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James big in first half as Clemson posts shutout

Oct 1, 2006 - 2:59 AM CLEMSON, South Carolina (Ticker) -- Sophomore James Davis deserved to have the second half off.

Davis rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns - all on 11 carries in the first half - and freshman C.J. Spiller added 127 yards and a score as 18th-ranked Clemson raced ahead early en route to posting a 51-0 victory over Louisiana Tech in a non-conference meeting.

Demerick Chancellor ran for 110 yards on 11 carries for the Tigers (4-1), who had three running backs rush for at least 100 yards for the second time in school history.

"It was just one of those games where everything went right," wide receiver Chansi Stuckey said. "The coaches and the seniors had stressed all week to avoid a letdown. We did that.

"I can't say enough about our running game. Being able to run the ball like we did makes it very tough for a defense. It forced them to play our receivers one-on-one. The way our offensive line blocked made it easy for both the backs and receivers."

Davis now has reached the end zone in nine consecutive games and it did not take him long in this one.

The 210-pound back broke to the left for a 64-yard TD scamper, making it 7-0 with 8:24 remaining in the opening quarter.

"Our offensive line takes a lot of pride in being able to run the ball," offensive lineman Nathan Bennett said. "It was a good night for that. When we block well James Davis can make some big plays. When we don't block well James Davis can make big plays. He really came out from the start and dominated."

Davis extended the lead to 17 with a four-yard score 4:15 into the second period.

"For the last few weeks I had been close to 100 yards," Davis said. "I was glad to get that out of the way early. I can't say enough about my offensive line. They opened up holes for me, C.J. and Demerick the entire game. When we run the ball like that we are tough to stop."

After Stuckey hauled in a 34-yard touchdown catch from Will Proctor, Spiller pushed the cushion to 31-0 with a 20-yard rushing TD with 4:30 left before the half.

Jacoby Ford returned the second-half kickoff 93 yards to highlight the rout for the Tigers, who posted their first shutout in six seasons.

"I think with the way our schedule sets up, you have to ride on the shoulders of the defense to get where we want to go," Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said.

Zac Champion completed 20-of-34 passes for 192 yards against three interceptions for the Bulldogs (1-3), who were held to 31 yards rushing.

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