CLEMSON – An embattled Clemson defense held up when it counted and Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd and freshman receiver Sammy Watkins continued to shine in a 35-30 victory over No. 11 Florida State on Saturday.
Clemson students stormed the Memorial Stadium field as the final seconds melted away as the victory improves No. 21 Clemson to 4-0 (1-0 ACC) on the season and further builds Clemson’s confidence as it now readies for a road trip to Virginia Tech next weekend.
Boyd completed 22 of 36 passes of 344 yards and three touchdowns, his second straight 300-yard game. Watkins caught 7 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns, including a 62-yard scoring pass from Boyd in the fourth quarter that gave Clemson a two-score advantage.
Watkins’ first-quarter touchdown was his fifth of the season, setting a Clemson freshman record for touchdown catches in a season, breaking DeAndre Hopkins’ record of four from last season.
The Clemson defense improved against the run, allowing just 2.1 yards per rush, and were able to cool off FSU freshman quarterback Clint Trickett on the game’s final drive.
Filling in for FSU starting quarterback EJ Manuel, Trickett completed 24 of 38 passes for 336 yards but was sacked on a fourth-down play with under two minutes, turning the ball over on downs.
Florida State (2-2, 0-1) entered coming off a loss to No. 1 Oklahoma and has not won in Death Valley since 2001.