdown three plays later.
The Eagles have had their successes at Death Valley — they’ve won two of the three times they’ve played here since joining the ACC in 2005 — but appeared lost without injured star Harris and his backup, Andre Williams.
Harris had rushed for over 100 yards a week ago against Wake Forest, but re-aggravated a knee injury that kept him out of all but two games this season. Williams didn’t play because of an ankle injury.
Then again, Boston College didn’t help itself much, either. Besides Rettig’s fumble, the Eagles’ had a 43-yard touchdown catch by Bobby Swigert wiped out by a personal foul. They gained less than half of Clemson’s first-half yardage, 142 to 295, and could not slow the Tigers’ fast-paced attack.
When Boston College finally scored on Rolandan Finch’s 20-yard touchdown run with 1:55 to go, Clemson followed with a 65-yard drive that concluded with Catanzaro’s 18-yard field goal for a 23-7 halftime lead.
The Associated Press