Winston-Salem, NC (Sports Network) - Tajh Boyd had five touchdown passes in the first half as No. 14 Clemson rolled to a 42-13 win over Wake Forest in an ACC matchup on Thursday.
Boyd went 27-for-38 with 428 yards while Sammy Watkins had a huge game as he posted eight catches for 202 yards and a score for the Tigers (7-1, 4-1 ACC), who have won four straight since opening conference play with a loss to Florida State.
"Thursday is what we call a 'Team Thursday' and that was the epitome of what today was," said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney. "It was a great team win, all phases. We did some good things. We talk about holding the opponent to 17 points or less and we feel like when we do that we have a great chance to win a lot of games. That's two weeks in a row we've been able to do that. But, it was a great job by the team and our staff and it was good to get a win on Thursday night."
Tanner Price was 27-for-44 with two touchdown passes and 232 yards for the Demon Deacons (4-4, 2-4), who have dropped three of their last four. Tommy Bohanon caught both touchdowns in the loss.
It was a slow start to the contest as each team punted twice, but Clemson got its offense on-track on its third touch.
Starting at its 20 and following one first down, Boyd lofted a pass down the left sideline that saw Watkins make the catch for a 57-yard play. Two plays later, Boyd dumped the ball off to his right for Brandon Ford, who stretched into the end zone on a 9-yard score and a 7-0 lead with 4:03 to play in the first.
On the first play of the second quarter, Watkins caught another bomb, broke a tackle and raced down the left sideline into the end zone for a 61-yard score and a 14-0 lead.
The Tigers got into the end zone again with a seven-play, 80-yard drive that was capped on a 12-yard catch over the middle and into the end zone by Sam Cooper for a 21-0 lead with 8:36 left in the half.
DeAndre Hopkins and Boyd got together for a 12-yard score with 3:56 to play and, following a fumble recovery by the Tigers in Demon Deacons territory, Boyd and Charone Peake combined for a 2-yard score and a 35-0 lead with 1:18 to play.
"I just don't think we respected their foot speed enough in the first half," said Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe. "We did a better job in the second half, but we just dug ourselves such a big hole. One of the things that was really disappointing was the fumble and then the short score. I think the short field was the hardest but big throws got us."
The Demon Deacons quickly got down the field and put seven points on the board as Price hit Bohanon for an 8-yard score to make it a 35-7 game at the break.
Wake Forest was able to cut further into its deficit in the third quarter. On 3rd-and-2, Josh Harris busted a run for 43 yards down to the Clemson 18. On the next play, Price and Bohanon got together for another score. The extra point failed and it was a 35-13 game with 7:45 left in the frame.
Clemson, though, put down any attempts at a comeback with a five-minute drive in the fourth that covered 86 yards and on the 13th play D.J. Howard punched the ball into the end zone from a yard out for a 42-13 lead with under eight minutes to play.
Andre Ellington led the Clemson rushing attack with 61 yards on 15 carries while Josh Harris paced Wake Forest with 10 carries for 76 yards ... Terence Davis had seven catches for 84 yards for Wake Forest ... Clemson totaled 534 yards while Wake Forest managed just 290 ... Clemson has won four straight against Wake Forest and holds a commanding 60-17-1 edge in the series ... Clemson plays at Duke next week ... Wake Forest hosts Boston College.