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Clemson caps ACC play with rout of Georgia Tech

Nov 15, 2013 - 6:31 AM Clemson, SC ( - Tajh Boyd had four touchdown passes and ran in a score as No. 8 Clemson dominated Georgia Tech, 55-31, in an ACC matchup.

Boyd was a crisp 20-for-26 for 340 yards with an interception while adding 15 carries for 43 yards for the Tigers (9-1, 7-1 ACC), who have won three straight.

Sammy Watkins had two touchdown catches to go with his five receptions for 104 yards, while Martavis Bryant added five catches for 176 yards and a score for Clemson, which played its final conference game and will finish second in the ACC Atlantic Division behind Florida State.

"I'm so proud of our guys. This was a great win," said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney. "This is actually three great wins in a row. We're playing our best football of the year right now. Our defense was awesome tonight."

Robert Godhigh carried the ball 12 times for 126 yards and two touchdowns, while adding five catches for 103 yards for the Yellow Jackets (6-4, 5-3), who had a three-game winning streak stopped and fell out of first place in the ACC Coastal Division.

Vad Lee was just 13-for-23 for 165 yards and an interception in the loss.

"Well, the bottom line is we got our tails beat today," said Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson. "They beat us in all the phases of the game and we got off to a terrible start offensively in the first quarter."

Georgia Tech also played its final conference game of the season, and would need three teams to lose at least once in order to have a shot at playing in the ACC Championship Game against Florida State.

Clemson started the game with the ball and got a 40-yard field goal from Chandler Catanzaro after the drive stalled at the Georgia Tech 23. The drive covered 10 plays and 42 yards in a little over three minutes.

Later in the first quarter, the Tigers got the ball back at their own 41, but Boyd was sacked for a 12-yard loss on the first snap. Boyd, though, ran for 12 yards on the next play and completed a pass to Adam Humphries for 12 yards to move the chains. The drive stalled at the Yellow Jackets' 33, but Catanzaro hit a 51-yard field goal for a 6-0 lead with 3:07 to play in the first.

Getting the ball back late in the first quarter, the Tigers went on a quick 5- play drive that saw the team find the end zone when Boyd went deep to his right and Watkins caught the 41-yard scoring pass for a 13-0 lead less than a minute into the second quarter.

Another quick possession from Georgia Tech saw Clemson get the ball back at its own 34, and a 47-yard catch from Bryant set up Mike Williams' 4-yard grab for a 20-0 lead with 9:03 to play in the half.

Georgia Tech came back down the field to get on the board, as Godhigh followed a 38-yard catch with a 32-yard run down to the one. The run was initially ruled a score, but replay showed he was down before crossing the goal line. It didn't matter, though, as David Sims took the ball in on the next play to make it a 20-7 game with 6:33 left in the half.

It didn't take long for Clemson to get the score back, as the second play of the ensuing drive saw Boyd hit Bryant in stride near the Georgia Tech 40 and he took it into the end zone for a 76-yard score and a 27-7 advantage.

Clemson recovered a Charles Perkins fumble deep in Yellow Jackets territory shortly afterward, but Boyd had a short pass picked off by Adam Gotsis four plays later.

That turnover led to a 33-yard field goal from Harrison Butker on the final play of the half to make it a 27-10 game at the break.

Georgia Tech's second possession of the second half was a quick one, as Godhigh took a handoff 65 yards to the end zone to cut the lead to 27-17 game. However, Clemson came right back with a quick 6-play, 71-yard drive that saw Boyd take it in from a yard out.

After a Yellow Jackets three-and-out, Boyd and Watkins connected for a 44-yard touchdown and a 41-17 lead midway through the third quarter.

Georgia Tech answered with a 14-play, 90-yard drive that was capped by a 5- yard scoring run from Godhigh with 2:08 left in the third, but Clemson's Cole Stoudt countered with a 13-yard TD run less than a minute into the fourth.

The Tigers' Roderick McDowell scored from two yards out later in the fourth quarter, while Synjyn Days had a 1-yard touchdown run for Georgia Tech late in the game.

Game Notes

Georgia Tech hosts Alabama A&M next Saturday ... Clemson hosts The Citadel next Saturday ... Clemson had 551 total yards, while Georgia Tech finished the game with 440 yards and controlled the ball for 34:28 ... Clemson has won three of the last four meetings, but Georgia Tech still leads the series, 50-27-2.