Published October 06, 2012
| Sports Network
Clemson, SC – Tajh Boyd threw for a career-high 397 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 63 yards and a rushing score, as the 15th-ranked Clemson Tigers turned up the heat with a 47-31 decision over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in an ACC shootout at Memorial Stadium.
DeAndre Hopkins totaled 173 yards and a pair of TDs on seven catches for the Tigers (5-1, 2-1 ACC), who have won two in a row and have two weeks to enjoy the victory before returning to action on Oct. 20 against Virginia Tech.
"When you're a great receiver and you fight for the ball, it's funny how the ball just comes to you," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "DeAndre made huge play after huge play. He turned plays that didn't look like they were going anywhere and turned them into big gains for the team."
Roderick McDowell posted two rushing scores, while Andre Ellington ended with 82 yards on 24 carries for Clemson, which racked up 601 yards of total offense.
Tevin Washington passed for 144 yards and one score, adding 104 yards and two rushing touchdowns for the Yellow Jackets (2-4, 1-3), who have dropped three straight and also have a week off before a clash with Boston College.
Orwin Smith rolled up 117 yards and two end-zone entries on just seven totes and Jeff Greene registered a TD reception in the loss.
David Scully made a 26-yarder for a 31-30 Georgia Tech lead less than two minutes into the fourth, but the hosts roared back with a 35-yard passing play from Boyd to Hopkins. On the two-point conversion, Ellington received the snap and pitched to Hopkins for a throw to Boyd.
A punt pinned the Yellow Jackets in the shadow of their own goal line, and Clemson's defense then got to Smith, tackling him in the end zone on an option pitch for a safety to make it 40-31. Spencer Shuey was credited with the main tackle.
"We had a bust. I'll have to look at it," Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. "There were a slew of people out there. There weren't many people blocked, but I think the linebacker was the one that tackled him. It should have been an outside release and we inside released."
Tiger special teams stepped in to block a 37-yard attempt by Scully with just over six minutes to play, and on the next drive, McDowell took it in from the one inside of a minute remaining for the final margin.
Clemson emerged with a 10-7 lead early on, thanks to a one-yard run by Boyd and a 23-yard field goal from Chandler Catanzaro sandwiched around a 16-yard connection from Washington to Greene.
Georgia Tech pulled ahead late in the opening quarter when Smith went around the right side untouched for a 13-yard TD run, but the hosts surged back into the lead with a three-yard score from McDowell and a 20-yarder by Catanzaro.
The scoring battle continued, as Washington's one-yard dash to the end zone was followed by a 58-yard catch-and-run touchdown from Boyd to Hopkins, and Clemson led 27-21 at the half.
Washington rolled in from the four to put the visitors back on top to complete the first series of the third quarter, but Catanzaro's 21-yard make pulled the Tigers ahead by 30-28 inside a minute to play in the third.
Prior to that, the Yellow Jackets were going in for a touchdown, but Washington fumbled at the Clemson seven.
Clemson has won two of the last three meetings, but Georgia Tech has been triumphant in seven of 10 meetings since 2004 ... Boyd became Clemson's all- time leader in touchdowns ... The 47 points were the most for the Tigers over the Yellow Jackets since a 47-44 OT decision on Sept. 29, 2001 ... Georgia Tech posted 483 yards of offense ... Clemson finished 13-of-19 on third downs, holding the Yellow Jackets to 5-of-11.