Boyd erupts again as Clemson deals Syracuse its first ACC defeat

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Syracuse, NY ( - Tajh Boyd threw for a career-high 455 yards along with five touchdowns, as No. 3 Clemson provided a rude introduction into the ACC for Syracuse with a 49-14 rout at Carrier Dome.

Boyd finished at 20-of-27 efficiency despite two interceptions and four sacks for the Tigers (5-0, 3-0 ACC), who host Boston College next Saturday.

"It was a great performance on the road and it's always a tough place to play. Our guys really executed at a high level," said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney. "I thought our defense really responded throughout the four quarters, really played outstanding. Another division win puts us right where we need to be."

Sammy Watkins racked up 126 yards and a score on four catches, Adam Humphries reached the end zone twice on three catches for 118 yards, while Martavis Bryant and Stanton Seckinger also hauled in a TD pass each.

Zac Brooks and C.J. Davidson each posted a rushing score for Clemson, which snapped Syracuse's six-game home win streak.

Terrel Hunt was limited to 8-of-24 passing for 52 yards and three picks for the Orange (2-3, 0-1), who entered the conference this season after playing in the Big East since 1991.

Ashton Broyld totaled 64 yards on five grabs, while Jerome Smith gained 125 yards on 18 carries which included a 66-yard touchdown run. Prince-Tyson Gulley added a 28-yard scamper to paydirt.

Clemson made good on its first touch of the contest, as Boyd found Humphries for a 60-yard catch-and-run score.

It was 14-0 for the visitors on their next series, as Brooks punched it in from the one, and Clemson went up 21-0 as Boyd and Humphries connected once more, this time from 42 yards away.

Smith broke free for a 66-yard touchdown to put the hosts on the board on the first play of the second quarter, but Boyd could not be stopped after finding Seckinger in the end zone for a 17-yard TD and hooking up for a 40-yard strike to Bryant for a 35-7 game at intermission.

The Orange kicked off the second half by climbing within 21 points after Gulley broke free up the middle for a 28-yard score.

Late in the third quarter, a fake punt resulted in a 38-yard gain by Devante McFarlane to the Clemson 19. The Orange failed to come away with any points after Hunt's pass on 4th-and-4 from the 13-yard line fell incomplete, and two plays later, Boyd lofted a ball for Watkins, who took it in stride and didn't stop until it was a 91-yard scoring play for a 42-14 contest.

Davidson's 2-yard plunge in the fourth pushed the Clemson advantage to 35 points and capped the rout.

"At halftime I said it's opposite day. We're going to go out there and fight our butts off. I told them the crowd deserves it, they showed up today and we didn't show up in the first half," noted Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer. "I was proud of the fact that they did that and we tried to pull everything we could pull out of the book to make it exciting and try and get back in this thing."

Game Notes

Syracuse won the only other meeting with Clemson, a 41-0 demolition in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1, 1996 ... Boyd racked up 363 yards and four TDs in the first half alone as the Tigers rolled to 439 of their 624 yards of total offense ... Hunt added 57 yards on 13 carries ... Drew Allen connected on three of his four passes for 17 yards in relief of Hunt ... Attendance was 48,961, the largest since 2000.