CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Six-for-six. 84 yards. Five first downs. Five different receivers. 42 seconds.
Forty-two seconds to go the length of the field. And only one timeout was used.
That touchdown drive captained by Tajh Boyd – whose ankle looked just fine on the 1-yard scoring capper, mind you – was majestic. The best possession Clemson’s wayward offense has produced in a long, long, long time.
More halftime hits:
- Twitter’s probably the wrong place to crowd-source for this, but following Boyd sacks and incompletions, I see people expressing how they’re ready to see what DeShaun Watson can do in 2014. There’s only one word for you people: delusional.
- Nice hands, Hot Rod. Roderick McDowell’s 27-yard catch on 3rd and long registers as a career high. In fact, he’d never even had a game with more than 23 receiving yards. He later caught his first career touchdown reception, a 10-yarder that was reviewed and upheld.
- And then, wait a minute, there’s McDowell ripping off tacklers and racing to the end zone for a 24-yard score to finish off the half. Man, this part of the coastal U.S. suits him well, after his breakout effort last week at Maryland. Through one half, he’s got 94 total yards (57 rushing, 37 receiving) and the two scores.
- It wasn’t just the easy interception where safety Jayron Kearse turned this game on its heel. It was the 37-yard return. Later, Kearse caused the fumble by Khalek Shepherd. Easily, easily Clemson’s rookie of the year. If you must choose a runner-up, it’s defensive end Shaq Lawson.
- Boyd opened 9-for-9, 135 yards and a TD. But then he floated an interception downfield, looking for Watkins, his 6th of the year. Also the sixth pick for Virginia safety Anthony Harris, who entered Saturday tied for the national lead.
- Sammy Watkins, or Martavis Bryant, matched up on a true freshman cornerback (both UVa’s starters are hurt) is not a fair fight.
- Safety Travis Blanks was called for a personal foul, though we couldn’t hear what the actual penalty was. A reverse angle replay showed Blanks did not make contact with Jake McGee’s head or helmet, so a wise call not to toss Blanks for targeting.
- Don’t believe we’ve seen Zac Brooks yet. He did dress out, with a compression sleeve around that injured shoulder.
- Bradley Pinion is a splendid punter. He has 43 punts this year; 19 have landed inside the 20; and not one of them has gone for a touchback.
- The Tigers started with David Beasley and Gifford Timothy at left guard and right tackle, keeping the Georgia opener’s starters. Stanton Seckinger opened at tight end.
- B.J. Goodson sticks Taquan Mizzell on that kick return. B.J. Goodson finds some way to contribute, since linebacker Stephone Anthony’s kept him on the bench all season.
- Team captains were QB Tajh Boyd, LT Brandon Thomas, DE Vic Beasley and CB Darius Robinson.
- Jameis Winston was 22-for-34 for 444 yards against the Tigers. Since then, opposing quarterbacks are 28-for-65 for 356 yards.
- Oh, also, Virginia’s averaging 2.6 yards per carry. And Kevin Parks is the league’s No. 4 rusher. Clemson’s defense is good, but we’ve been over this.