No. 3 Clemson uses late surge to dispatch Boston College
Clemson, SC (SportsNetwork.com) - Tajh Boyd threw for 334 yards and one touchdown while rushing for another, as No. 3 Clemson rebounded from a slow start to overcome Boston College, 24-14, at Memorial Stadium.
Boyd completed 30 of his 44 attempts and also rushed for 33 yards, but fumbled twice for the Tigers (6-0, 4-0 ACC), who played an uneven game through nearly three quarters in anticipation of next week's clash with Florida State.
Nonetheless, the hosts finally assumed control with a pair of quick scores early in the fourth and went on to record their 14th win in 15 games dating back to September of last season.
"It's good to know that we can win a street fight," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. "You have to give Boston College credit. They were a tough team, but we battled, we played very physically and we were just a little bit deeper than they were."
Sammy Watkins recorded a 48-yard TD among his 101 yards on seven catches, with Vic Beasley adding a 13-yard fumble return for another score.
Chase Rettig finished 13-of-21 for 192 yards, one touchdown and an interception for the Eagles (3-3, 1-2), who put up a valiant fight and held a four-point edge heading into the final period.
"Obviously we are disappointed," Boston College head coach Steve Addazio said. "We fought hard and the guys left it all on the field. We took the No. 3 team in the country toe-to-toe, but we just did not finish."
Alex Amidon ended up with 121 yards -- including a 69-yard score -- on six receptions, while Andre Williams gained 70 yards on 24 carries and Myles Willis posted a rushing score in defeat.
In a drive which bridged the third and fourth quarters, Clemson took a 17-14 lead with 13:44 remaining when Boyd ran it in from the 6 on 2nd-and-3.
Boston College started its next series on its own 25, but three plays later found disaster. Rettig dropped back, but was sacked and lost the football, only to see Beasley pick up the ball on the run and roll 12 yards for a touchdown and 24-14 Tigers advantage.
Rettig was sacked to end the Eagles' next series, and Clemson held BC to a three-and-out on the following possession. A rush for a small gain on 4th- and-17 with 2:38 caused a turnover on downs, and the hosts picked up a first down en route to bleeding away the remaining time.
After a scoreless opening quarter, BC took a 7-0 lead after Willis broke loose for a 38-yard touchdown run which capped a 93-yard drive.
Four of the next five possessions featured sloppy play and turnovers. One example of the misfortune came when Chandler Catanzaro was lined up for a 45- yard field goal, but a botched snap killed that opportunity.
Catanzaro eventually put Clemson on the board with a 35-yard make on the final play of the half.
The Tigers gained equilibrium on their second touch of the third quarter, with Boyd lofting a ball down the right sideline for Watkins, who hit the end zone untouched for a 48-yard score and 10-7 edge.
However, Rettig found Amidon on the next play from scrimmage, a 69-yard connection and BC went on top 14-10.
Clemson improved to 12-9-2 all-time vs. BC, and has won five of the last six meetings ... The Tigers collected 23 first downs to 12 for the Eagles and outgained their Saturday foes by a 496-286 margin.
10/12 21:26:28 ET