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November 23, 2013

Tigers notch 10th win





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CLEMSON -- Tajh Boyd threw for five touchdowns and 288 yards in the final home game of his career as No. 6 Clemson beat The Citadel 52-6 on Saturday.

Clemson didn't score on its first possession, but made it to the end zone the next five times it touched the ball. Boyd had touchdown passes of 8, 9, 19, 24 and 30 yards. He ended the game with 102 passing TDs in his career and tied the Tigers record of five passing TDs in a game for the sixth time. Three times Boyd has thrown for five scores in the first half.

Clemson outgained The Citadel (5-7) 558 yards to 172 yards.

Boyd was part of coach Dabo Swinney's first recruiting class dubbed the "Dandy Dozen" that has brought the Tigers back to national prominence. On senior day, the Death Valley crowd showered them with cheers.

Then Clemson cranked up its high-powered offense against an outmanned Citadel team, scoring over 50 points for the third game in a row - the first time that has been done in the school's history.

Boyd would throw for 249 yards in the first half and stayed in the game until almost the final minute of the third quarter, when Swinney called a timeout so the crowd could give him one final ovation. Boyd trotted to the sideline, got high-fives and a big hug from his coach, then ran almost to the Tiger paw at midfield and saluted the fans. He finished 21-for-28.

Boyd has set more than 50 school records during his career, including total passing yards, total offense and most 300-yard passing games. He just missed that mark Saturday, remaining one away from Phillip Rivers' Atlantic Coast Conference record of 17 300-yard games. His 102 touchdowns more than double Charlie Whitehurst, who is in second with 48.

Sammy Watkins caught seven passes for 58 yards and a TD. It might be the last game in Clemson for the junior too. He hasn't made a decision on his future, but he is considered the best receiver prospect in next year's NFL draft. Watkins also became Clemson's all-time leading receiver, passing DeAndre Hopkins' mark of 3,020 yards set last season.

And on Military Appreciation Day, the Tigers also finally got a touchdown for Daniel Rodriguez, who caught a quick flip as he ran past in motion from backup quarterback Cole Stoudt on fourth-and-goal early in the fourth quarter for the 4-yard score. The junior came to Clemson as a walk on after serving for the Army in Afghanistan. He received the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device.

Roderick McDowell ran 21 times for 108 yards and Martavis Bryant caught four passes for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Swinney picked up his 50th win of his career Saturday. He took over as interim coach in October 2008 when Tommy Bowden was fired.

With the victory over The Citadel, the Tigers have won at least 10 games for the third season in a row. They haven't done that since putting together four straight 10-win seasons from 1987 to 1990.

Quarterback Ben Dupree ran 23 times for 69 yards, while fullback Darien Robinson ran 17 times for 45 yards. The triple option Bulldogs completed just one pass on five tries, and it lost four yards.

The Citadel got two field goals, including one in the fourth quarter on a 21-play drive that took 12:10 off the clock.

*** To chat with other Clemson fans about this article please visit The West Zone message board.


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