Boyd leads No. 9 Clemson past Maryland 40-27
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Tajh Boyd threw for a touchdown and ran for a score, Sammy Watkins had a school-record 14 catches for 163 yards and No. 9 Clemson wore down injury-riddled Maryland 40-27 on Saturday.
Boyd went 28 for 41 for 304 yards with an interception and Roderick McDowell rushed for 161 yards and two touchdowns to help the Tigers (7-1, 5-1 ACC) rebound from last week’s 51-14 defeat against Florida State.
Clemson ran 98 plays compared to 70 for Maryland (5-3, 1-3) and finished with a 551-364 advantage in total yardage. But the Tigers needed four field goals from Chandler Catanzaro to take a 19-13 lead into the fourth quarter.
After that, however, Maryland’s defense finally caved. Boyd scored on a 5-yard run and McDowell ran it in from the 3 to make it 33-13 with 7:57 remaining, and a 45-yard touchdown run by McDowell gave Clemson a 40-20 lead with 5:03 to go.
It was the seventh straight road win for the Tigers, their longest streak since a nine-game run in 1978-79.
Maryland played without several key injured starters, including quarterback C.J. Brown, running back Brandon Ross, wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, and tight end Dave Stinebaugh.
Caleb Rowe went 19 for 45 for yards and three touchdowns. But the Terrapins went 48 minutes between their first and second touchdowns and committed four turnovers.
Trailing 16-7 at halftime, Maryland converted fumbles by Watkins and McDowell into field goals to close to 16-13 with four minutes elapsed in the third quarter.
Boyd responded with a 68-yard drive before Catanzaro connected on a 24-yarder.
Despite making only three first downs in the third quarter, Maryland remained within striking distance until running back Albert Reid lost a fumble at the Maryland 31 and Clemson’s Spencer Shuey took it to the 22. Four plays later, Boyd ran it to make 26-13 with 13:04 left.
That gave Boyd 112 touchdowns via run or pass, tied with Phillip Rivers for most in ACC history.
Watkins had 10 catches for 127 yards by halftime, and Clemson ran more than twice as many offensive plays as the Terrapins in building a nine-point cushion at intermission.
Down 3-0, the Terrapins got a big play from wide receiver Levern Jacobs in his first start of the year. Jacobs grabbed a short pass over the middle and sprinted into the end zone for a 71-yard touchdown.
Denied after getting a first down at the Maryland 2, the Tigers settled for a field goal to make it 7-6.
Then, after Jayron Kearse picked off a Rowe pass in the end zone, Clemson put together a 13-play march that ended with another field goal.
The Tigers finally got their first touchdown with nine seconds left in the half. After a 30-yard completion to Watkins, Boyd threw a 5-yard scoring pass to Jordan Leggett.