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Tajh Boyd throws 3 TDs in Clemson win at NC State

Clemson v North Carolina State Getty Images

Clemson may or may not be a national title contender, but they battled back to take one more step toward a potential ACC championship run Thursday night. After a sluggish start, Clemson pulled away for a road win at North Carolina State, 26-14. Tajh Boyd had a three-touchdown night while passing for 244 yards, Martavis Bryant had two touchdowns and Sammy Watkins had 96 receiving yards for the Tigers.

North Carolina State appeared to have taken the lead when Bryan Underwood took a handoff from his own 17-yard line and swept up the right sideline all the way for a touchdown. Despite video replay showing it appeared Underwood kept his feet in on his dash up the right side of the field, officials blew the play dead after 36 yards thinking he stepped out of bounds. The play was not reviewed in the booth and North Carolina State did not challenge the ruling. This is the play in question.

To pour some salt on the wound, three plays later quarterback Pete Thomas was sacked by Clemson’s Vic Beasley, jarring the ball loose and recovered by the Tigers. Five plays later Boyd connected with Martavis Bryant for a 30-yard touchdown pass and a 20-7 lead. This all developed in a span of just over two minutes of game time, and it may have turned the entire game around.

Clemson would go on to score another touchdown early in the fourth quarter and never looked back.

Of course we will never know what would have happened if North Carolina State had taken a 14-13 lead. Maybe Clemson comes back down field to take the lead anyway. But maybe they don’t and North Carolina State holds on.

We can spend plenty of time looking back and asking “What if?” but instead let’s turn the page and discuss what is next. The big question may be if you believe Clemson is a BCS contender based on what we witnessed Thursday night. The Tigers probably didn’t convince many people of that idea, although there is something to be said for the way this team responded after getting a good battle from North Carolina State. We will be quick to look ahead to October 19 when Clemson hosts Florida State. That game could loom large for the ACC picture. If Clemson can reach their next bye week without a loss, which appears likely if they beat Florida State, then the games at home against Georgia Tech and at South Carolina could be very interesting. This assuming Clemson does not fall victim to an upset along the way, which sometimes feels more a matter of “when” and not “if.”

As for North Carolina State, the defense managed to come up with some good stops early on but ended up getting beat on some deep passes in the second half. For the most part, the Wolfpack played Clemson pretty evenly. Penalties became a factor for the home team and the lone turnover of the game, as mentioned above, came at a real unfortunate time. North Carolina State probably doesn’t have the talent to compete for an ACC title, but this could be a team nobody in the ACC will want to play this fall. A bowl game is absolutely within view for the Wolfpack this year.


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17 Responses to “Tajh Boyd throws 3 TDs in Clemson win at NC State”
  1. mcjon22 says: Sep 19, 2013 11:08 PM

    So, There’s this team in Tallahassee…and they have this guy named Winston…

    30 days Clemson, 30 days.

  2. drummerhoff says: Sep 19, 2013 11:10 PM

    Two long TDs called back for stepping out of bounds is highly suspect, no?

  3. necr0philia says: Sep 19, 2013 11:23 PM

    mcjon22 is that a scare Tactic? Is Winston supposed to make people afraid? Clemson will probably beat FSU by 10 points. Just so you know I’m not a fan of Clemson.

  4. irishdodger says: Sep 19, 2013 11:51 PM

    The blogger is right about the apparent TD by NCST being nullified the difference in the game. He’s also right that Clemson could have rolled right down the field & answered…we’ll never know. Bottom line, when it’s your year, everything falls your way. In addition to being a talented or even great team, getting the breaks to go your way doesn’t hurt. Maybe this is Clemson’s year?

  5. 2016olympics says: Sep 20, 2013 12:55 AM

    Clemson was unimpressive tonight and Tajh Boyd looked disinterested. Their WR are some playmakers though. That is if Boyd can get them the ball.

  6. dcroz says: Sep 20, 2013 6:13 AM

    I didn’t watch the game but even I can tell you that once the whistle is blown, the play is over and there is no reviewing or challenging the call at that point. Now, if the whistle had not blown and the player scored, then Clemson could have challenged that he had stepped out of bounds earlier since the play had been allowed to continue, but when the play is blown dead, it is over at that point and there is no disputing what may have happened afterward.

  7. makimaguro says: Sep 20, 2013 7:27 AM

    Clemsom = Punks

  8. classyjacklambert says: Sep 20, 2013 7:35 AM

    That’s an awesome video maki! That Clemson player just wrecked that nc state player lol.

  9. mrsmell says: Sep 20, 2013 8:14 AM

    Isnt this two games in a row, Boyd has struggled? The Logan Thomas bug must be running rampant these days along the coast. All I got to say is Clemson’s LBs stink. 23 play drive by NCST executed solely on short yardage passes.

  10. makimaguro says: Sep 20, 2013 8:24 AM

    Yes, Jack Lambert, you are classy

  11. drummerhoff says: Sep 20, 2013 8:26 AM

    The Clemson player who threw the punch is a POS and anyone who laughs out loud at the video is a little POS.

    As for Tajh Boyd, he’s playing like some who is concussed.

  12. floridacock says: Sep 20, 2013 8:37 AM

    NC State demonstrated how to beat Clemson for the rest of the schedule. While their schedule is vey weak, FSU and USC should have no problem with beating them. Boyd can’t handle pressure and their O line is not very good. Defense is only so so and were it not for the refs, this would have been closer.

  13. floridacock says: Sep 20, 2013 8:42 AM

    Correction Kevin. The “interesting” game with South Carolina is an away game. Whipping number 5 will be at the Willy B in late November

  14. bstras2809 says: Sep 20, 2013 10:08 AM

    Do any of you guys actually watch college football? First the Battle wasn’t something to be laughed at and Dabo will deal with it. Second, Boyd has been sluggish and they won’t beat FSU if he’s that sluggish. The defense is STELLAR and shouldn’t have many problems with SoCar if they can keep their QBs contained (key of the game). If Boyd returns to form, they have the schedule to win out.

  15. raiderufan says: Sep 20, 2013 10:51 AM

    Boyd is an elite arm talent….I just think he gets really sloppy in his mechanics at times and relies way to much on his arm talent.

    Watch the times that we all seem to agree he isn’t quite on…not bad…but just not on. His feet are next to each other in a clean pocket, another clean pocket they’re outside his shoulders apart, another he kicks his plant foot out and drops his butt….all of them completions so they look nice but all arm. Can’t do that in the NFL and I think it’s sad a coaching staff with a senior QB haven’t drilled that out of him.

    When his mechanics are on point that release and whip he gets are unreal. His release and Bridgewaters are crazy alike….I just think he’ll have an off time that last to long in a game and it will bite them.

  16. onlyoneleft says: Sep 20, 2013 3:17 PM

    #4 is not the smartest dude for sure. You don’t run up and get in the face of 6’8′ guy.

  17. tigersfandan says: Sep 20, 2013 5:11 PM

    One person throwing a punch does not equate to the entire team being punks.

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